Dean, College of Science
The University of North Texas (UNT) invites applications and nominations for the next Dean of the College of Science.
About the University
A Carnegie-ranked Tier One institution, UNT is one of the nation’s largest public research universities with more than 42,000 students. Located only 35 miles north of both Dallas and Fort Worth, in Denton, Texas, UNT has become one of the fastest growing and increasingly influential research universities in one of the nation's fastest-growing regions. An abiding characteristic of the university is that UNT nurtures a strong sense of community and teamwork. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution, UNT’s dedication to diversity and inclusion earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for the fourth straight year. For more than 130 years, UNT has served an increasingly diverse student body and economically booming region. Under the leadership of a President with an expansive, aggressive vision for the institution, along with a new Provost who shares a commitment to faculty and staff wellness, the University stands poised to expand its national and global impact while supporting a healthy workplace and educational environment.
The enhanced collaboration across campus creates a campus community that is united by a shared purpose to provide students with the best research-informed educational experience in Texas and beyond. In addition, UNT’s strategic international partnerships seek to facilitate the exchange of ideas and culture and allow for important research addressing global issues. UNT hosts visiting scholars and faculty from more than 50 countries, offers global learning and experience programs in more than 37 countries, and serves 4,400 international students representing 144 countries.
As one of the largest universities in Texas, UNT offers 113 bachelor's, 94 master's, and 37 doctoral degrees, and other academic programs through the G. Brint Ryan College of Business; the Colleges of Education, Engineering, Health and Public Service, Information, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, Music, Science, and Visual Arts and Design; Toulouse Graduate School; Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism; Honors College; New College; and the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS).
Over the past several years, UNT has invested heavily in advancing the organization’s infrastructure, including data systems, analytics, financial systems, effective dashboards across the enterprise, merit and equity raises, facility renovations, and capital projects. UNT has made significant strides in enrollment management, with substantial financial allocations for new scholarships and student support services. The University is proactive in retaining high performing, collaborative faculty with equity and other opportunities. It has more than 800 tenure-stream faculty members.
UNT is a nationally recognized university continually listed as one of the “Best of the West” by The Princeton Review and “America’s Best Value Colleges” by Forbes magazine. Among its many accolades, UNT has 89 academic programs ranked in the Top 100 nationally, and has spent the last several years strengthening its research enterprise – from bolstering its research equipment and spaces, creating programs to help its faculty researchers be more competitive in the grant process, investing in key academic programs ranging from engineering to music to move the University forward, and significantly growing its number of doctoral students and tenure/tenure-stream faculty. Based on the University’s analysis of the data Carnegie released, UNT jumped to the #86 spot in the classification’s third quartile from #118 in the fourth quartile. This achievement places UNT among the nation’s most elite, top-tier research institutions, having made substantial progress in its standing as a Tier One research institution in comparison to peer institutions. UNT is currently investing in a number of new faculty positions and high impact hires while growing graduate education in strategic areas to support students and build UNT’s national brand.
About the Position
Created in 2017, the UNT College of Science offers 12 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs through its 4 academic departments: Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Mathematics; and Physics and is home to more than 260 faculty members and 3,800+ students. UNT seeks an innovative, dynamic, and entrepreneurial individual with the vision, scientific standing, and administrative abilities to provide strategic leadership to its College of Science. The next Dean will have the opportunity to promote disciplinary excellence and increased national visibility through the planning of new facilities and renovation of existing ones, strategic growth of the faculty, expansion of recent gains in sponsored research, and further development of strong graduate and undergraduate programs.
Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean is the College's Chief Executive Officer and leads the College in accordance with the University's mission and goals. Among the Dean's general responsibilities are to:
- Lead and articulate the College’s academic vision and identify and promote research trajectories;
- Recruit, mentor, develop, and retain faculty, as well as students and staff;
- Lead efforts to improve UNT’s research facilities, including a planned state-of-the-art STEM building, renovation of the Science Research Building (SRB), and shared institutional research core facilities;
- Manage space in support of research and educational missions;
- Support and expand the research mission of the College;
- Leverage interdisciplinary research activities of the UNT Research Institutes of Excellence– two of which have a majority of their faculty researchers in the College of Science;
- Encourage collaboration, enhance partnerships, and promote innovation for Teach North Texas and the Interdisciplinary Program of Analytics & Computational Science;
- Garner resources in support of the College’s strategic vision, including private fundraising;
- Consult with faculty to develop curricula and maintain and improve standards of performance;
- Develop, administer, and allocate the College's budget; and
- Lead in faculty personnel matters, including tenure, promotion, and reappointment.
