Dean of the College of Arts and Letters

San Diego State University (SDSU) invites nominations and applications for its next dean of the College of Arts & Letters (CAL). Reporting to the provost and senior vice president, the dean serves as the chief academic officer of the college. The dean oversees a large and complex college that has 18 academic departments, 13 interdisciplinary programs, and 29 centers and institutes. With 206 tenure-line faculty, 274 lecturers (35 full-time and 239 part-time), and 58 staff, CAL is the largest college at SDSU. The dean is responsible for administering a budget of over $46 million. The dean provides collaborative and collegial leadership for academic programs, student success, research and scholarship, external relations, and fundraising.

Each year, San Diego State University (SDSU) provides approximately 37,500 students with the opportunity to participate in a rigorous academic curriculum distinguished by direct contact with faculty, high-impact practices, and an international emphasis that prepares them for a global future. The university is committed to improving student success, advancing research and creative endeavors, contributing to the community, and building SDSU's culture of philanthropy. SDSU is proud to be an exceptionally diverse, multinational institution and holds designations as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). As a transborder university located on Kumeyaay Indigenous lands, SDSU has also been a leader in the CSU-wide implementation of an Ethnic Studies graduation requirement, housed in CAL. As of 2025, we also expect to attain an R1 designation, with more than $192 million in research activity in 2022-2023.

The mission of SDSU is to provide research-oriented, high-quality education for undergraduate and graduate students and to contribute to the solution of problems through excellence and distinction in teaching, research, and service. The university strives to impart an appreciation and broad understanding of the human experience throughout the world and the ages. This education extends to diverse cultural legacies and accomplishments in many areas, such as the arts and technology; the advancement of human thought, including philosophy and science; the development of economic, political, and social institutions; and the physical and biological evolution of humans and their environment. SDSU pursues its mission through its many diverse departments and interdisciplinary programs in the creative and performing arts, the humanities, the sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences.

The dean will work collaboratively with college stakeholders to develop and execute a vision that aligns with the university's strategic objectives as identified in the 2020-2025 "We Rise We Defy: Transcending Borders, Transforming Lives" strategic plan. The incoming dean will be expected to advocate for a range of disciplines, advance a liberal arts education, and support interdisciplinary opportunities. The next dean should have earned academic credentials that merit appointment as a tenured full professor, including a distinguished academic record in teaching, scholarship, and research. This individual will be expected to understand and advance SDSU's mission as a minority-serving institution and have a record of enhancing student engagement and success.

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume, a diversity statement (addressing at least 2 BIE Criteria ), and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, which can be accessed on the WittKieffer website .

WittKieffer is assisting San Diego State University in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by Friday, February 2, 2024.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer's candidate portal .
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Alejandra Gillette-Teran, and Jenna Brumleve

San Diego State University will offer a competitive salary based on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.San Diego State University offers a rich benefits package that includes:

  • Extensive leave benefits: 15 paid holidays, 24 vacation days, and 12 sick days per year

  • Retirement security through a CalPERS defined benefit pension and retiree healthcare benefits

  • An array of health, dental, and vision coverage at no- or low-cost to the employee

  • California State University system fee reduction program (fee waiver) for employee or qualified dependent

    Anticipated hiring range: $220,000 to $250,000 annually

    San Diego State University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons based on race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.

    After a contingent offer of employment is made, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed. Any offer of employment is contingent upon successful completion of the background check. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of the applicant or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for this position.

    The person holding this position is considered a mandated reporter under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

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