Dean, School of Education and Social Policy

Northwestern University
Dean, School of Education and Social Policy
Evanston, IL

Northwestern University invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of dean of the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP). The school's 38 tenure-line faculty members, 11 research faculty and professors of instruction, approximately 65 adjunct faculty members, 118 staff members and postdoctoral fellows, and approximately 770 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral students form a vibrant community that values a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches and fosters strong connections between world-renowned research, policy, and practice. The smallest of Northwestern's 12 schools and colleges, SESP nonetheless has a broad scope; the school draws to it those who seek to understand and improve learning and development over the course of the lifespan, as well as understand and shape social policies that affect learning and development. SESP scholars focus on individual development, families, organizations, and communities; and pedagogical and technological innovations, teacher education, school improvement, and local, state, and federal policies.

The University seeks a new dean to provide courageous, collaborative, and visionary leadership to further advance the school and to marshal the resources necessary to support the school's goals. Reporting to the provost, the dean is the chief executive and academic officer of the school, joining with faculty and staff in overseeing academic programs and policies; fostering a vibrant, equitable, and inclusive community that generates a passion for the school's mission; developing and stewarding the school's financial, capital, and human resources; and playing a leadership role in fundraising and external relations. Ideal candidates will be prominent scholars whose active and distinguished professional records include a compelling combination of teaching, research, and practice within a field of study relevant to the school’s broad profile of scholarship; who bring demonstrated evidence of transforming vision into action, especially in areas of diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice; with experience in program design; with community-building skills; and who have strong academic leadership and management experience. SESP's ideal leader will also be committed to maintaining existing and establishing new collaborative relationships with community and policy partners with the aim of having a local, national, and global impact on educational, organizational, and social change.

Northwestern University is global in its scope, with 12 schools and colleges integrated throughout three campuses – the primary campus in Evanston; the Chicago Campus; and the campus situated in Doha, Qatar. Ranked in the top 10 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report, Northwestern is a multifaceted AAU global research university that has a distinguished and distinctive interdisciplinary tradition. Northwestern has approximately 4,000 faculty and a total enrollment of approximately 23,000. In 2022, sponsored research totaled $893 million and is on a clear trajectory to exceed $1 billion. Northwestern's endowment stands at approximately $16 billion, placing Northwestern among the best endowed institutions in the world. Northwestern has the breadth, expertise, culture, interdisciplinary commitments, resources, and sheer will to provide the intellectual and technical leadership that the country and the world require to solve its most pressing problems.

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, found at

WittKieffer is assisting Northwestern University in this search. Application review has begun and will continue until an appointment is made. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by October 10.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:
Robin Mamlet, Alejandra Gillette-Teran and Cathryn Davis

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.