Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University, an international, Catholic, Jesuit university, invites nominations, applications, and expressions of interest for the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to join the University at a time of increased forward momentum including the celebration of our 200th anniversary in 2018, and the reorganization of the College in 2022.  The new dean will have the opportunity to lead a creative and dedicated faculty and staff, eager to enhance the University’s status as one of the finest Catholic universities in the United States.

Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, Saint Louis University continues to welcome record numbers of freshmen and transfer students to the college and to further innovative work.  Faculty distinguish themselves in teaching, creative endeavors, and research.  They include the 2021 recipient of the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award, awarded to faculty in the Department of Communication, and recipients of awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, awarded to faculty from the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.  Professors in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts developed a specialized face mask for Covid protection that allowed full range of motion and breath support for musicians and stage actors, and Saint Louis University has led the effort to launch the new Taylor Geospatial Institute.  These are just several examples of the exciting work the next Dean will continue to foster.


Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is the oldest university west of the Mississippi and the second oldest Jesuit institution in the United States. It has a long tradition of faithfulness to the Jesuit mission of educating the whole person for a life of service to God and humanity. Part of that service consists of the rigorous pursuit of truth and transformative research. As a result, the University has a long history of developing innovative graduate and professional programs, colleges and schools, all grounded in the Jesuit mission.

Saint Louis University consists of 12 colleges and schools and two other degree-granting academic centers. In addition to the main campus in Midtown St. Louis, it has a campus in Madrid, Spain – the first of its kind for an American university. The University currently enrolls over 8,000 undergraduates and nearly 5,000 graduate students and offers 89 undergraduate programs and 86 graduate programs.  As one of only nine Catholic universities with a “higher” or “highest” research activity designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, SLU’s research strengths span the academic spectrum, from drug discovery to geospatial technology, from health care law to the digital humanities.

In FY2021, the University was awarded $53 million in externally sponsored awards for research. In FY2022, the University exceeded its $500 million goal for Accelerating Excellence Campaign, which supports the University’s strategic priorities of academic excellence, scholarships, health sciences, athletics and business education. The comprehensive campaign was launched in 2018 and has raised a total of $604 million, with FY2022 being a record-breaking fundraising year of more than $139 million. In addition to the campaign, Saint Louis University has an endowment of over $1.5 billion.


The College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college of the University. It consists of over 35 academic departments and programs. It enrolls over 2,300 undergraduates and over 500  graduate students. It educates its students broadly in the arts, humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences, offering over 40 undergraduate major programs and over 35 graduate programs. The college also provides instruction in foundational arts and sciences disciplines to students in the other colleges and schools of the university.  A full list of departments can be found here.

The College provides undergraduate students with a liberal education based on a carefully crafted core curriculum designed to educate the whole person.  Its graduates are prepared to make value-centered, ethically-based judgments.  They are academically competent in their chosen discipline, and they are prepared to enter their professional or academic future inspired to be effective leaders for change.


The Role

Overseeing a team of five Associate and Assistant Deans as well as an executive staff within The College of Arts and Sciences, the Dean has a multi-faceted and complex role. The team includes: Associate Dean, Graduate Affairs; Associate Dean, Undergraduate Affairs; and, Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs.

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, reporting to the Provost, will lead the College’s academic programs, research activities, fundraising, outreach, finances and other operations.  Given the mission of Saint Louis University as a Jesuit University, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences serves as a central leader of the institution. As a member of the Council of Academic Deans and Directors, the next dean will work with other deans and the University leadership team to help lead SLU’s strategic initiatives to foster academic excellence and commitment to the community. The next dean will also play a critical role in enhancing faculty research and creative endeavors by promoting collaboration with other academic units, and with local, state, and national organizations.

