Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences


Hope College is a four-year liberal arts college where academic excellence and vibrant Christian faith join together in a supportive and welcoming community. Hope College is seeking a collaborative leader to oversee its Natural and Applied Sciences division. Strong applicants will build upon the division’s 1) strength of faculty-student collaborative research, 2) demonstrated excellence in infusing authentic research into the curriculum, and 3) commitment to enhancing the cultural and intellectual diversity of its students, staff, and faculty. The dean will advance divisional goals, engage the holistic mission of the college, and outline the division’s contributions to the innovative 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 actively engage with all aspects of our mission statement to facilitate its implementation. 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. Hope is a 2022 recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. 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 #22 for our excellence in undergraduate research and creative activity and #49 for our excellence in undergraduate teaching).


Natural & Applied Sciences Division

The Natural & Applied Sciences Division (NASD) consists of ten academic departments and programs: Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology & Environmental Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Neuroscience, Nursing, and Physics. The NASD demonstrates excellence with leadership nationally and internationally, robust external funding ($6.53M in 2022), and award winning students, faculty and alumni. Instructors in the NASD believe that students “learn science by doing science.”

Major Functions of the NAS Divisional Dean

The Dean provides vision and leadership to maintain an innovative program of teaching and scholarship for the NASD. With this leadership, we strive to become the very best at preparing students for their careers by championing undergraduate research opportunities, supporting interdisciplinary studies in science, becoming a leader in global studies at the college, and developing other experiential learning models. The Dean will support and help the faculty achieve success in teaching and scholarship through advocacy and development of opportunities.

The dean is a member of the Deans’ Council which consists of the Provost, the Dean for the Natural & Applied Sciences, the Dean for the Arts & Humanities, the Dean for the Social Sciences, the Dean of Libraries, the Executive Director of the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career, the Registrar/Dean of Student Services, the Senior Director of the Center for Global Engagement, and the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.

The Deans’ Council Guiding Commitments are below:

  • We hold ourselves and those in our divisions and operational units accountable to zealously pursue the mission and vision of Hope College.
  • We work with faculty governance members as they craft and edit academic policies.
  • We facilitate support for the academic program by collaborating with other programs on campus.
  • We create environments where information exchange occurs in a healthy manner.
  • We use the Faculty Handbook to guide our decision-making on matters of academic personnel and policy.
  • We develop and assess programs and people in terms of scholarship, instruction, service, and mission.
  • We provide leadership and direction to the faculty on how Hope’s academic program can best prepare students for a changing world.


Leadership Duties

The Dean for the NASD will champion the college’s Christian liberal arts mission in all areas of supervisory responsibility. These include the following:


  • Provide leadership in curriculum development, review of curricula, and evaluation of proposed curricular changes.


  • Champion faculty-student collaborative research
  • Support interdisciplinary studies
  • Ensure resourcing necessary for safe, ethical research

Faculty Development

  • Support personnel development, particularly that of departmental chairpersons.
  • Provide leadership in the development of research programs and assistance to faculty applying for research opportunities and grants.

Faculty Appointments

  • Oversee faculty recruitment for approved positions.
  • Oversee appointment of part-time faculty and paraprofessionals.
  • Work with faculty to select departmental chairperson candidates for recommendation to the Provost.
  • Participate in the evaluation of faculty and make recommendations for salary increases, promotion, tenure, leaves of absence, and grants

Budget and Administration

  • Review and approve departmental budget requests and monitor budgets.
  • Monitor and approve teaching assignments.
  • Allocate space assigned to the division and provide direction in planning for future space needs.
  • Formulate and control the faculty travel fund budget allocated to the division through discretionary funds and the dean’s office budget.
  • Collaborate with Philanthropy & Engagement

In all of these areas, an effective leader will work with faculty and staff to build and sustain healthy collaborations within the NASD, across the college, and with external stakeholders. In alignment with campus efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion, the College seeks a dean that will lead in an equity-minded manner.

Type of Appointment and Reporting Structure

  • This is a 12-month administrative staff appointment with faculty rank commensurate with education and experience.
  • The position reports to the Provost.



Candidate Qualifications and Experience

  • Terminal degree in an appropriate discipline in the NASD.
  • Teaching and scholarship commensurate with appointment at the rank of associate professor or above in one of the departments of the Natural and Applied Sciences.
  • Previous successful administrative experience (e.g. department chair), ideally in the setting of a liberal arts college.
  • A history of successful engagement with undergraduates in collaborative research.
  • Demonstrated support for and engagement with diversity, equity, and inclusion in an academic setting.
  • Personal commitment to the Christian faith and the college’s mission, with an ability to articulate how the sciences fit into the overall mission and vision of the college.

Desired characteristics and experiences

  • Strong, obvious commitment to serve students.
  • A visionary, collegial, and servant-leadership style supported by positive communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to articulate 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 Division of Natural and Applied Sciences.
  • A well-established set of national connections to science education and research networks.
  • A thorough knowledge of national foundation (federal and private) funding opportunities and programs that support science education as well as basic and applied scientific research and student training.
  • Demonstrated experience in advancing programs that foster appreciation of cultural diversity and development of cultural expertise and engagement.
  • Commitment to hiring and retaining personnel who enhance cultural diversity.
  • Commitment to hiring personnel who, through personal belief and lived practice, exemplify the college’s Christian, liberal arts mission.
  • Commitment to developing students as world citizens.
  • Demonstrated support for and understanding of the value of student-faculty collaborative research, experiential learning, internships, and service learning.
  • Demonstrated success in securing external funding.
  • Ability and willingness to nurture and mentor faculty and promote continuous faculty development opportunities.
  • Ability to work in a team environment with integrity and civility.
  • Understanding of national issues in higher education and ability to advocate for accreditation and assessment initiatives.
  • Understanding of and ability to articulate the importance of participation of science faculty in staffing Hope’s general education program.