Dean, College of Liberal Arts

Rochester Institute of Technology
College of Liberal Arts
Search for the Dean
Rochester, NY

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), one of the world's largest private research universities renowned for creativity and technical innovation, seeks a Dean of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). Reporting to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the next Dean will lead a diverse college that is central to the university's academic and scholarship mission to leverage the power of technology, the arts, and design for the greater good. CLA is well-positioned to contribute to the Institute's goals of providing leading research that impacts society and an academic experience that provides all RIT students with sought-after skills such as critical thinking, ethical decision making, and well-reasoned communication, among others. Further, this is an exciting opportunity to showcase the importance of the liberal arts in a technology driven institution and to lead collective efforts to meet challenges of liberal arts education as an engaged partner. The Dean will shape the direction and identity of the college, provide resources to academic programs and innovative curricula across disciplines, support and promote faculty scholarship and creativity, grow enrollment, and forge deeper connections with other colleges on campus and the surrounding community.

RIT was founded in 1829 and today is a nationally ranked doctoral university that prepares students for success in a globally integrated society. Over the past 10 years, RIT has seen advancement in every key institutional metric. Applications have increased 70 percent. Enrollment has grown 20 percent to more than 19,000 students, with both student caliber and the diversity of the student population on the rise. Cooperative education, a pillar in the university's educational philosophy, has thrived, both domestically and internationally, helping to demonstrate the value of an RIT education with a 96 percent post- graduation placement rate. Faculty have grown in number, diversity, and scholarly stature as RIT has increased its research productivity while remaining deeply student focused. Transforming RIT: The Campaign for Greatness, a $1 billion blended fundraising campaign that was publicly announced in July 2018, has reached and exceeded its goal and will fuel the university's continued upward trajectory.

The College of Liberal Arts offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees spanning many disciplines in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In addition, CLA plays a critical role in the general education core for students across RIT, and new investments showcase CLA's integral role in the university's commitment to provide an education at the crossroads of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. Recent developments include a new School of Performing Arts and the Performing Arts Scholarship Program , a new Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation, a new multi-college master's Program in Artificial Intelligence , a new flagship degree program in Humanities, Computing and Design, majors in English and History , and a multi-college PhD program in Cognitive Science . The Institute has also embarked on major space initiatives, including construction of the newly completed Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED) , a 100,000-plus-square foot creative hub, home to a sophisticated black-box theater, large dance studio, music rehearsal space, and CLA's new Expressive Communication Center . In addition, in 2023 RIT began the construction of a 750-seat theater as the first phase in their Performing Arts Center.

The Dean will be a highly collaborative, team-building leader who will support faculty, alumni, administration, and students in their innovative endeavors and engage them to chart a course for the college through a clear articulation of its mission, a vision for its future, and an ability to build consensus and garner support from various constituencies. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in transparent leadership, building distinctive programs, supporting innovative curricula, advocating for their academic unit, optimizing student experience, recruiting and retaining faculty and staff, enabling faculty to succeed in scholarship and research, and convening diverse groups to solve problems through shared governance. The Dean will have a record as a passionate supporter of faculty and students and a deep appreciation for the liberal arts, with experience engaging across a range of academic disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts.

RIT has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this recruitment. All inquiries, nominations, and applications with cover letters should be directed in confidence to the firm as indicated below

Greg Esposito, Partner
Ellen Egitton, Associate
Isaacson, Miller


Anticipated Start Date: January 2025

In compliance with New York State's Pay Transparency Act, the salary range for this position is listed above. Rochester Institute of Technology considers factors such as (but not limited to) scope and responsibilities of the position, candidate's work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, as well as market and organizational considerations when extending an offer. RIT does not discriminate. RIT promotes and values diversity, pluralism and inclusion in the workplace. RIT provides equal opportunity to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, age, marital status, sex, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, veteran status or disability in its hiring, admissions, educational programs and activities. RIT provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York Human Rights Law, or similar applicable law. If you need reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact the search consultants listed below. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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