Director of the James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Director of the James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

The University of Kentucky invites nominations and applications for the Director of the James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration (Martin School). The Martin School seeks a nationally recognized scholar with exceptional leadership skills. Reporting to the Dean of Graduate School and Associate provost of Graduate and Professional Education, the Director will be charged with setting a strong vision for the Martin School while maximizing current strengths, enhancing the internal and external visibility of the School, and continuing the School’s focus on quality research and teaching. The Director should understand the opportunity that working at a public flagship institution has, and be actively engaged in relevant forms of outreach, whether to local/state governments, federal bodies, or non-profit organizations.

Founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution adjacent to downtown Lexington, UK is nestled in the scenic heart of the beautiful Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. UK’s campus covers more than 918 acres and is home to more than 30,000 students and approximately 13,500 employees, including more than 2,300 full-time faculty, and operates an annual budget of nearly $3.9 billion. UK is one of eight universities in the United States that has colleges of agriculture, engineering, medicine, and pharmacy on a single campus, leading to groundbreaking discoveries and unique interdisciplinary collaboration. The state’s flagship University consists of 16 academic and professional colleges where students can choose from more than 200 majors and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These 16 colleges prepare the next generation of business, industry, and academic leaders. Supporting and emboldening the university’s scholarly community is a comprehensive research library system made up of nine facilities, including the world-class William T. Young Library.

The James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration is an academic, research, and service unit of the University of Kentucky Graduate School. It was named in honor of Dr. James W. Martin, a scholar, public servant, and teacher whose accomplishments have created a lasting legacy of scholarship and service. The first class entered the James W. Martin Center in fall 1976. In 1984, the unit was named the James W. Martin School of Public Administration and was designated a "Center of Excellence" by the University of Kentucky in 1985. The name was changed again in 1994 to the James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration. This change was made to better reflect the research, public service, and academic activities of the school. The Martin School offers five degrees (Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Policy, Master of Public Financial Management, and Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration) and two graduate certificates (Public Financial Management and Nonprofit Management).

The next Director will join the Martin School at a moment of incredible opportunity to define the next chapter and expand the vision for the School. Reporting to the Dean of The Graduate School and Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, the Director will provide administrative leadership, academic vision, and will engage a diverse faculty to create a productive, collegial environment that advances the school’s goals. The Director will bring fresh ideas to raise the national and international profile of the Martin School; deepen collaborative partnerships across the University; and strengthen the curricular profile of the School to benefit the University of Kentucky, the community, the Commonwealth, and the nation.

Required Qualifications

Applicants should possess outstanding academic and professional accomplishments in public policy, public administration, public finance, or other fields related to policy scholarship to warrant appointment as a tenured, full-time faculty member at the rank of associate or full professor at the time of application.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Active engagement with national associations in the fields of public policy and administration and a highly recognized record of success in research and scholarship.
  • The ability to support the mission of the Martin School and the University of Kentucky.
  • Unwavering commitment to the student experience, adept at addressing the diverse needs of students.
  • A growth-oriented mindset with the ability to manage and facilitate growth while sustaining the core strengths and community-like feel of the Martin School.
  • Robust understanding of national conversations around public policy and administration education, reflecting an appreciation of scholarly and practitioner perspectives of the field.
  • Superb communication skills, and the ability to serve as the public face of the Martin School in a wide variety of settings.
  • A record of achievement in furthering inclusive excellence, including a proven ability to recruit, retain, and support diverse faculty, staff, and students.
  • Experience establishing and overseeing strategic partnerships.
  • Financial acumen, including experience managing complex resources and budgets.
  • A record of forging strong professional partnerships with a variety of public and private organizations, both nationally and internationally.
  • Ability to collaboratively lead a complex organization with multiple and engaged stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, senior University administrators, alumni, donors, advisory board members, trustees, and non-profit/industry partners, by means of innovative and entrepreneurial management.
  • Superb cultural competence, as demonstrated through successful global work, travel, and communication.
  • Familiarity with and/or a desire to employ new approaches to alumni engagement.
  • A transparent, collaborative, servant leader, rooted in integrity and yielding trusting relationships with all constituencies.

The Director position includes a nine-month contract with the expectation of an additional two months of summer administrative duties between the non-contract period of May 15 through August 16. The Distribution of Effort (DOE) will reflect responsibilities for administration, instruction, research, service, and professional development as follows:

Salary is competitive and includes a Director’s stipend, compensation for summer engagement, and a generous benefits package.

Additional information on the University and the opportunity can be found at

Applications should include a letter of interest and a current curriculum vitae. All applications must be submitted directly to the University of Kentucky here:

The executive search firm of Storbeck has been selected to recruit for this position. To be considered, you must complete the UK application and contact Storbeck through:

Steve Leo, Managing Director
Brian Bustin, Senior Associate

The University of Kentucky is committed to a policy of providing opportunities to people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

The University of Kentucky is an equal opportunity university. Questions concerning compliance with regulations may be directed to the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity, 13 Main Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0032, (859) 257-8927) or at