Dean of Faculty, Undergraduate Program

Soka University of America
Dean of Faculty, Undergraduate Program

Position: Dean of Faculty – Undergraduate Program
Company: Soka University of America (SUA)
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA
Reporting Relationship: Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

About Soka University
Soka University of America is a private, nonprofit, four-year Liberal Arts college and graduate school located on 103 acres in Aliso Viejo, in south Orange County, California. Three miles from the coast as the crow flies (nine miles driving), SUA is in the heart of Southern California’s abundance of cultural, educational, sporting, and adventure opportunities.

In February 1987, Soka University of America (SUA), an independent, not-for-profit organization incorporated in the state of California, dedicated its first campus in Calabasas. On May 22, 2005, the undergraduate program held its first commencement and Soka University received its accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The University’s mission is to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life. Soka students come from 60+ countries and 6 continents.

U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2022” ranks Soka University as Top 15 in Best Value and Top 30 among National Liberal Arts Colleges. Soka University was the 1st Liberal Arts college in the United States to make study abroad mandatory when it opened in 2001. SUA’s required semester of study abroad is included in the cost of attendance, as is a new laptop computer for every entering first-year student.

About Aliso Viejo and the Soka Campus
The town of Aliso Viejo is just minutes from world-famous Laguna Beach in south Orange County and one hour from Los Angeles. Soka’s beautiful 103-acre campus is surrounded on 80 percent of its border by the 4,000-acre Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. The one-mile-long Soka Millennium Trail for walking or jogging around campus enables students and community members to enjoy the beautiful park vistas. Soka is a residential college providing housing for all students on campus, who walk to their classes, athletic and dining facilities amidst natural and landscaped spaces on campus. Soka’s academic buildings include a recently constructed state-of-the-art life sciences building. Soka also has a performing arts center, respected performing and visual arts program, and brings world class artists and ensembles to campus. 

The Undergraduate Program
Designed to fully develop students for global citizenship, Soka University of America’s Daisaku Ikeda College offers an undergraduate Liberal Arts curriculum that draws upon the cultures and experiences of peoples from across the globe. While pursuing a BA in Liberal Arts, students choose a concentration in Environmental Studies, Humanities, International Studies, Life Sciences, or Social and Behavioral Sciences.

SUA offers a challenging program in Liberal Arts with a focus on the Pacific Rim, and a strong emphasis on international/intercultural exposure. All undergraduates must complete four semesters of foreign (non-English) language coursework at SUA, and study abroad for one semester during their third year. The university aims to foster rewarding intellectual relationships among faculty, and between faculty and students through collaboration and mentoring. An appreciation of the centrality of peace, global citizenship, freedom, and human rights is the founding impetus for the university and its mission.

Position Overview
Soka University of America (SUA) is seeking a Dean of Faculty for its undergraduate program. Candidates should demonstrate responsiveness toward and understanding of diverse student backgrounds, especially with regard to socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, culture, ability/disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and have a willingness to facilitate the university’s mission to develop global citizens. Acting in close cooperation with, and under the guidance of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of Faculty (hereafter referred to as Dean) has administrative responsibility for undergraduate education and research functions and fosters ongoing faculty professional development as educators and scholars.

With respect to courses offered in a given academic unit, the Dean, in consultation with the appropriate Director or Coordinator, establishes the course offering for each academic session, makes final assignment of faculty to teach these courses and supervises the progress of these courses. The Dean has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the courses and programs of study within the undergraduate curriculum. In discharging these responsibilities, the Dean is to consult, as appropriate, with the relevant Concentration, Program or Area and the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. New programs also require the approval of the Chief Academic Officer, the President, and the Board of Trustees. With respect to students, the Dean is ultimately responsible for the academic advising process.

Key Responsibilities
The Dean is responsible for implementation of academic rules and regulations, academic advising, promotion of academic integrity, undergraduate curricula, faculty staffing and development, research activities, management of academic resources, and oversight of academic Concentrations, Programs and Areas.

