Dean, Whitacre College of Engineering

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Dean
Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. College of Engineering

Texas Tech University (Texas Tech) seeks a visionary, entrepreneurial, and collaborative dean who will lead the success, growth, and future of the Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. College of Engineering (Whitacre College of Engineering). The dean will lead efforts in promoting excellence in research, teaching, student learning, mentoring, fundraising, and community engagement; demonstrate an unwavering commitment to shared governance, diversity, equity, and inclusion; attract external resources; and support the university’s leadership role in regional economic development.

Qualifications and Responsibilities

The successful applicant will have an earned doctorate in engineering, computer sciences, or a closely related discipline and a record of scholarly accomplishment that merits appointment as a tenured professor in one of the College's departments.

Applicants will be evaluated based on the following qualifications:

  • Demonstrated leadership accomplishments including the development of teams
  • The ability to articulate and promote a clear and compelling vision for engineering education and research
  • Excellent people and communication skills that foster engagement, transparency, equity, shared governance, and compassion
  • A performance history of shared governance and decision-making based on quantifiable metrics
  • The ability to offer practical and innovative solutions to challenges facing engineering education while retaining the College’s strength in educating industry-ready undergraduates
  • Demonstrated ability to champion, support, and stimulate the research enterprise including collaborative research
  • Substantial experience in fiscal and personnel management
  • A history of building partnerships with state, federal, and private industry entities
  • Ability to engage stakeholders in collegewide strategic planning and implementation in support of Texas Tech’s strategic plan
  • A proven track record in institutional advancement, fund raising, and development
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, students, and academic programs.
  • A proponent of outreach and economic development

The dean reports to the provost and works closely with the provost and other senior officers to implement the strategic plan of the university.

The specific responsibilities of the dean include:

  • Foster a collaborative and supportive work, learning, and discovery environment
  • Implement the College's strategic plan and embrace, implement, and enforce university and College written operational procedures
  • Provide leadership and encourage innovation in teaching, research, and service, including fostering relationships with the community and industry
  • Effectively represent the College in the university community, among alumni and donors, and to the external community (in state, federal, and private sector academic and engineering research issues and raising awareness of the College more generally)
  • Increase graduate and undergraduate enrollment using innovative recruitment and retention strategies that maintain and enhance quality
  • Support faculty retention through mentoring and support
  • Manage national and regional reaccreditation initiatives
  • Promote diversity in the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students
  • Reward performance based on quantifiable metrics to attract and retain top faculty, staff, and students
  • Effectively manage the college's human, financial, and physical resources
  • Lead the College in shared governance with faculty, professional staff, administration, and governing boards

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. College of Engineering

The Whitacre College of Engineering is proud to educate young people to solve problems that help society through the application of math, science and ingenuity. The College plays an important role in preparing a diverse and talented workforce for the nation, as well as providing new knowledge that will drive the economic vitality of the state and the nation. We are proud of our excellent, committed faculty who enjoy the world of ideas and technology and share their passion for this profession with our students. And we are proud of our excellent and dedicated staff who support the College’s education, service, and research missions.

The Whitacre College of Engineering was one of the original academic areas when Texas Tech opened in 1925. The College’s current vision is to become a globally elite college of engineering composed of a community of scholars; faculty, students, and staff all working together to educate the best engineering talent in the world. As of Fall 2022, the College is home to 4,622 undergraduate and 1,426 graduate students across seven departments each of which offers bachelor's, master’s and doctoral degrees: (The college also offers an interdisciplinary master’s degree in bioengineering.)

  • Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Department of Civil, Engineering, and Construction
  • Department of Computer Science
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Department of Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering

The Whitacre College of Engineering has 133 tenured and tenure track faculty, 20 non-tenure track faculty, and 74 staff members. The college currently conducts approximately $16.5 million in sponsored research annually and has an annual operating budget of $40 million. The college’s endowment is $173 million and includes support for 31 endowed chairs, professorships, and faculty fellows. According to the 2022 U.S. News and World Report rankings, the Whitacre College of Engineering is ranked nationally at #86 for undergraduate engineering and at #95 for graduate engineering.

