Dean, School of Social Work

Portland State University

Search for the Dean, School of Social Work

Portland, Oregon

Portland State University seeks the next Dean to lead the School of Social Work.

Located in the heart of Oregon’s economic and cultural center, Portland State University (PSU) is the most diverse four-year academic institution in Oregon. PSU enrolls approximately 28,000 students from every state in the nation and more than 80 foreign countries in 88 bachelors, 88 masters, and 37 doctoral programs. Founded in 1946, PSU is hailed by The Princeton Review as one of the best colleges and universities in the West. The University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and all programs are accredited by professional bodies. PSU encompasses eight primary divisions: the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; College of Urban & Public Affairs; Graduate School of Education; Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science; School of Business; School of Social Work; and OHSU-PSU School of Public Health; as well as the University Library, University Honors College, and Department of University Studies. A Carnegie Doctoral Research University (High Intensity), PSU has grown its sponsored research in recent years, with $62.5 million in research expenditures in 2015. From a vibrant campus spanning 50 buildings in downtown Portland, PSU is an integral part of the Metro area.

Portland State University School of Social Work is highly regarded within the Pacific Northwest and nationally. Established in 1961 by a resolution of the Oregon Legislature, the School of Social Work serves the entire state with its central campus in Portland and distance options in communities around Oregon (Ashland, Bend, Eugene, Salem) as well as a highly successful online program. The PSU School of Social Work is among the top 20 percent (38th in the nation) of schools of social work based on its high ranking by U.S. News & World Report. The three major functions of the School are teaching, research, and community service, and the SSW is one of the few schools of social work in the country that houses an interdisciplinary program (Child, Youth, and Family Studies Program). The School of Social Work programs’ curricula are guided by principles of equity, social justice, and anti-oppressive practice with a primary goal to prepare students for ethical leadership and practice with diverse populations and communities. Educational content includes values, principles, and skill development for culturally responsive practice that enables students to work effectively, cross-culturally, and innovatively. In addition, the School prioritizes research and scholarship that focuses on understanding, preventing, and ameliorating social problems. Community services involve inter-professional, interdisciplinary collaborations and individual, family, and community partnerships to support social service practices, policies, and community change processes that are driven by consumers and key stakeholders.

To pursue its mission, the SSW has two undergraduate academic degree programs: Child, Youth, and Family Studies (CYFS) and Bachelors in Social Work (BSW) and two graduate academic degree programs: a Masters in Social Work (MSW) and Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work and Social Research (PhD). CYFS has 254 majors, 193 minors, and 836 total students enrolled in CYFS courses; the BSW has 204 students; the MSW has 602 students; and the Ph.D. program has 47 students.

Faculty in the School of Social Work engage in a wide range of research and scholarship. Funded projects include large multi-site studies, national research and training centers, major workforce development initiatives, and community-based evaluations. Faculty, students, and researchers in the School of Social Work conduct over $14 million in expenditures for social science research, training, and outreach projects representing approximately 24% of PSU’s externally funded sponsored projects. Most grant-supported projects are managed within the affiliated research units, the Regional Research Institute for Health Services (RRI) and The Center for Improvement of Children and Family Services (CCF).

The Dean will engage with a multidisciplinary faculty whose research interests and practice expertise span a wide range of policy and practice areas, with undergraduate and graduate students, and with constituencies within the academy and in the public sphere. As the chief executive and academic officer for the School, the Dean will set the standard for intellectual engagement and accomplishment by providing strategic vision for and operational leadership of the academic programs. The Dean will serve as a catalyst to link the work of social work faculty and students to other disciplines in the academy, and to public and private communities and interests outside of the institution. This individual will serve as the School’s public voice, promoting initiatives within Portland State, and articulating the School’s contributions in local, state, regional, and national arenas, as well as pursuing an aggressive development program to build the School’s resources. 

Portland State University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search:  Electronic submission of materials is required.

Deborah Hodson and Courtney Wilk-Mandel

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

Fax: 415.655.4905

Portland State University is an equal opportunity employer.