Oberlin College & Conservatory


Oberlin, Ohio

Oberlin College & Conservatory, one of the nation’s preeminent liberal arts institutions, seeks an intellectually rigorous, entrepreneurial, collaborative, and institutionally-minded leader to join the enterprise as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (A&S).

The Dean will join Oberlin at a momentous moment in its history. With the selection of President Carmen Twillie Ambar as Oberlin’s 15th president in May 2017, the College has gone through an unprecedented process of self-examination and strategic re-envisioning in an effort to catapult itself into a new chapter of institutional innovation, impact, and sustainability. This ongoing effort has fostered greater institution-wide transparency, superior collaboration, and enhanced cooperation across Oberlin’s multiple and complex parts, including the College of Arts & Sciences, the Conservatory of Music, the Allen Memorial Art Museum, and the robust library system.

As an integral member of Oberlin’s senior leadership team, and working in tandem with President Ambar, as well as the Dean of the Conservatory, the Dean of A&S will have a significant opportunity to impact the long-term success of the College. The Dean will lead A&S, which is home to 2,255 undergraduate students pursing 45 degrees in 38 academic departments and programs, as well as 181 additional double degree students studying in both the College and the Conservatory. The Dean serves as the chief academic officer of A&S and is the intellectual leader of over 200 gifted faculty members. Oberlin’s strong culture of faculty governance lends itself to a Dean who is highly relational, politically skilled, as well as consultative in style.

This Dean must be adept at change management and implementation, be committed to diversity and inclusion, and be a persuasive champion for the A&S as well as the value of a residential liberal arts college education in today’s changing higher education landscape. Oberlin seeks a Dean who is strategic, creative, collaborative, and not afraid of making difficult tradeoffs and decisions.  

Oberlin College has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist the elected faculty search committee in identifying and reviewing candidates for this position. Inquiries, applications, and nominations may be sent electronically and in confidence to:

Rebecca Swartz and Elizabeth Dorr

Isaacson, Miller

263 Summer St., 7th Floor

Boston, MA 02210

(617) 262-6500

Oberlin College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a strong institutional commitment to the development of a climate that supports equality of opportunity and respect of differences based on gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation. Oberlin was the first coeducational institution to grant bachelor’s degrees to women and historically has been a leader in the education of African-Americans; the College was also among the first to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. In that spirit, there is a particular interest in encouraging applications from individuals who would contribute to the diversity of Oberlin.