Pennsylvania State University


College of the Liberal Arts  

University Park, Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) seeks candidates for the position of Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts (CLA). The dean serves as the principal academic and administrative officer of CLA and reports to the Executive Vice President and Provost of the University. The dean holds the Susan Welch Dean’s Chair endowed in honor of the current dean, who is retiring after 27 years in the position.

The next dean will have an unparalleled opportunity to lead a college integral to the mission of the University, develop innovative strategies to leverage the disciplinary diversity of the CLA, and promote and further develop the research strengths of its departments in the humanities and social sciences. CLA seeks a dean who will be an unwavering advocate for the value of a liberal arts education and will build upon its current status as a premier public liberal arts college, leading the faculty, staff, and students toward a unifying vision for its future.

With almost 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students in residence and an additional 3,000 students taking online courses through Penn State’s World Campus, CLA is one of the largest academic colleges at Penn State. It has 21 departments and schools offering 47 undergraduate majors and 21 graduate programs.  The dean will foster a shared vision for the College that supports the University’s commitment to research and teaching excellence, and prepares students for life as knowledgeable and engaged citizens in a diverse and changing world.

CLA seeks an accomplished scholar with a track record of transformative leadership and an understanding of and passionate commitment to both public higher education and the importance of the liberal arts. The dean will be an architect of relationships, serving as an engaged and visible leader both on campus and beyond, with a transparent, approachable, and facilitative management style.

Penn State has partnered with Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to help with this recruitment.  Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed to the firm as directed below.  ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION IS STRONGLY PREFERRED.

Michael Baer, Natalie Leonhard, or Sherlene Parsons

Isaacson, Miller

1300 19th Street, NW, Suite 700

Washington, D.C. 20036

To review the Penn State Annual Security Report, visit;  a hard copy of the report is available on request.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and members of other protected groups.