Dean, College of Continuing and Professional Studies

Dean, College of Continuing and Professional Studies

The University of Minnesota invites applications and nominations for the next Dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS). The University of Minnesota is among the world’s top research universities. The next dean of CCAPS will continue the success of the College in developing in-demand and high-quality academic programs, collaborating with academic leaders across the University, and engaging with external partners. The next dean will be a forward-looking, collegial, and engaging leader and will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the University, the state, and the region.

Anchored in the values of access, learning, inclusivity, collaboration, and excellence, the University’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies is one of 17 academic colleges on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. CCAPS empowers lifelong learners to achieve their educational goals through professional courses, applied and individualized undergraduate and graduate degrees, and other academic pathways, all while pursuing a learner-centered environment where diverse ideas, backgrounds, and identities are embraced. The next dean will inherit a high-performing College and will be charged with continuing the success of CCAPS to advance educational programs and create new collaborative partnerships across the University and in the Twin Cities region. A distinct highlight of CCAPS is the College’s extraordinary faculty and staff who are deeply committed to students. The majority of faculty members at CCAPS are adjunct instructors, working professionals, and experts in their fields. They bring their expertise and networks into the classroom to provide dedicated learning opportunities for students.

Reporting to the Executive Vice President and Provost, the dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer for the College. The ideal dean will be a strategic and collaborative leader with a deep commitment to educational excellence, innovation, diversity, and service to the community. The dean will:

  • Lead and manage an outstanding, collaborative, and creative team;
  • Provide strategic leadership for programmatic, budgetary, and enrollment planning that strengthens educational and operational excellence and advances systemwide strategic priorities;
  • Build collaborations across the University, leveraging resources and advancing teaching and learning innovation and reciprocal engagement with diverse communities; and
  • Build relationships with external stakeholders, including business and industry leaders, to assess workforce needs, enhance programs, and expand learning and career opportunities for students.

The CCAPS dean also serves as a member of the Twin Cities Deans Council, playing a collaborative leadership role in campus-wide academic affairs, educational innovation, and community engagement.

The successful candidate for this position will be an experienced, strategic, visionary, student-oriented leader with a passion for professional, continuing, and online education and non-traditional learners. A record of demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; effective communication skills; and the interest in and ability to interact successfully with internal and external constituencies are critical. The next dean should be an accessible and approachable leader who can embrace a working environment based on collegiality, collaboration, and empowerment.

Required Qualifications:

  • A terminal degree and a record of progressive leadership experience;
  • Significant experience in a highly complex enterprise;
  • A collaborative leadership style;
  • Proven commitment to and achievement in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • The highest standards of personal ethics and integrity; and
  • An understanding of the continuing and professional education landscape across the nation and the world.

Preferred Qualifications:
The next dean will have a proven track record of significant external achievements, collaborative accomplishments, academic credibility, and proven organizational leadership. Candidates will bring many of the following professional experiences, skills, and personal qualities: 

  • Demonstrated interest in university-based professional, continuing, and online education and an understanding and appreciation of the breadth of CCAPS programs;
  • Experience in higher education combined with the ability to partner with and understand the dynamic needs of corporate, industry, government, and community partners;
  • Experience leading or collaborating with multiple programs and units to develop/improve instruction and educational programs;
  • An understanding of national conversations and best practices around professional, continuing, and online education, with engagement in relevant national associations;
  • Experience in successful resource development, fundraising, fiscal management, and enrollment planning;
  • Experience managing a budget and allocating resources, preferably in a decentralized organization;
  • Demonstrated creativity, proactivity, and ability to articulate and broadly communicate a compelling vision;
  • Demonstrated understanding of strategic enrollment management and success in increasing enrollment;
  • Strong strategic planning acumen with the ability to collaborate with a leadership team to set strategic priorities, and gain buy-in and engagement from a broad and diverse set of stakeholders including those within the College, throughout the Twin Cities campus, and across the University System;
  • An approach to leadership that values collaboration, trust, and empowerment of employees to foster an open, thriving, and creative environment;
  • Experience building and sustaining productive cross-program/cross-unit academic collaborations;
  • Highly effective communication and interpersonal skills to effectively build relationships at all levels of the College, while preserving the collegial and welcoming environment at CCAPS;
  • Demonstrated strengths in relationship building and the ability to foster a supportive and collaborative working and learning environment; and
  • Experience working with multiple units to leverage resources that contribute to initiatives in traditional, hybrid, and online education; teaching innovation; regional workforce development; and reciprocal engagement with diverse communities.

A cover letter and CV/resume are requested for full consideration. Please send all nominations and applications to:

Ruth Shoemaker Wood, Ph.D., Managing Director
Brian Bustin, Senior Associate
Storbeck Search 

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

The University is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in supporting the academic mission and is committed to attracting and retaining employees of varying identities, backgrounds, and perspectives. Candidates with backgrounds and identities underrepresented in public health are particularly encouraged to apply.

To learn more about diversity at the UMN: