Dean, School of Social Work

Dean, School of Social Work

Virginia Commonwealth University invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the School of Social Work. Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the dean will have responsibility for providing leadership in academic, research and fund-development activities for one of the largest accredited, comprehensive social work programs in the U.S. 

VCU is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 220 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Fifty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan.

The mission of the VCU School of Social Work is to prepare professional social workers as practitioners, scholars and leaders; to generate research and scholarship for advancing knowledge and practice; and to contribute to local, state, national, international and professional communities to improve quality of life. Guided by the principle of promoting social and economic justice in a diverse and multicultural society, its programs focus on service to and empowerment of people who experience oppression or vulnerability due to inadequate or inequitable distribution of personal, social or institutional resources.

 Founded in 1917, the School of Social Work stands as the first school of its kind in the South, as well as one of two programs in Virginia to offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the discipline. Through an innovative curriculum, diverse field experiences and ambitious and proactive research priorities, the school informs the leaders of today and prepares the leaders of tomorrow. U.S. News & World Report ranks the graduate programs 22nd among the nation’s top graduate social work programs.

The dean will take the lead in shaping the future of the school, articulating a vision that defines its standard of excellence, the directions of its growth and the new and multidisciplinary connections that are possible across the university. With the faculty, the dean will be responsible for the recruitment and retention of the faculty, extending a high standard of excellence. Focus on the health sciences is centrally important. The dean will be responsible for all matters relating to the management of the resources of the school, including its academic programs; its faculty, staff and students; its facilities; and its budget. The dean will actively support the university’s advancement initiatives and will lead that effort within the school and among its constituents. The dean will also assure continued focus on the students, both undergraduate and graduate, providing the services and the support to ensure their success. Finally, the dean will recognize, reward, facilitate and actively participate in high-level research activities, and foster an environment of innovative curricular and teaching practices. 

Minimum qualifications for the dean include an M.S.W. from a CSWE-accredited program, a Ph.D. and eligibility for a tenured appointment at the full professor level. The person selected should have a commitment to shared governance and demonstrate a record of building and sustaining a dynamic intellectual community and culture that is characterized by collaboration and collegiality in the pursuit of research, teaching, policy and service goals. The person selected should have demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. The search will be conducted with a commitment of confidentiality for candidates until finalists are selected. Greenwood/Asher & Associates Inc. is assisting VCU in this search. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made. Submission of application materials as PDF attachments is strongly encouraged. Confidential inquiries, nominations and application materials should be directed to Greenwood/Asher. Basic personal and demographic information must also be submitted to VCU’s job site by November 2, 2017.


Applications and letters of nominations should be submitted to:
Jan Greenwood, Betty Turner Asher, Partners

Marion Frenche, Principal and Practice Leader

Greenwood/Asher & Associates Inc.

42 Business Centre Drive, Suite 206

Miramar Beach, FL 32550

Phone: 850-650-2277 / Fax: 850-650-2272







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Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.