The University of Missouri at Columbia (MU) seeks a dynamic and strategic leader for the position of dean of the Truman School of Public Affairs. The search takes place at an exciting time at MU. The next dean will arrive as the University is going through a process of reinvention and renewal. With a new system president and a number of new academic leaders at the Columbia campus, the dean of the Truman School will have the opportunity to work with a fresh and ambitious leadership team that is eager to build on past successes and chart a new path forward. The dean will have the opportunity to work with faculty, staff, and students who are ready to help the Truman School achieve greater levels of awareness and excellence through creative experimentation and careful examination of its current activities. This is in many ways a young school, unburdened by past legacies and traditions and re-tooling for the future. Like other deans at MU, the dean of the Truman School is given autonomy and responsibility to set the vision and direction of the school. The next dean will lead a school that is agile and nimble with great potential to be strategically responsive to emerging opportunities and challenges.

Named for the country’s 33rd President, the Truman School is a proud carrier of its namesake’s legacy. Harry Truman led the nation during a watershed moment in its history. Debates over war and peace, civil rights, social welfare to the national economy were unprecedented in many ways and the issues and choices that defined his administration reverberate to the present. Citizens still grapple with efforts to achieve a secure, peaceful, just, equitable, and prosperous country and the lessons from the Truman years still hold relevance today. As a presidential school of public affairs buttressed by a rich historical legacy, the Truman School is committed to its mission of advancing knowledge and education in the realms of administration, governance, and policy so that leaders are prepared to lead not only successfully but wisely and ethically. Students are taught to discuss policy options with clarity and to take responsibility for their actions as leaders.

The next dean will be expected to manage growth and achieve excellence in academic programs; hire and mentor a distinguished faculty; be committed to success in research; and build upon a longstanding MU tradition of cross-campus collaboration to realize new academic initiatives that will ensure the school’s future success. S/he will also serve as a trusted voice on diversity, inclusion, and equity in the school and across MU. The work and successes of the school must be effectively communicated within MU and to external funders and collaborators. Finally, the dean will enhance and develop new beneficial relationships with business, not-for-profit, and government institutions beyond the University.

MU is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. MU seeks individuals who are committed to this goal and the core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery, and excellence.

The University of Missouri has engaged Isaacson, Miller to assist with this search. Inquiries, nominations and applications should be directed in confidence to:  

The University of Missouri is an equal opportunity/access/affirmative action/pro-disabled and veteran employer. Applications from women and minorities are strongly encouraged. Those in need of ADA accommodations, please contact Rosemary Karr at 202-552-5524 or