In addition to providing collegial leadership, effective advocacy, and transparent and efficient administration, the new dean will be expected: to play an important role in the implementation of the strategic plan and the development of further strategic plans; to be a faithful, creative and equity minded manager of the resources of the College and an active participant in the efforts to generate new revenues; and to be a clear and compelling spokesperson for the values, programs, and plans of the College, including developing an effective marketing effort for the College and leading our continued commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion work on campus and in the broader community.

The Dean represents the faculty, students and staff of the College to the University and to the community, and s/he represents the views of the Board of Trustees, the President, and the Provost to the members of the College. The Dean is responsible for the departmental budgets, promoting the professional development of the faculty and staff, and all academic aspects of the student programs within the College.



The Dean will be expected to foster the highest standards of research, teaching, and service and to strengthen collaborations across the University and with community partners.  Given the current environment for colleges of arts and sciences nationally, the Dean will also be responsible for leading the college in its evolution to remain both competitive and impactful.  Further, the Dean will be a compelling, externally facing advocate for all of the departments within the College.

The Dean will be expected to focus on the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Provide and advance a vision that supports the College, implementing its focus and forging new opportunities for both the faculty and students;
  • Further the mission of the University as a Catholic, Jesuit University in its role as a provider of excellence in the fulfillment of teaching, research, health care, and service to the community;
  • Enhance the College’s research and creative endeavor activity and infrastructure, growing external funding and fostering scholarship;
  • Expand opportunities and support for undergraduate students to participate in leading-edge research activities, both on campus and through partnerships with regional organizations;
  • Strengthen diversity through a genuine commitment to a culture of inclusive excellence, robust recruitment and retention initiatives, and support of equity and social justice;
  • Support and promote faculty development and advancement;
  • Implement the innovative new core curriculum and enhance recruitment programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels to improve enrollment and the delivery of high-caliber programs;
  • Champion the liberal arts as a core undertaking of the University;
  • Foster the growth of in-demand academic programs while sustaining disciplinary breadth across the college;
  • Enrich the overall student experience by being a visible and approachable leader on campus, while also promoting the student academic experience through experiential learning and student research opportunities;
  • Lead the College’s communications and development activities, nurturing community partnerships and engagement with donors, foundations, alumni, and industry leaders nationally; and,
  • Adeptly manage the College’s resources by promoting and developing collaboration across the University.


Key competencies

Strong candidates will have leadership experience, such as serving as Dean or Associate Dean, chairing a department, or directing a center, and will have a demonstrated track record of guiding faculty, staff and students to a next level of excellence. Strong candidates would also demonstrate the following:

  • Academic stature with a distinguished academic record appropriate for appointment at the rank of full professor and the ability to guide the development of the College’s agenda;
  • A commitment to the ideals of a service-oriented education;
  • Record of successful administrative leadership in higher education, including budgeting experience and financial sophistication at both the college and departmental level;
  • Understanding of the current research environment, its continued evolution, and the infrastructure required for faculty to be successful in grant writing as well as post-award support;
  • Clear commitment to increasing diversity at all levels of the College and fostering an inclusive and equitable working and learning environment;
  • Enthusiasm for working effectively with faculty, students, staff, educators, and community leaders to advance the University’s research, teaching, and service missions across all programs;
  • Ability to represent the College effectively to alumni and all external constituencies, enhancing the visibility and impact of its work while increasing gifts for all disciplines, funded research, and other mission-aligned revenue; and
  • Eagerness to undertake a civic leadership role, strengthening relationships with the local St. Louis community, other local institutions of higher educations, and more broadly throughout Missouri and nationally;
  • Passion for the Jesuit educational goals and framework.



Saint Louis University has retained Park Square Executive Search to assist in the search for the next ­­­Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  To ensure full consideration by the Search Committee, applications should be received by December 16, 2022. Nominations, inquiries and applications may be sent in confidence to:

Kyle Meingast, Partner or

Jonathan Fortescue, Managing Partner

+1 617 401 2991

Saint Louis University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified candidates will receive consideration for the position applied for without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military/veteran status, or other non-merit factors.