Dean of the College of Health and Human Services

Western Kentucky University
Dean of the College of Health and Human Services

Western Kentucky University ( invites applications and nominations for the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. The Dean is the chief academic/administrative officer of the College and reports directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. It is anticipated that the start date will be on or before July 2019, with flexibility for a start date as early as May 1, 2019.

About WKU and the community of Bowling Green, Kentucky

As one of Kentucky's fastest growing universities, Western Kentucky University (WKU) has enjoyed steady enrollment growth over the last decade and a half and currently enrolls over 20,000 students. Over the past decade, the university has strategically invested over $250M in campus renovation and new construction. WKU is student-centered, with an emphasis on applied research (/learning) and an impact on the community (/region).

WKU offers approximately a hundred baccalaureate degree programs, over fifty master’s degree programs, and three doctoral programs: Educational Leadership, Physical Therapy, and Nursing Practice. The latter two are housed in the College of Health and Human Services. WKU is known for its innovative academic programs and is home to the only independent honors college in Kentucky, with an enrollment of over 1200 students. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the College are offered on WKU's main campus in Bowling Green and at three regional campuses in Ft. Knox/Elizabethtown, Glasgow, and Owensboro, Kentucky.  WKU Distance Learning, offered through the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach (DELO), is a major contributor to the educational mission of the University and the College with some 20% of courses offered online.  Through DELO, the College of Health & Human Services also offers cohort programs at a variety of locations throughout the state and the nation.

The College plays a key role in supporting the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex (CEC) at WKU, a community-university partnership that helps individuals and families realize dignity, independence, and productivity by providing services through the Linda and John M. Kelly Autism Program (KAP), the Vickie and Dan Renshaw Early Childhood Center (ECC), the Betty and Dr. Page Talley Family Counseling Center (TFCC), the Preston Family Foundation Acquired Brain Injury Resource Program (ABIRP), the Family Resource Program, and the Communication Disorders Clinic (CDC). The Suzanne Vitale CEC prepares pre-professionals across disciplines while conducting research to enhance education and service.

The main campus of WKU is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a thriving city of 70,000 persons that serves as a commercial, retail, education, entertainment, and healthcare center for south-central Kentucky. The economic base is diverse, ranging from the GM Corvette Assembly plant to Fruit of the Loom corporate headquarters and Mammoth Cave National Park.

The College of Health and Human Services

The College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) was established in August 2002, and consists of seven academic units: Allied Health; Applied Human Sciences; Communication Sciences and Disorders; The School of Nursing (including the Doctor of Nursing Practice program); the School of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport; Physical Therapy; Public Health; and Social Work. The Center for Applied Science in Health and Aging, The Center for Environmental and Workplace Health, the Institute for Rural Health, and the South-Central Kentucky Area Health Education Center are also housed in, or overseen by, CHHS. The College enrolls nearly 5,000 students and offers a number of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs across the seven academic units.

The disciplines in the College have their roots in outreach to the community; they all prepare students for their professions by engaging them in activities within the community that apply the theories and concepts learned in the classroom for a comprehensive understanding of the issues. Students are required to complete clinical experiences, fieldwork, or internships through one of the many affiliation agreements with a myriad of health and human service agencies in our region. Two nationally recognized mobile health and wellness units provide ways for students to apply their newly acquired skills in the provision of prevention services to our residences in our region. The CHHS is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the community through education, service, collaboration, leadership, and scholarship.

On August 22, 2013, The Medical Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky celebrated the dedication of a new 73,471 square-foot, three-story facility, The Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex, on the hospital's campus. This state-of-the-art facility is home to the university's nursing and physical therapy programs and provides educational space for the hospital. This partnership addresses the national nursing shortage by providing much needed space for WKU to double the number of students who can enroll in the BSN nursing program. WKU uses 80 percent of the facility to accommodate assembly, training, classroom, and business functions. The Medical Center uses the remaining 20 percent of space for an auditorium and bed labs for clinical training.

The Role of the Dean

The Dean is responsible for planning, designing, implementing, and evaluating academic programs and services offered by the College. The Dean ensures the delivery of high quality services in each of these areas in a manner that is consistent with the operational needs and strategic initiatives of the University.

As the chief academic officer for the College, the Dean reports directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and serves on the Council of Academic Deans. Reporting to the Dean are: the Associate Dean, the Associate Dean for Research, the Associate Dean for Facilities, the Director of Area Health Education Center, the Director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, the Director of the Institute for Rural Health, the Director of the School of Nursing, the Director of the School of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport, and Department Heads of all academic units. The Dean is the direct supervisor of all administrative support personnel and provides evaluation comments for inclusion in performance appraisals for both the CHHS Information Technology Consultant and the CHHS Development Officer.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The Dean is expected to lead strategic and long-range planning efforts and work collaboratively with university and community partners to implement change, including

  • Aligning college-wide goals and activities with the 2018-2028 WKU Strategic Plan
  • Recruiting, developing, and retaining faculty committed to strong teaching, research/scholarship, and service
  • Facilitating productive and professional working relationships with the College faculty
  • Leading effective student recruitment and retention efforts
  • Increasing relevant and prominent research, scholarship, and external grant activity
  • Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration both within the College and with other WKU units
  • Advancing college-wide priorities through development/fundraising programs
  • Encouraging, strengthening, and broadening alumni and community relations
  • Collaborating with health-related providers and organizations to meet regional needs
  • Overseeing a decentralized budget model for personnel and operations of the College
  • Serving on task forces and committees representing employee, student, and institutional interests
  • Promoting and sustaining international partnerships in support of global learning

WKU seeks a dynamic leader who is a strong communicator and committed to excellence. An earned doctorate related to a field of study in one of the academic units of the CHHS and a record of sustained achievement that merits an appointment as a tenured full professor is required. Knowledge and skills required for the position include

  • Demonstrated leadership experience in postsecondary education
  • Effective communication skills
  • A strong record of participation in, and oversight of, research and grant/sponsored activities
  • Successful fundraising and donor relations experience
  • A strong record of advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Strong budgeting and financial planning experience, preferably with a decentralized model
  • Significant experience in development of innovative programs, distance learning, and collaborative endeavors
  • A commitment to the utilization of technology for the advancement of instruction, research, and clinical excellence
  • Knowledge of and experience with a wide-range of health and human services disciplines/programs represented in the College

Application Process

The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, comprehensive curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of five or more references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting Western Kentucky University (electronic submissions preferred). Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. It is preferred, however, that nominations and applications be submitted prior to February 2, 2019.

Porsha Williams, Vice President
Jacob Anderson, Principal
Parker Executive Search
5 Concourse Parkway Suite 2900
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: (770) 804-1996 X 111; Fax: (770) 804-1917

Kentucky state law requires all public institutions of postsecondary education to conduct pre-employment criminal background checks to determine suitability for employment.

Western Kentucky University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or marital status 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  Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services at (270) 745- 5121, a minimum of five working days in advance.