Dean, School of Social Work

Howard University is a private, comprehensive, culturally diverse, and research intensive historically black university and invites applications for the position of Dean of the School of Social Work. The University seeks a talented and experienced leader who will serve as the chief academic and executive officer for the School. As the chief academic and executive officer, the Dean of the School of Social Work is a seasoned professional with a record of visionary and collaborative leadership, scholarly accomplishments, and understanding of the social work landscape both within higher education as well as the local, national, and global community.

The School of Social Work: The Howard University School of Social Work, ranked #16 for Best School of Social Work by US News and World Report, was established as an autonomous unit in 1935, although instruction was offered in social services as early as 1914. The first "basic curriculum" was offered in the Department of Sociology and was directed by Dr. E. Franklin Frazier, who had previously served as Director of the Atlanta University School of Social Work. He was a pioneer in advocating standards for social workers and insisting that they be properly trained. The "basic curriculum" conformed to the 1932 accreditation standards of the American Association of Schools of Social Work, the predecessor accrediting body of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Dr. Frazier was initially assisted by one full-time instructor and in 1937, by an additional full-time instructor, Dr. Inabel Burns Lindsay, who later became the first Dean of the School of Social Work at Howard University. The core values of the School of Social Work reflect the Black Perspective, the guiding philosophy of the school. The Black Perspective has been a part of the inception of the school and later evolved to include a focus on health and well-being and socio-cultural dynamics to be addressed in practice. The formalization of the Black Perspective occurred in the 1970s. It reaffirms the richness, productivity, and vigor of the lives of African Americans, Africans, people of color, and marginalized and oppressed people in other parts of the world and emphasizes the delineation of ways in which the strengths of African Americans can be used to respond to oppressive and discriminatory systems. Additionally, the Black Perspective calls for sensitivity to the experiences of all oppressed and underserved groups and embraces an international dimension with special emphasis on Africa and the Caribbean. Thus, while students are uniquely prepared to engage and work with diverse Black populations, they are equally ready to work with all other populations, particularly those that have experienced oppression and discrimination. The programs offered in the School of Social Work include the flagship MSW, a new online MSW, and a Ph.D. program. A committed and dedicated faculty and staff serve more than 300 students in the School of Social Work. For more information about the School of Social Work, visit

The University: Howard University, ranked #2 in Historically Black Colleges and Universities by US News and World Report, is one of the nation’s leading research universities dedicated to educating students from diverse backgrounds, with a particular focus on African American students, as well as those of all other racial and ethnic groups from the United States and the world. Howard’s academic programs are offered by 14 schools and colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, the Chadwick Boseman College of Fine Arts, the College of Dentistry, the School of Divinity, the School of Education, the College of Engineering and Architecture, The Graduate School, the School of Law, the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and the School of Social Work. Howard is one of only 48 private, doctoral/research-extensive universities in the U.S. Its 10,500 students enjoy academic pursuits in more than 120 areas of study leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. These students come from almost every state, the District of Columbia, and nearly 70 countries. Howard University has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, more than 70 Fulbright Scholars, and 22 Pickering Fellows. In recent years, U.S. News and World Report has named Howard as one of the nation’s great schools at great prices, and one of the Best National Universities. The University has long held a commitment to the education and advancement of disadvantaged persons in American society and throughout the world. The goal is the elimination of inequities related to race, color, social, economic, and political circumstances. A commitment to excellence across all of its programs is in keeping with the University’s motto, Veritas et Utilitas, or Truth and Service. For more information about Howard University, please visit

Qualifications: The Dean of the School of Social Work reports to the Provost and Chief Academic Officer and to the President of Howard University. The successful execution of this role requires a dynamic, visionary leader with a demonstrated commitment to excellence in the school’s trifold mission: teaching, research/scholarship, and service. The Dean should demonstrate a deep understanding and commitment to advancing a comprehensive range of research, which includes student research and interdisciplinary research. The Dean should also demonstrate the ability to effectively represent and advocate for the School’s research mission among diverse stakeholders, including funding agencies. The Dean will be an accomplished scholar, an ardent supporter of faculty research and student success, a strategic and collaborative academic administrator, and a passionate advocate for education. The role requires an ability to collaborate and build successful internal and external partnerships. The Dean establishes the strategic vision and leads the school in pursuit of its goals to provide a high-quality environment for teaching, learning, research, and service. The successful candidate should be a devoted advocate of civil rights, social justice, inclusion, diversity, and education as a means for social change. The successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial, nimble, and creative leader with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and have a deep understanding of fiscal planning and budgeting, and a focus on efficiency and transparency. The Dean must be able to foster transformational personal interactions with students, focusing on student outcomes as well as meaningful relationships with faculty. The Dean must be able to build these relationships internally as well as represent the School and Howard University externally. The Dean must be able to leverage the historic legacy and contemporary national ranking of the School to oversee robust fundraising strategies and campaigns. Candidates must hold a terminal degree and have a strong track record of relevant academic and administrative experience, maintain a distinguished record of scholarly research, and be eligible for the rank of full professor.

Location: Howard University’s main campus is located in Washington, DC, within five miles of the United States Capitol. Howard has grown from a single-frame building, in 1867, to more than 256 acres, which consists of Howard’s main campus, the 400-bed Howard University Hospital, its East and West campuses, and a 108-acre research facility in Beltsville, Maryland. With more than 600,000 residents, Washington, D.C. is more than "A Capital City"; it is the heartbeat of the United States with endless opportunities to experience a wide variety of cultural and sporting events, culinary excellence, attractions, and activities.

Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resumé/CV to RPA Inc. at For a confidential discussion or to make a nomination, please email Kira Heath, Search Manager, or Dana John Cohick, President, at the same email address listed above. The first review of candidates will begin on January 8, 2024.


The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, sex, marital status, religion, or disability. Veteran status and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Inquiries regarding provisions for persons with disabilities, equal employment opportunity and Title IX should be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources at 202-238-5960.