The Whitacre College of Engineering hosts some of the most noteworthy research and innovation activities at Texas Tech University. The College provides leadership in several TTU multidisciplinary initiatives including the National Wind Institute -- known for its expertise in the study of atmospheric science of severe weather, storm damage, and wind engineering -- and the Global Laboratory for Energy Asset Management and Manufacturing (GLEAMM)—studying the control, management, and cyber-security of microgrids built on diverse energy sources. The College’s Nanophotonics Center studies the fabrication and application of next generation high-bandgap semiconductors, and the Institute for Materials Manufacturing and Sustainment studies controls and sensor systems that sustain the field performance of materials in ultra-stressful environments. The Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics is a national leader in the creation of next-generation power systems, energy projection, and in studies of the interaction of energy pulses with hard and soft targets. The Combustion Laboratory conducts research in energetic materials and is leading a consortium that is building a sustainable pipeline between Minority Serving Institutions and Department of Energy laboratories/sites for the next generation of energetics researchers. The newest edition to the College’s major research initiatives is the Center for Advancing Sustainable and Distributed Fertilizer Production (CASFER), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center collaboration involving four major university partners focusing on the creation of a more energy efficient circular economy for nitrogen fertilizer production. Whitacre College research teams also provide state and national leadership in the movement of pollutants in ground water sources and contribute to strategies to mediate environmental contamination. The College boasts world-class facilities for materials fabrication, characterization, and testing, as well as numerous innovative programs intended to extend the skills, entrepreneurship, and diversity of the next generation of the engineering workforce.

Texas Tech University

The new dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering will join Texas Tech University at a momentous time in the university’s history as we celebrate our centennial. Owing to the positive trajectory of Texas Tech, our outstanding people, and support from the Texas legislature provide nearly limitless opportunity. Texas Tech University was created by legislative action in 1923 and is now the largest comprehensive higher education institution in the western two-thirds of the state of Texas -- a region larger than 46 of the nation's 50 states. Based on the values of West Texas – hard work, grit, and authenticity -- we graduate students who are well-positioned to succeed in the world. In recognition of this, Texas Tech University was ranked #9 in an APLU-sponsored poll of corporate recruiters nationwide for graduates who are the best-trained, educated, and able to succeed once hired. 

Texas Tech University is one of only 20 schools in the nation classified as both a Carnegie “Very High Research Activity” institution and a Hispanic Serving Institution. TTU has also earned the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. Following 13 years of record enrollment growth, Texas Tech is now home to a diverse community of more than 40,000 students. In addition to our pride in offering an excellent, face-to-face college experience, in 2022, Newsweek named Texas Tech University the best school for online learning. In 2022, TTU research expenditures set a record, exceeding $212 million, with federal awards at an all-time high. TTU also achieved record graduate enrollment in 2022 with over 7,800 graduate students. As evidence of the engaged, passionate, and generous alumni of Texas Tech, university fund-raising set a record of $234 million in 2022.

As part of the Texas Tech University System (TTUS), TTU faculty, staff, and students collaborate with five additional component institutions across west Texas including the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center whose main campus is adjacent to Texas Tech University. The TTU Innovation Hub located on the TTU campus, is a regional start-up, incubator, and accelerator space that anchors the developing TTU Research Park. Supported by the Innovation Hub, Texas Tech was ranked by the Princeton Review as the 12th best place in the country for undergraduates to study entrepreneurship in both 2022 and 2023. 

