Dean, School of Engineering

Position Overview

The University of Kansas (KU) seeks a collaborative, entrepreneurial, and inclusive leader to serve as the next Dean of the School of Engineering. Applications, inquiries, and nominations are invited.

The University of Kansas School of Engineering was founded in 1891 and is the oldest engineering school in the state. An ABET-accredited public engineering school, KU Engineering is located on the beautiful and historic Mt. Oread-Lawrence campus of the University of Kansas (KU), the state’s flagship university, an R-1 institution and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). The KU School of Engineering has long emphasized interdisciplinary research. Engineers and computer scientists from different disciplines work together to provide innovative solutions to global challenges. Numerous departments and programs are ranked among the best in the world.

There are a number of KU research centers which foster collaborations across universities, private industry, the public sector, and researchers across the globe. Out of KU’s 10 largest and University-recognized Research Centers, four are specifically connected to the School of Engineering and its faculty - the Center for Remote Sensing and Integrated Systems (CReSIS), the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC), the Institute for Information Sciences (I2S), and the Institute for Bioengineering Research (IBER). In addition to the designated research centers, there are additional smaller centers and research laboratories providing KU engineering and computer science students, faculty, and staff with outstanding opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The School offers 47 majors, minors, and certificates in five academic departments and two programs, enrolls over 2400 undergraduate and 500 graduate students, and employs a workforce of approximately 120 faculty and 50 staff. The School is home to one of the oldest engineering diversity and women’s programs (IHAWKe) in the country, which has received national recognition numerous times in its 52-year history.

The Dean reports to and will work closely with the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor to promote excellence in research and education while prioritizing the importance of building an exceptional learning community that values diversity, equity, inclusion and through which members demonstrate a spirit of teamwork, collaboration, and belonging within the School, departments, centers and across the University. The Dean's primary objective will be to engage faculty and staff in facilitating progress and achieving results in alignment with Jayhawks Rising, KU's strategic plan. The Dean will model a lifelong commitment to personal learning and professional growth as exemplified by a sustained record of engaged teaching, scholarship, disciplinary and community service, and ongoing leadership development, and will actively support and encourage others in this pursuit.

Job Description

Role of the Dean of the School of Engineering
The dean serves as chief academic and administrative officer of the School of Engineering and is responsible for providing imaginative, effective, dynamic, and transformational leadership to ensure the school’s long term success.
The Dean reports to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor along with the 11 other Deans representing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, professional Schools, and KU Libraries. KU’s dynamic team of academic Deans and leaders embrace innovation and are charged with generating excellence and strong measures of performance. An organizational chart can be found here.

This role requires a data-informed, strategic thinker and innovator who can ensure the School's research enterprise, educational programs and administrative services will engage and energize faculty, staff, and current and future generations of students, donors, alumni, and community and corporate partners. This position will have the responsibility to develop graduates who have knowledge and the skills of citizenship, leadership, and professional competence that society needs; and provide innovative solutions that address the great and unprecedented challenges of our times. The Dean will be expected to work across and outside the University to secure partnerships and collaborations that advance the School's mission, increase its impact and elevate its reputation.

The Dean ensures that the School can attract, retain, develop and promote talented academic and administrative staff in alignment with KU's goals and objectives and mission as an R-1, AAU institution. Additionally, it is the Dean's responsibility to ensure that the School and its members comply with all relevant laws, regulations, policies, and accreditor standards.

The Dean is responsible for the School's annual budget, roughly $34 million. To ensure that the School can provide top-notch research and academic programs, as well as support its faculty, staff, facilities and operations, the Dean collaborates closely with the KU Endowment Association and KU alumni to secure gifts and other financial resources. The School's five-year average annual fundraising revenue is $8.9 million and it also has a dedicated endowment of $227 million.

The Dean leads a team of 11 direct reports consisting of five department chairs (Aerospace Engineering; Chemical & Petroleum Engineering; Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering; Electrical Engineering & Computer Science; and Mechanical Engineering), three Associate Deans and three administrative staff supporting a number of key areas.

Required Qualifications

Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in an engineering, computer science, or a closely related field from an accredited institution, and have a record of scholarly research, teaching or professional attainment that merits appointment as professor with tenure.

Additional Candidate Instructions

WittKieffer is assisting the University of Kansas in this search. All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited.

Applications should include, as separate documents, a curriculum vitae and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile, and should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by September 5, 2023.

Contact Information to Applicants

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:
Lucy Leske and Luis Bertot

Application Review Begins

Tuesday September 5, 2023

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Posting Information

  • Posting ID:  25625BR
  • Department:  Engineering Administration
  • Primary Campus:  University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
  • Reg/Temp:  Regular
  • Employee Class:  F-Faculty
  • Review Begins:  05-Sep-2023

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