Dean, College of Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts

Search for the Founding Dean

College with a Strategic Focus on Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts

Wilmington, North Carolina




The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), a public doctoral research institution, seeks a visionary, strategic, and collaborative leader to serve as the founding Dean for a new college with a strategic focus on Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts (CSSHA). The Dean will join a talented and cohesive leadership team at an institution known for its nationally accredited programs, commitment to student engagement, and inclusive and collegial culture. This is an exciting opportunity to lead successful departments, experienced faculty, dedicated staff, and motivated students in creating a compelling, student-centered vision and identity for a new College that exemplifies the values of the classic liberal arts.


The University of North Carolina Wilmington is consistently recognized at the national level for academic excellence and affordability. Reclassified as an R2 institution in 2018, UNCW is a residential, coastal university dedicated to integrating teaching and mentoring with research and service. As a member of the multi-institutional public University of North Carolina system, UNCW has a distinctive reputation for academic excellence and student engagement. UNCW stands at a pivotal moment in its history having grown significantly since its founding and now serving as an anchor institution in one of North Carolina's fastest-growing regions. Under the leadership of Chancellor Aswani K. Volety, appointed in 2022, the university embarks upon a new strategic design and planning process as it forges a path to excellence in graduate education and research while maintaining the core of its identity as a stellar undergraduate institution.


UNCW’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the university’s largest college, is at a transition point as two new colleges are being created with a focus on the future. The disciplines in CAS will be housed in one of the two new colleges: a college with a strategic focus on Computing, Engineering, and Science and a college with a strategic focus on Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts. Establishing the new colleges leverages the strengths of faculty and staff; maximizes the potential for teaching and scholarly excellence; and builds future resource opportunities and recognition. CSSHA will house approximately 240 faculty, 53 staff, and 15 existing departments. The founding Dean will be responsible for creating a comprehensive and cohesive identity for the college; promoting and celebrating the vitality of the liberal arts; fostering the continued excellence in teaching, research, creative scholarship, and interdisciplinary collaboration; fostering community collaboration; forging external partnerships while growing resources and advancing fundraising efforts for the College; and advancing the goals of the UNC strategic plan: Access, Student Success, Affordability and Efficiency, Economic Impact and Community Engagement, and Excellent and Diverse Institutions.


Reporting to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer for the College. UNCW seeks an accomplished teacher and scholar in an appropriate discipline within the Social Sciences, Humanities, or Arts with a track record of success in academic administration.  The ideal candidate will be a determined advocate for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, demonstrate a commitment to shared governance and collaborative leadership, and possess an understanding of and commitment to higher education.


UNCW has retained the services of Isaacson, Miller—a national executive search firm—to assist in conducting this important search and to help identify outstanding candidates. All confidential inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications should be sent electronically to:


Pamela Pezzoli, Partner

Janette Martinez, Senior Associate

Melissa Barravecchio, Search Coordinator

Isaacson, Miller

Electronic submission of application materials is strongly preferred.


The University of North Carolina Wilmington is committed to and will provide equal educational and employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, age, color, gender, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, veteran status or relationship to other university constituents—except where sex, age or ability represent bona fide educational or occupational qualifications or where marital status is a statutorily established eligibility criterion for state-funded employee benefit programs.