The mission of Western Kentucky University (WKU) is to prepare students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society. WKU provides research, service, and lifelong learning opportunities for its students, faculty, and other constituents. WKU enriches the quality of life for those within its reach.  WKU is the premier student-centered, applied research university in Kentucky and the region, transforming lives by providing access and opportunity for all students and preparing them for productive careers and meaningful lives and by elevating the communities served in the region, throughout the commonwealth, and across the globe.

The mission of the Gordon Ford College of Business (GFCB) is to be a leader in providing high-quality and applied business academic programs to enhance the economic well-being of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond.  This is achieved through dedicated student-focused teaching, relevant and high-impact research, and value-adding outreach activity.

WKU seeks a visionary, creative, and effective leader for the Gordon Ford College of Business. The Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College and reports to the Provost. The ideal candidate must be a dynamic, strategic, collaborative, and inspirational individual who will chart the path and navigate GFCB’s stakeholders through the ever-changing landscape of higher education.  The Dean will be responsible for finding innovative ways to build and nurture market-responsive academic programs that yield highly-competitive and capable graduates. The Dean must be mindful of the student-focused mission and as such be able to attract and retain well-qualified students, world-class faculty, and dedicated staff committed to students’ success in the classroom and beyond. Additionally, the Dean must ensure that GFCB secures the resources to achieve the mission of WKU and GFCB.  Part and parcel is a keen ability to forge strong relationships with the business community.

Responsibilities and Expectations:

  • Align college-wide goals, initiatives and activities with the 2018-2028 WKU Strategic Plan.
  • Enhance GFCB’s position in the marketplace of higher education;
  • Possess a commanding understanding of all stakeholders and their needs;
  • Recognize opportunities, develop strategies, and implement enhancements that contribute to WKU’s mission and goal achievement;
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration across departments and colleges;
  • Build strong relationships with alumni and the local, national, and international business community that motivates financial and other support and results in benefits to students and faculty;
  • Demonstrate commitment to building a strong learning environment for students that stresses academic quality, student engagement, innovative teaching, global perspectives, professionalization and internships;
  • Ensure that GFCB thrives under a performance-based budgeting model, and work with the College leadership, WKU leadership, and state legislature on strategic budgeting;
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of AACSB standards of accreditation, and maintain accreditations;
  • Build GFCB’s reputation and attain external validation such as improvements in reputable college rankings;
  • Build a portfolio of academic programs that offers value to customers and, therefore, increases enrollment and revenue;
  • Lead the team of scholars and staff of a complex educational enterprise in support of the mission of GFCB in a collaborative, collegial manner with excellence and integrity;
  • Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Represent GFCB professionally and transparently to its stakeholders, communicating exceptionally well and often;
  • Be politically adept,  and inspire and influence action benefiting GFCB and the region
  • Forge partnerships with other organizations to attain mutual goals supporting the missions of WKU and GFCB;
  • Develop and lead innovative capital campaign and other fund-raising efforts to secure needed resources for infrastructure improvements, cutting edge programs and scholarship; and
  • Develop strategies that increase grant proposals and awards of extramural funding.
  • Understand and value our Centers of Excellence as an important part of our college and support Center Directors in their efforts to carry out the mission of GFCB through those Centers.
  • Support the economic development of the region;
  • Undertakes other duties as assigned by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.


  • The successful candidate will possess an earned doctorate in business or a related field of study from an accredited institution and a documented record of scholarly achievement that merits a tenured appointment as a full professor in the Gordon Ford College of Business.
  • Three or more years of administrative experience as a successful dean, associate dean, department chair, or comparable position with experience in strategic planning, budget development and execution, policy setting, and leadership and supervision of faculty and staff;
  • Demonstrated ability to:
    • successfully lead change initiatives;
    • recruit and retain quality faculty, staff, and students;
    • fairly and consistently lead a complex organization with substantive results;
    • solve complex curricular, fiscal, personnel, and political challenges;
    • collaborate with faculty across departments and with leaders and staff across the university, and ability to build relationships;
    • secure external resources;
    • inspire internal and external stakeholders and prospective stakeholders to contribute to the university’s and college’s mission and goals and to attain excellence;
    • develop an appropriate, compelling vision and  conduct strategic planning to bring it to fruition;
  • Strong business acumen enabling the development of entrepreneurial value offerings, budget development and execution, and the formation of appropriate partnerships;
  • Strong, expansive networker able to understand individual’s and businesses’ needs, desires, motives, mutual interests, and capabilities;
  • Demonstrated commitment to:
    • academic excellence and student success;
    • faculty skill and experiential development in teaching, research, and service;
    • continuous improvements across all aspects of the Dean’s scope;
    • diversity and inclusion in matters pertaining to students, faculty and staff;
  • A thorough understanding of the various academic disciplines in a college of business;
  • Experience in international business and education fostering the identification and implementation of opportunities that contribute to WKU’s and GFCB’s missions;
  • Demonstrated use of benchmarking comparable and leading institutions to glean best practices and opportunities;
  • Demonstrated experience with AACSB accreditation; and
  • Personal accountability and selflessness.

WKU's main campus is located on a hill overlooking the city of Bowling Green (population est. 60,000), and is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the nation. In addition, WKU serves the communities of Elizabethtown/Fort Knox, Glasgow and Owensboro through its regional campuses. Western Kentucky University is ranked #32 on the Best Colleges in Regional Universities-South by U.S. News & World Report for 2018.  The institution is honored to be listed among the best schools for veterans for the 7th year in a row and is ranked 5th overall in the nation for the best online bachelor’s program. SACSCOC reaffirmed the University's accreditation for 10 years in 2015. The next scheduled reaffirmation is 2025.

The Gordon Ford College of Business was named for Gordon B. Ford, a 1934 graduate of the Bowling Green College of Commerce and founding partner of a very successful Louisville firm that was acquired by the firm now known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the four largest accounting firms in the world.  The College has been accredited by AACSB since 1982, and the accounting program was awarded separate AACSB accounting accreditation in 2009.  The College’s total endowment is $12 million.  With 75 faculty members, including 12 endowed professorships, it has approximately 2,180 undergraduate majors and about 129 students in its graduate programs.  The GFCB experienced 19% growth in student credit hour production over the past five years.  The College has professional, traditional, and online MBA options as well as an MA in Applied Economics and a Masters of Accountancy.  The College has six departments with undergraduate programs in accounting, business economics, economics, mathematical economics, data analytics, finance, business administration, entrepreneurship, human resources, international business, and marketing.  The College houses seven centers of excellence. 

Parker Executive Search is assisting Western Kentucky University in this search. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made.  Interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials by February 8th, 2019, to receive optimal consideration. Inquiries, applications and nominations are strongly encouraged and will be considered in confidence. Application materials should include a letter addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position requirements, a curriculum vitae and contact information for at least three references.  Confidential inquiries, nominations, and application materials should be directed to or:

Laurie C. Wilder, President

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President

Grant Higgison, Associate ||

Phone: 770-804-1996 ext. 118 Fax: 770-804-1917

Applications will be considered in confidence, but the name and curriculum vitae of finalists will be released prior to on-campus meetings with key constituency groups as part of the final interview process.

University policy and state law require a thorough background investigation of finalists.

Western Kentucky University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, uniformed services, veteran status, or physical or mental disability in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Persons with disabilities, who need reasonable accommodations to participate in the application and/or selection process, should notify the office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services (EEO) at (270) 745-5121, a minimum of five working days in advance.