Dean for Social Sciences


Dean for Social Sciences

Hope College is seeking a visionary, innovative, and collaborative leader to oversee the largest academic division in the College. Strong applicants will build upon the division’s strength of faculty-student collaborative research, invest in developing inclusive teaching excellence, strengthen the cultural and intellectual diversity of the faculty, and advance the mission of Hope College and the originative goal of Hope Forward.


Hope College

Hope College is a Christian liberal arts college committed to the holistic development of our students.  Faculty, administrators, and staff reflect daily on how individual and group actions and thoughts facilitate the implementation of our mission statement.  On our exclusively undergraduate campus, we continually prepare each of our approximately 3,100 students to have the essential knowledge, skills, and habits to “think about life’s most important issues with clarity, wisdom, and a deep understanding of the foundational commitments of the historic Christian faith” (from Graduates Anchored in Hope).  Hope is dedicated to providing a rich liberal arts curriculum and experience to all students, including those in our professional programs.  We embrace multiple ways of knowing and have been nationally recognized by the Council on Undergraduate Research (2017 AURA Recipient) and the U.S. News & World Report (Ranked #24) for our excellence in undergraduate research and creative activity.


Hope College has four academic divisions: 1) Arts, 2) Humanities, 3) Social Sciences, and 4) Natural & Applied Sciences.  Divisions contain multiple academic departments.  Additionally, we have a number of interdisciplinary academic programs, living-learning communities, academic outreach programs, and focused leadership of our General Education program.  Each of these divisions and programs are embodied by administrators, staff, and faculty that reach levels of excellence centered in an ecumenical Christian liberal arts education.


Social Sciences Division

The Social Sciences Division is the largest division on campus and encompasses seven academic departments (Communication, Economics & Business, Education, Kinesiology, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology & Social Work).  Instructors in the Social Sciences Division emphasize learning by doing and incorporating global perspectives.  Multiple faculty members in the Social Sciences Division have won regional, national, and international awards for their research, advising, and teaching.  


Major Functions of the Social Sciences Divisional Dean

The Dean for the Social Sciences is responsible for overseeing the programs and activities of all the seven academic departments named above.  Moreover, three academic outreach programs (the Children’s After School Achievement (CASA) program, the Upward Bound program, and the Program for Academic Talented at Hope (PATH)) are under the dean’s leadership.  The living learning community Phelps Scholars is also in the dean’s academic portfolio.  

The Dean is a member of the Deans’ Council, serving on this team of academic leaders for the entire college with the Provost, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Dean for the Natural & Applied Sciences, Dean for the Arts & Humanities, Dean of the Library, Dean for Academic Services & Registrar, and the Executive Director of the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.  The Dean will often collaborate with the Senior Director of the Fried Center for Global Engagement, Senior Director of Assessment and Accreditation, Director of the Office of Sponsored Research & Programs, Social Science department chairs, Directors of academic outreach programs, and Director of the Phelps Scholars Program.  


Major functions of the Dean for the Social Sciences include the following:

  • Provide leadership in curriculum development and review for divisional departments

  • Connect academic leadership and priorities to the Hope Forward strategy to make higher education more accessible 

  • Allocate and appoint part-time faculty and staff

  • Connect divisional faculty and staff to resources for professional/faculty development

  • Direct processes for the evaluation of faculty and recommendations for merit-based salary increases, salary equity adjustments, promotion, tenure, and leaves of absence

  • Monitor and approve teaching loads

  • Review departmental budget requests; monitor departmental and programmatic budgets

  • Allocate space assigned to divisional departments and programs

  • Direct planning for future space needs

  • Select and resource departmental chairs

  • Work with with college-wide offices to procure external funding for divisional needs and opportunities

  • Lead efforts in developing research programs and resources to support holistic scholarship activities

  • Monitor and approve independent study courses in the division

  • Manage logistics and provide resources for accredited programs in the division

  • Continue efforts to enhance global connections and engagements of the division



The following are required educational, personal, and professional experiences:

  • Earned doctorate

  • Teaching and scholarship accomplishments that are commensurate with the appointment at the rank of professor in one of the Social Sciences departments

  • Previous successful administrative experience in the setting of a liberal arts college

  • Demonstrated support for and engagement with global, inclusive instruction

  • Personal commitment to the Christian faith

The following list contains desired personal characteristics and experiences:

  • Ability to communicate visions that inspire actions to accomplish immediate and long-term goals

  • A servant-leadership style supported by positive and transparent communication skills

  • Champion of the value of a liberal arts education

  • Ability to represent and advocate both internally and externally for the wide range of programs represented in the Social Science division

  • Demonstrated connections at the national level that will assist in promoting the division and college

  • Clear articulations of how commitment to the Christian faith informs vocation as a scholar and academic leader

  • Ability to effectively articulate how the Social Science division engages the overall mission of the college

  • Commitment to hiring personnel to enhance cultural and intellectual diversity


Application Instructions:

As part of the online application, candidates are asked to submit electronically: (1) cover letter discussing how they will engage the full mission of Hope College and describe demonstrated experience performing major functions of the Social Science dean, (2) a curriculum vitae, and (3) the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of five references, as well as your professional relationship with each reference listed. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the candidate. 

The application can be found at and will be open until February 11.