UNT has highly regarded academic programs, a committed faculty and staff, and a student-focused culture. The following are examples of opportunities and challenges that await the new Dean of the College of Science:
- Expanding Research – in keeping with the University’s goal to increase scholarly activity and innovation, the President has set a very ambitious goal for expanding research. The College must continue to develop new research initiatives and support existing efforts to increase external research funding.
- Budget Management – with the University’s goal of growing its research portfolio, the Dean of the College of Science has the ability to construct and utilize a budget that supports strategic developments of the College, including startup funding to support new faculty hires.
- Faculty Recruitment, Development, and Support – the College of Science is home to a very strong faculty, representing a diverse range of disciplines. The next Dean will have the opportunity to add new faculty lines, which requires experience in recruiting, mentoring, and retaining faculty.
- Strengthening Diversity – it is imperative that the Dean is committed to promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is expected that the next Dean will positively impact the culture of support for diversity within the College.
- Fund raising – the next Dean is expected to establish a strong record of seeking and obtaining resources from private-sector sources, including but not limited to corporations in both the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond, as well as engaging with the State and Federal governments.
- Student Recruitment – the College of Science has a reputation for high-quality programs and research. The Dean will be central to branding efforts to ensure that the College is considered a “School of Choice” for top-performing science undergraduates and graduate students. The next Dean must strengthen the College’s support for a diverse and inclusive student body.
- Building Relationships University-wide – the Dean will work cooperatively with the other Deans and University Administrators and should be an effective advocate for the entire College of Science.
Other Preferred Qualifications Include:
Successful applicants must have the academic qualifications and record of achievements consistent with an appointment as a tenured full professor.
In addition, it is preferred that candidates have an administrative record that demonstrates:
- Innovative and effective leadership in higher education;
- Ability to articulate an ambitious and realistic vision for a College with an excellent undergraduate program and a robust graduate research agenda;
- Strong commitment to quality in the delivery of academic programs;
- Understanding of university finances and how to use a budget to drive strategic initiatives;
- Experience in hiring, mentoring, and evaluating faculty;
- A collegial administrative style that promotes a sense of mutual respect and collaboration with faculty, staff, and students;
- Commitment to strengthening an environment that fosters and supports the highest quality research and scholarship;
- Commitment to the recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive faculty, staff, and student body;
- Ability to foster strong connections between internal and external constituencies;
- Experience working within a diverse community of undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty in a complex university setting;
- Capability to be a forceful advocate for the institution, its faculty, and its academic programs, both internally and externally;
- Experience in reconciling differing viewpoints and developing solutions within a shared governance model;
- Experience with strategic planning, extramural funding, assessment, instructional technology, and interdisciplinary approaches in education;
- Experience with space allocation, including planning and overseeing new facility construction;
- Commitment to academic freedom;
- Ability to formulate and inspire others with a clear vision;
- Outstanding listening and communication skills;
- Openness in dealings with others and engagement with diverging perspectives;
- Skills and the capacity to bring individuals and groups with diverse views to consensus and common action;
- Ability to frame issues and conflicts in ways that foster resolution; and
- Intellectual vision, high levels of energy, impeccable integrity and other personal qualities that will inspire the College of Science community to attain new levels of excellence.
Nomination and Application Process
Parker Executive Search is assisting the University of North Texas in the search for the Dean of the College of Science. The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Review of materials will begin immediately and will continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to January 6, 2023. Please submit applications through the Parker Executive Search website. For additional information, please contact:
Porsha Williams, Vice President
DeLaina Jordan, Senior Associate
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
770-804-1996 ext. 119
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