Texas Tech University’s 1,800-acre campus features beautiful Spanish Renaissance architecture and is home to one of the country’s largest collections of public art. Our 13 colleges offer more than 150 undergraduate, 100 master’s, and 50 doctoral degree programs. Texas Tech University students are involved in more than 550 student organizations and clubs, participate in robust study abroad and international programs, and are deeply engaged in service to our communities. Our main campus in Lubbock is home to the Huckabee College of Architecture, College of Arts & Sciences, Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, College of Education, College of Human Sciences, College of Media and Communications, Rawls College of Business, J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts, School of Law, and Whitacre College of Engineering as well as the Honors College and the Graduate School. The Texas Tech University College of Veterinary Medicine, the first new school of veterinary medicine in the state in more than 100 years, is in Amarillo, Texas. Texas Tech also operates undergraduate programs in San José, Costa Rica via a public-private partnership. Texas Tech’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is recognized nationally. For ten straight years, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has named Texas Tech a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) winner, and, six times, Texas Tech was named a diversity champion. Texas Tech is a member of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities (HRSU Alliance), a voluntary association of universities that are both Hispanic-Serving Institutions as defined by Title V of the Higher Education Act and in the top 5% of universities in the United States for research as determined by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Texas Tech has earned a five out of five-star rating on the Campus Pride Index, a national benchmark for measuring progress in creating an inclusive campus learning environment for LGBTQIA students, faculty, and staff. Athletics also play a central role at Texas Tech, with 15 varsity teams competing in the Big XII Conference. For more information about TTU, please visit https://www.ttu.edu/.

Lubbock, Texas

With a population of approaching 300,000, Lubbock is the 11th most populous city in Texas. The city is the South Plain’s economic, educational, and healthcare hub. With an elevation of 3,200 feet, Lubbock boasts a dry climate, 265 days of sunshine per year, and an average daily high temperature of 74 degrees – ideal for outdoor activities. The Lubbock community includes more than 75 public parks; nearby recreational lakes; running, biking, and hiking trails; and eight golf courses, including the nationally ranked Rawls Course at Texas Tech. Lubbock is proud of its diversity and embraces its increasingly multicultural and international community. Lubbock is consistently listed among the best places in Texas to raise a family. The city hosts several attractions and museums including the Science Spectrum and IMAX Theater, the National Ranching Heritage Center, the Silent Wings Museum, the American Wind Power Center, the FiberMax Center for Discovery (promoting the history of agriculture), and the Museum at Texas Tech University. Lubbock is also home to five public school districts with outstanding academic and athletic opportunities. Lubbock claims the first designated cultural district in the state of Texas. Home to local theater groups and galleries, the community also hosts national and international artists and performers. The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences is a centerpiece of a revitalized downtown district. In addition to attracting major concerts and productions, the venue is the home of Ballet Lubbock, Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, and many Texas Tech visual and performing arts events. Lubbock is home to diverse culinary destinations where one can find the best of Texas and international cuisine. Lubbock is a regional healthcare hub with two large comprehensive medical centers and numerous specialty clinics that serve more than 30 surrounding communities. Conveniently located, Lubbock is a half-day’s drive from Dallas, Austin, and the famed Texas Hill Country to the east and ski slopes of New Mexico to the west. Preston Smith International Airport offers regular daily service through American, Southwest, and United airlines to major destinations in the south and west and provides easy connections to national and global destinations.

Application Process

The Search Committee invites applications, inquiries, and nominations for this position. Applications should be accompanied by a letter of interest addressing the qualifications and responsibilities stated in the position description, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact details of at least five professional references. Applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled, and review of applications will begin immediately. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit materials electronically to the search firm assisting Texas Tech University by March 21, 2023.


Porsha Williams, Vice President
Jacob Anderson, Senior Principal
Jack McGrew, Executive Recruiting Coordinator
Parker Executive Search
janderson@parkersearch.com || jmcgrew@parkersearch.com
(770) 804-1996 x 111

As an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, Texas Tech University is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. We actively encourage applications from all those who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the academic community at Texas Tech University. The university welcomes applications from minoritized candidates, women, protected veterans, persons with disabilities, and dual-career couples.

Please note that Texas Tech University, as a Texas state agency, is subject to the Texas Public Information Act. Consequently, while TTU will endeavor to keep all information submitted confidential, any information submitted, including your identity, could be revealed to the public if TTU receives a public information act request regarding this search.