Inaugural Dean, School of Science and Engineering

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Inaugural Dean, School of Science and Engineering
Saint Louis University

St. Louis, Missouri

Saint Louis University (SLU) seeks a visionary and inspiring leader to become inaugural Dean of the newly established School of Science and Engineering (SSE). Founded in 1818 and the oldest university west of the Mississippi River, SLU is a private urban research university offering undergraduate and graduate programs to over 13,000 students. In recent years, SLU has seen significant growth in its academic programs and campus life in addition to rapid growth in grant-funded and scholarly research, donor support, and student outcomes. One of 12 colleges and schools within SLU, SSE was formed in the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology. SSE is a new academic entity designed to strengthen the University’s growth in STEM areas, to improve student opportunities and outcomes, and to foster a collaborative research environment consistent with both the University’s goal to become a Carnegie 1 research university within the next five years and the University’s Catholic Jesuit Mission. 

SSE’s mission is to prepare effective leaders in the science, engineering and aviation disciplines of the 21st century by providing industry-relevant academic programs featuring fully integrated technical, liberal and experiential education based on Catholic, Jesuit values. SSE’s 96 full-time and 45 part-time faculty are housed in eight academic departments – Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Oliver L. Parks Department of Aviation Science; Biomedical Engineering; Chemistry; Civil, Computer and Electrical Engineering; Computer Science; Earth and Atmospheric Science; and Physics. The School offers 45 majors and minor programs and 20 master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates on the St. Louis campus. Science and engineering academic programs are also delivered on the University’s Madrid campus and coordinated with the Dean of SSE with respect to curricular assessment. SSE academic programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the American Chemical Society, and the Aviation Accreditation Board International as appropriate for the respective programs. In Fall 2022, SSE enrolled 1,209 undergraduate and 518 graduate students. SSE plays an essential role in the University’s research enterprise, with more than 40 active laboratories that bring together faculty and students to study issues relate to ergonomics, robotics, and biomechanical engineering, among others. SSE faculty are also leading a number of university-wide initiatives identified and funded through the University Research Institute’s Big Ideas competition. SLU is the lead institution in the establishment of the Taylor Geospatial Institute, an interdisciplinary community of preeminent scientists who will work on advancing geospatial science through multi-institutional, interdisciplinary collaborations that will help St. Louis to become the world’s geospatial center in the next decade. 

Reporting to the Provost, the dean is the chief academic and executive officer of SSE and serves as a member of the University’s academic leadership team. The dean is responsible for the school’s leadership, strategy, and fundraising and for managing the faculty and staff, fiscal resources, and physical facilities of SSE. The dean promotes and provides advocacy for SSE within the University and to regional, national, and international constituents and partners. The range of SSE’s academic offerings requires a dean who will be a strong advocate for the full array of the school’s disciplines and programs, employees and students, and who will craft an overarching vision that weaves these components into an integrated whole. The dean collaborates with faculty in leading the School’s strategic planning efforts and sets the tone for SSE in encouraging inclusive excellence, recognizing achievement, and supporting appointments and promotions based on merit. The dean is responsible for promoting research, increasing external funding for faculty scholarship, growing entrepreneurial activity, establishing international partnerships to support faculty and student needs, creating educational and experiential opportunities for students, fostering a collaborative spirit within the school, defining SSE’s strategic priorities, and securing resources to fulfill those priorities.

The university seeks a candidate with exceptional leadership skills and vision to lead SSE and to build its academic and research enterprise. The dean will demonstrate a broad understanding of the future of science and engineering while articulating a collective vision for a newly established school. The dean will have exemplary academic achievements, strategic leadership ability, outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, entrepreneurial spirit and high energy, and a passion for the unique mission of SSE. The dean must demonstrate a strong record of distinguished leadership; excellent financial and management skills; the ability to make difficult choices, understand competing priorities, and make decisions under constraints; a track record of commitment to student success, diversity, strong engagement with diverse constituents; and enthusiasm and ability to contribute actively to substantial development and fundraising efforts. A proven track record of securing federal research support as a funded investigator is highly desirable. The dean must be an advocate for SSE and demonstrate a deep resonance with the University’s Catholic, Jesuit charism, mission, values, and commitment to service. An earned doctorate or equivalent experience and academic qualifications that merit appointment as a tenured full professor in an academic discipline represented within SSE is required. In addition to traditional backgrounds within higher education, outstanding academically qualified candidates from public or private sector research environments will be considered.

Screening will begin in November and continue until an appointment is made. Applications (including CV, a cover letter addressing interest, leadership philosophy, and commitment to diversity; and the names of five references) should be submitted using DSG’s candidate portal here https://tinyurl.com/SLUDeanSSESearch 

Nominations and inquiries should be directed to SLUDeanSSE@divsearch.com

Kim M. Morrisson, Ph.D., and Andrew C. Wheeler, Managing Directors
Christine Falcone, Senior Associate Consultant
The Diversified Search Group
One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 3300, Philadelphia PA  19103

Saint Louis University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer committed to providing fair treatment of all in the SLU community on the basis of merit.
For more information, visit
slu.edu/science-and-engineering