Key responsibilities include the following:

  • The Dean oversees faculty recruitment and makes recommendations to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs on all matters of hiring, retention and promotion for faculty who have served or are serving or will serve under their jurisdiction.
  • The Dean establishes, with the aid of the Registrar, the university calendar.
  • The Dean makes final determinations concerning the academic status of students enrolled in the program.
  • The Dean supervises the preparation of the annual budgets covering the program and personnel costs of the academic units of the school and prepares the aggregate budget for the overall program.
  • Works in collaboration with Directors to ensure that faculty are responsive to students’ inquiries and assist in fair and efficient student problem resolution.
  • Provides faculty with performance feedback, coaching and training to promote instructional excellence, faculty engagement, and career development.
  • Develops the undergraduate academic program in cooperation with the university faculty and in consultation with the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • Works with the faculty to define new faculty positions; establish search committees for faculty hiring; create and refine academic offerings; and create an effective teaching and learning environment.
  • Ensures academic quality control, in part, through evaluation of academic personnel.
  • Supervises and guides as well as reviews the Director of the Writing Program; the Director of the Foreign Language and Culture Program; the Director of Creative Arts; and the Director of Internships and Study Abroad.
  • Reports directly to the university Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and is expected to keep the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs regularly informed of all pertinent issues that the Dean oversees so that, in turn, the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs may inform the university’s President of important items and events.
  • Creates an academic and professional ethos of the highest quality: in particular, a cooperative and mutually supportive working environment defined by superior academic judgment and skill, as well as by shared respect across the university’s academic community.
  • Represents the university’s best interests at all times: in that regard, the Dean represents the faculty to the university’s administrative ensemble and represents the university’s institutional goals to the faculty for implementation and, when appropriate, for refinement and/or university-wide consultation.
  • Works in conjunction with applicable faculty committees and Concentration/Program Directors to develop and implement strategies for assessment of courses and the undergraduate program.
  • Oversees and coordinates the implementation and evaluation of academic offerings.
  • Ensures that undergraduate faculty understands human resources policies and procedures.
  • Joins other university administrators in establishing and refining institutional objectives and procedures.
  • Reviews and revises the college catalog.
  • Supervises transfer credit issues.
  • Serves as a member of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.
  • Works cooperatively with the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and with all members of the university community.

Required Qualifications and Experience
The Dean must be a passionate advocate for Soka University’s mission, be excited to play a critical role in the continued growth of the University and its faculty and have dedication to a Liberal Arts education. The successful candidate must have a demonstrated track record for serving in a leadership capacity with significant administrative and leadership experience. Soka University seeks a credible, proven, innovative, and dedicated leader to provide long-term innovative leadership to the University.

  • Credentials suitable for a senior faculty appointment, with a record of accomplishment in teaching, scholarship, leadership, and service.
  • A minimum of eight years of progressively responsible leadership experience in higher education administration.
  • Distinguished record of ongoing scholarly achievement suitable for the promotion of active research among faculty.
  • Ability to create and implement a shared vision with faculty and staff and achieve outstanding results.
  • Demonstrated commitment to faculty development and mentorship.
  • Ability to work effectively with faculty, staff, students, and administrators in a student- centered environment.
  • Appreciation of diversity and the ability to work effectively with diverse faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
  • Commitment to professional development of faculty and staff.
  • Understanding of and commitment to the idea and values of a liberal arts education.
  • A history of effective leadership in a culture of shared governance.
  • Support for student achievement and student success.
  • Involvement in campus-wide strategic planning.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Direct experience in the assessment of student learning.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational and conflict resolution skills. 

The Dean is appointed by the President, with the approval of the Board of Trustees. This administrator shall be granted tenure and hold faculty rank as Full Professor. The Dean carries a 12-month work year and reports to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Dean will teach one course during each semester and is appointed for a term of three years (renewable by mutual agreement).

An earned doctorate from an accredited institution and academic qualifications coupled with professional accomplishments in academia sufficient to qualify for tenure at the Full Professor level.

Interested applicants should apply online at

Cover letter addressing how the candidate's experiences match the position requirements which includes a statement of qualification for the position. Cover letter should be inclusive of professional administrative experience, academic goals, and intellectual outlook.

  • A statement of understanding regarding Soka University's curriculum, mission, and history. Please be specific about unique areas and/or qualities of the university's pedagogical format and student body profile.
  • Diversity statement addressing the candidate’s past experiences, current activities, and future plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Three (3) professional references inclusive of names, titles, email addresses, and phone numbers. 

Soka University of America is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity. SUA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin (which includes employees who hold or present a driver's license issued under section 12801.9 of the Vehicle Code), ancestry, citizenship, sex, gender (which includes gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status), pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions, religious creed (which includes all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practice including religious dress and grooming practices), physical disability, mental disability, age, legally protected medical condition (which includes genetic characteristics, cancer or a record or history of cancer), marital status, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, employees requesting accommodation of a disability or religious belief, employees on public assistance or any other characteristic protected by local, state or federal law. SUA also prohibits discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.