Executive Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

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The University of North Texas (UNT) invites applications and nominations for an innovative, collaborative, and visionary leader to be the next Executive Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The ideal candidate will be a strategic leader who appreciates and supports creative research and publication, with the ability and vision to continue UNT’s upward trajectory by strengthening the quality of and bringing increasing visibility to the outstanding academic programs in the college.

About the University

A Carnegie-ranked Tier One institution, UNT is one of the nation’s largest public research universities with more than 42,000 students. Located only 35 miles north of both Dallas and Fort Worth, in Denton, Texas, UNT has become one of the fastest growing and increasingly influential research universities in one of the nation's fastest-growing regions. An abiding characteristic of the university is that UNT nurtures a strong sense of community and teamwork. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution, UNT’s dedication to diversity and inclusion earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for the fourth straight year. For more than 130 years, UNT has served an increasingly diverse student body and economically booming region. Under the leadership of a President with an expansive, aggressive vision for the institution, along with a new Provost who shares a commitment to faculty and staff wellness, the University stands poised to expand its national and global impact while supporting a healthy workplace and educational environment.

The enhanced collaboration across campus creates a campus community that is united by a shared purpose to provide students with the best research-informed educational experience in Texas and beyond. In addition, UNT’s strategic international partnerships seek to facilitate the exchange of ideas and culture and allow for important research addressing global issues. UNT hosts visiting scholars and faculty from more than 50 countries, offers global learning and experience programs in more than 37 countries, and serves 4,400 international students representing 144 countries.

As one of the largest universities in Texas, UNT offers 113 bachelor's, 94 master's, and 37 doctoral degree degrees, and other academic programs through the G. Brint Ryan College of Business; the Colleges of Education, Engineering, Health and Public Service, Information, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, Music, Science, and Visual Arts and Design; Toulouse Graduate School; Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism; Honors College; New College; and the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS).

Over the past several years, UNT has invested heavily in advancing the organization’s infrastructure, including data systems, analytics, financial systems, effective dashboards across the enterprise, merit and equity raises, facility renovations, and capital projects. UNT has made significant strides in enrollment management, with substantial financial allocations for new scholarships and student support services. The University is proactive in retaining high performing, collaborative faculty with equity and other opportunities. It has more than 800 tenure-stream faculty members.

UNT is a nationally recognized university continually listed as one of the “Best of the West” by The Princeton Review and “America’s Best Value Colleges” by Forbes magazine. Among its many accolades, UNT has 89 academic programs ranked in the Top 100 nationally, and has spent the last several years strengthening its research enterprise – from bolstering its research equipment and spaces, creating programs to help its faculty researchers be more competitive in the grant process, investing in key academic programs ranging from engineering to music to move the University forward, and significantly growing its number of doctoral students and tenure/tenure-stream faculty. Based on the University’s analysis of the data Carnegie released, UNT jumped to the #86 spot in the classification’s third quartile from #118 in the fourth quartile. This achievement places UNT among the nation’s most elite, top-tier research institutions, having made substantial progress in its standing as a Tier One research institution in comparison to peer institutions. UNT is currently investing in a number of new faculty positions and high impact hires while growing graduate education in strategic areas to support students and build UNT’s national brand.

About the College

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences is the largest in the university with more than 9,600 students in 22 departments, and 1 school. 

In 2016, the College of Arts and Sciences was reorganized creating the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and College of Science. This reorganization allowed for a clearer focus on and mission devoted to the liberal arts, as defined in the College’s new mission statement.

“Our mission is to kindle the thirst for truth, justice, and beauty; to foster cultural literacy and scientific investigation; and to cultivate thinking, speaking, and writing abilities characterized by clear expression and logically coherent, evidence-based arguments. We see these as the values, forms of knowledge, and skills most needed by citizens of a democracy and by productive members of the global workforce.”

The departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) include: Departments of Aerospace Studies, Anthropology, Communication Studies, Dance and Theatre, Economics, English, Geography and the Environment, History, Integrative Studies, International Studies, Jewish Studies, Media Arts, Military Science, Oral History, Philosophy and Religion, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, Sociology, Spanish, Technical Communications, Women and Gender Studies, World Languages, Literature and Cultures, and the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism. 

The College delivers academic programs and classes at the Denton campus, the new Frisco campus and online.

Today, our family of 22 academic departments and programs remains eclectic, as are the college’s alumni, who number in the tens of thousands and live throughout the United States and in many countries around the world. Our alumni have distinguished themselves in areas ranging from scientific research to politics to business and finance to the performing and media arts. We seek a future in which the achievements of our faculty and students reach ever greater heights of excellence and public recognition; in which a spirit of inclusion and mutual respect is maintained and strengthened among faculty and students with differing viewpoints and from diverse backgrounds; and in which increasing interdisciplinary collaboration opens up new opportunities for intellectual, empirical, and creative discovery.

About the Position

Reporting to the Provost of the University, the Executive Dean advances the teaching and research mission and is responsible for providing innovative, effective, dynamic and transformational leadership for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The Executive Dean is expected to lead the College in enhancing its mission of excellence in teaching, research, and service and must be able to articulate effectively the mission and vision of the College to both external and internal constituencies, manage and develop the College’s financial resources and provide shared services.

The successful candidate will demonstrate an outstanding capacity to provide leadership for the college’s broad spectrum of academic activities, an engaging vision for the future of the college, a demonstrated record of recruiting and retaining faculty, a commitment to the principles and practices of shared governance, a strong commitment to diversity, strong fiscal and personnel management skills, an ability to enhance research, and success in fundraising.

Other Preferred Qualifications Include:

Successful applicants must have the academic qualifications and record of achievements consistent with an appointment as a tenured full professor. As such, it is preferred that candidates hold a terminal degree in a relevant discipline in one of the College’s programs.

In addition, it is preferred that candidates have an administrative record that demonstrates:

  • A record of successful senior leadership experience in higher education;
  • A record of accomplishments that demonstrates academic excellence and intellectual distinction and an appreciation for the varied disciplines and functions that compose the rich academic tapestry of the College;
  • A strong understanding of the role of the arts—particularly dance, theatre, and media arts—as well as humanities, and social sciences, within a broad liberal arts education and enthusiasm to lead fervently and fairly across this range of diverse disciplines;
  • A passionate and articulate advocate for the disciplines within the College and for the importance of the College to the overall University;
  • Budget and personnel management experience to administer the affairs of the College and engage effectively and proactively with University administrative officers;
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to promoting faculty/staff/student collaboration and engagement;
  • Demonstrated experience in developing, implementing and sustaining innovative programs that foster and value excellence in teaching, research, and service;
  • Commitment to promoting undergraduate and graduate research;
  • A demonstrated commitment to student success and retention;
  • A belief in the simultaneous promise of both scale and excellence.

Nomination and Application Process

Parker Executive Search is assisting the University of North Texas in the search for the Executive Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to December 16, 2023. Please submit applications through the Parker Executive Search website. For additional information, please contact:

Porsha Williams, Vice President

DeLaina Jordan, Senior Associate

Parker Executive Search

Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875

Atlanta, GA 30328

770-804-1996 ext. 119

pwilliams@parkersearch.com || djordan@parkersearch.com

The University of North Texas (University) prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law in its application and admission processes; educational programs and activities; employment policies, procedures, and processes; and University facilities. The University takes active measures to prevent such conduct and investigates and takes remedial action when appropriate. The University also prohibits and takes actions to prevent retaliation against individuals who report or file a charge of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct; participate in an investigation, or oppose any form of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct.