University of Chicago

Dean, School of Social Service Administration

Chicago, Illinois

The University of Chicago (UChicago) seeks a distinguished scholar and visionary leader to serve as the next Dean of the School of Social Service Administration (SSA). The School of Social Service Administration has been at the forefront of the social work profession for well over 100 years. The Dean will join a successful and ambitious school at a time of tremendous opportunity as SSA strives for increasing impact and eminence in the world of social work and social welfare.

One of six professional schools at the University of Chicago, SSA is defined by its internationally renowned faculty, exemplary graduate programs, and community-engaged scholarship that contributes to advancing social science, policy, and practice. The School, one of the top three graduate schools of social work and social welfare in the U.S., is home to more than 30 faculty, over 500 graduate students, and 130 staff members. The University’s distinct interdisciplinary tradition guides SSA’s approach, which leverages multiple perspectives and modes of inquiry. The faculty is engaged in path-breaking research while leading institutes and centers, and collaborating with scholars and practitioners locally, nationally, and abroad to explore complex social problems holistically, and bring evidence-based, collaborative interventions to inform policy.

Among other accolades and distinctions, the School’s faculty have been honored as White House Fellows, Fulbright Fellows, and Kellogg Fellows. As part of its internationally recognized, field-defining scholarship, SSA has long been a pioneer in policy and human services management research, as well as in the development of innovative methods of social work practice. SSA is also home to Social Service Review, the first scholarly journal in the field of social work, first published in 1927. To this day, it remains the leading journal in its field.

Reporting to the Provost for all matters, and working with the President and Alumni Relations and Development on fundraising, the next Dean will provide strategic direction and leadership for the School and serve as a senior member of the University’s central administration. Working in close collaboration and consultation with the faculty, the Dean will provide an overarching vision for the School that promotes innovative, influential research, first class education, and ethical service. More specifically, the Dean will continue to raise the external profile of the School, enhance its visibility within the University, and support faculty and student success while promoting an internal culture of inclusion, equity and diversity. The successful candidate will carry a record of scholarly accomplishment, as well as administrative and fundraising ability; evince experience in developing strong relationships and partnerships that are strategic and creative; and demonstrate an ability to thrive within the School’s culture of strong community and critical engagement. 

A faculty-led committee has been formed to advise the President and Provost on this search and is being assisted by Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm. Please direct all inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications in strict confidence to:

Kate Barry, Partner

Phillip Petree, Managing Associate

David Ferguson, Associate

Isaacson, Miller

263 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02210

Electronic submission is strongly encouraged.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination at:  

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-0287 or email  with their request.