Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Mississippi State University

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Mississippi State University invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences beginning July 1, 2017.  Established in 1878, Mississippi State University (MSU) is one of the nation’s leading land-grant, space-grant, and sea-grant universities. MSU is recognized as a Carnegie Foundation Designee for high research activity and community engagement.  Classified as a Top 100 research institution by the National Science Foundation, the university enrolls more than 21,600 students and employs more than 4,600 individuals statewide, including 1,300 faculty.  In addition to the main campus in Starkville, the university has a campus in Meridian and instructional sites in Jackson and Biloxi, as well as an extensive Distance Education program. The university awards more than 4,000 degrees annually at the bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral,  and professional levels.

The College of Arts & Sciences at Mississippi State University is the largest college at MSU with more than 5,000 students and 300 full-time faculty members.  The College operates with faculty governance utilizing its own faculty senate.  The College offers 24 academic majors in 14 different departments, and is the home to several institutes and centers.

The Dean reports to the Provost/Executive Vice President and has curricular, budgetary, and personnel responsibilities for the 14 academic departments/units.  The Dean exercises intellectual leadership for the college and facilitates the success of both students and faculty alike. The Dean is the chief administrative officer of the College of Arts & Sciences. As such, the Dean collaborates with the faculty and staff of the College in the management of the College's teaching, research, and service activities as well as oversees academic programs and fiscal affairs within the College.  Further, the Dean is responsible for developing, promoting, and maintaining positive and productive relationships with constituencies external to the College and the University.

Candidates must hold an earned doctorate or terminal degree and a distinguished record of teaching and scholarly activity commensurate with a tenured Professor in one of the College's academic departments. The dean should possess significant experience in budgetary matters and academic affairs. The ideal candidate will have administrative experience equivalent to department head or above and show demonstrated skill in securing external funding and fostering productive relationships with external stakeholders. Prior experience and commitment to affirmative action and cultural diversity is necessary, as well as the desire to enhance international education. The dean must show a demonstrated ability to foster a work environment characterized by academic excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and service. The ideal candidate will show a demonstrated ability to raise funds from a variety of sources, including private donors, foundations, and government agencies. Experience in the formulation and implementation of a strategic plan and working knowledge of the accreditation standards pertinent to the College of Arts and Sciences is crucial, as well as the commitment to recruit and hire a qualified and diverse faculty and staff. The dean must also show effective interpersonal, collaborative, and leadership skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Serve as chief administrative officer responsible for the accomplishment of the teaching, research, and service missions of the College.
  • Oversee all academic programs of the College and encourage the faculty to continuously improve the College's doctoral, master's, and undergraduate academic programs.
  • Foster an environment conducive to scholarly research appropriate for a doctoral granting college of arts and sciences.
  • Encourage service activities that are consistent with the mission of the College.
  • Oversee recruiting, hiring, supervising, and evaluation of personnel within the College with a commitment to diversity and fairness.
  • Manage the College's budget and resources effectively, transparently, and collaboratively.
  • Lead the College and work in collaboration with the faculty and staff to formulate and effectively implement a strategic plan of the College.
  • Work with the faculty and staff in establishing the mission and a strategic plan that will productively guide the teaching, research, and service activities and decision-making of the College.
  • Value and actively encourage faculty and staff involvement in periodic reviews and reassessments of the strategic plan.
  • Develop, foster,and maintain positive and productive relationships with College stakeholders within the University but also external to the College.
  • Collaborate effectively with University administration to further the interests of the College and University.
  • Identify, develop, and strengthen synergistic relationships with other MSU colleges and be an advocate for the College.
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with alumni of the College.
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson for the College in interactions with local and state businesses and other leaders to promote the missions of the College and enhance its stature.
  • Oversee and participate in major fundraising initiatives and activities of the College to acquire the resources required for effective performance of the teaching, research, and service mission of the College.
  • Ensure compliance with all requirements of the College and University accrediting bodies.

All candidates must apply online at and attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of administrative philosophy as it applies to this position, and the complete contact information for at least five references.

Inquiries and nominations should be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Jim West, Dean, College of Architecture, Art, and Design, P.O. Box AQ, Mississippi State, MS 39762 (  The search will remain open until the position is filled, but for full consideration, please apply by November 28, 2016.

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

Please see the direct link below for this position on the Mississippi State University web site for a complete listing of the qualifications and application process.