Provost and Dean of the Faculty
- Smith College
- Northampton, MA
Smith College seeks a provost and dean of the faculty (“the provost”) who will bring to the college’s leadership team a compelling vision of academic excellence, administrative expertise, and deeply ingrained values that include wisdom, courage, and empathy. A distinguished record of scholarship, teaching, and service will provide the foundation for their work, but they will have their greatest impact through their institutional effectiveness, stewardship of the academic enterprise, and unwavering commitment to the value of a liberal arts education for women who will change the world through lives of distinction and purpose.
As a trusted partner to Smith’s president, Dr. Sarah Willie-LeBreton, a champion of the faculty, and the second officer of the college, Smith’s new provost will contribute broadly to the college’s success. They will be a collaborative leader who is committed to partnering with stakeholders to ensure a vibrant future for the liberal arts at Smith. In stewarding the college’s academic mission, the provost will seek a strategic balance between tradition and innovation and will keep in focus both the interests of the faculty and the interests of the college.
The provost plays a pivotal role in achieving Smith’s academic, strategic, and institutional goals through effective stewardship of the college’s academic mission:
- Championing the faculty and driving faculty engagement in envisioning the future of the college
- Providing oversight of all academic programs, graduate and undergraduate, their supporting departments, and the co-curricular resources and initiatives that enrich them
- Guiding the development and administration of all instructional programs and academic policies
- Responding to emerging opportunities, ideas, and challenges facing the college by working strategically with the president, her leadership team, and the faculty on how best to position the college for the future
- Demonstrating social intelligence, diplomacy, a firm but fair disposition, and the energy and agility to work collaboratively with an ambitious and dynamic president’s team.
The provost reports to the president and works closely with colleagues across the president’s leadership team. The provost oversees a $110 million budget (FY 2024) encompassing faculty and staff compensation and operating expenses for the units in their portfolio.
Smith College seeks as its next provost and dean of the faculty a collegial and trusted leader who will effectively manage an extensive administrative enterprise; promote and embody scholarly and teaching excellence; inspire and lead the faculty; collaborate effectively with other senior leaders; and represent Smith, its academic programs, and its educational mission to internal and external constituencies.
Success in the provost role requires four core attributes:
- Strategic skills to shape and execute a strategic plan
- Tactical skills and emotional intelligence to manage day-to-day operations
- Change-leadership skills to generate, refine, and implement emerging ideas
- An institutional perspective that foregrounds the best interests of the college
The provost will bring a strong and evidenced commitment to Smith’s values of inclusion, diversity, and equity to all aspects of the academic experience. Further, the provost will possess a nuanced understanding of the current campus issues of inclusion, diversity, and equity from the perspectives of internal and external stakeholders.
The president and college stakeholders appreciate that each candidate will possess strengths in different measure. Nonetheless, the successful candidate will bring a majority of the following qualities to the role:
- Intelligence and integrity of the first order
- Academic accomplishment and a deep commitment to teaching and research excellence
- An appreciation for and commitment to the value of a liberal arts education for women
- Demonstrated experience advancing inclusion, diversity, and equity
- The ability to provide engaged leadership for all elements of the Smith community
- Strong management, planning, and financial skills
- Creative, global, and interdisciplinary thinking
- Outstanding listening and communication skills
The provost will serve a renewable five-year term at the pleasure of the president, with the possibility of renewal to a second term upon successful review. Independent of their appointment as provost and dean of the faculty, they will have an underlying appointment as a tenured member of the college’s faculty. The salary will be competitive with peer institutions. A full version of the position description can be found here.
Smith College has engaged Opus Partners to support this search. Craig Smith, Partner, and Abigail Maynard, Senior Associate, are leading the search, which will remain confidential until the final stage of campus visits. For additional information, to nominate qualified candidates, or to apply, please contact Abigail Maynard: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidates will provide a letter of interest and a current CV. Letters can highlight leadership experience and professional motivations, anticipate questions that might be prompted by these materials, or note an accomplishment that may not be evident on a CV. The college values diversity, equity, and inclusion and will seek a leader who is committed to promoting these values throughout the organization. The college encourages candidates to address how they might promote these values and highlight initiatives designed to remove barriers and to increase participation by groups historically under-represented in post-secondary education.
Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact Abigail Maynard (email@example.com).
As set forth in its mission and values, Smith College is committed to promoting a culture of equity and inclusion among students, staff, and faculty. The college will not discriminate in employment on the basis of age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability, or any other classification protected by law. Smith College is an equal-opportunity employer and complies with all state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination.