Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Job description

Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Brooklyn, NY
Open Date:
Oct 16, 2018

Pratt seeks a candidate with a significant record of scholarly accomplishment and one whose administrative career continues to be driven by intellectual commitments to the disciplines in question and to innovative and cross-disciplinary inquiry and pedagogy.

The school's next Dean will provide strategic, forward-looking vision and leadership, working collaboratively with leadership across the Institute and the school’s faculty and staff to define, develop, implement and advance strategic plans for achieving the goals of the school and of the Institute. The Dean will serve as the chief academic and administrative officer for the school; will lead efforts around planning, evaluation, accreditation, pedagogy, curriculum, research, student and faculty recruitment and retention, development, and financial management. The Dean will be a passionate advocate for the school and its role within its unique context.

The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences comprises five departments (History of Art and Design; Humanities and Media Studies; Math and Science; Social Science and Cultural Studies; and Writing) offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs in art history; writing; and cultural, visual, media and performance studies. Additionally, SLAS houses academic support services (Writing and Tutorial Center; Intensive English Program) and several centers for faculty research and social practice (Global South Center; STEAMplant Initiative). Its 59 full-time and 200 part-time faculty are distinguished scholars and writers in their fields.

Located on Pratt’s historic 25-acre campus in the culturally diverse neighborhood of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Pratt is an internationally recognized school of architecture, art, design, and information science, which draws students from diverse cultural and geographic backgrounds. We are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in our curriculum as well as in the ranks of our faculty, students and staff and seek applicants who can contribute to the furtherance of these goals.

Position Responsibilities:

Planning and Evaluation

  • Lead data-driven school planning efforts and ensure planning efforts address stakeholder needs.
  • Engage in program and school evaluation; lead efforts in making improvements stemming from such evaluative activities.
  • Practice transparency and openness in communications and decisions with stakeholders.


  • Engage in development activities in collaboration with Institutional Advancement.

Academic Leadership and Service

  • Work with faculty and School committees to ensure high-quality academic programs and up-to-date curricula for all programs.
  • Work with faculty and department chairs to develop and support the School’s distinctive identity, and also to ensure that the School is well integrated into Pratt’s educational ecosystem
  • Lead the development of a strong and diverse faculty, overseeing hiring, recruitment, development and promotion activities in accordance with the faculty union contract and faculty handbook.
  • Create ongoing opportunities for pedagogical advancement and innovation.
  • Support faculty research and creative activities.
  • Engage in service at various levels (Institute, school, professional community and community service).


  • Oversee the recruitment, admission, and retention of a strong and diverse student body, in collaboration with office of admissions and enrollment.
  • Manage student concerns or issues in accordance with Institute policies and procedures.


  • Act as chief academic and administrative officer for SLAS and all its constituent programs, strengthening the departments and programs within while leading it to its next chapter.
  • Promote interdisicplinarity through programming, projects, and connections across disciplines both within the School and with other Schools and their departments
  • Lead, manage and evaluate administrative staff.
  • Appoint, evaluate and collaborate with chairs and program coordinators to ensure excellent leadership of academic programs.
  • Oversee all School budgets and ensure proper financial stewardship.
  • Oversee all School communications, including web and print content.
  • Lead efforts to enhance School facilities.


  • Participate in key Institute accreditation efforts.


Education: Terminal degree in a relevant School of Liberal Arts and Sciences field from an accredited institution required.

Experience:Must have an accomplished record of scholarly/creative activity related to the school’s disciplines, and have significant experience with academic administration.


Leadership and Management

  • Demonstrated leadership capacity accompanied by inspiration, collegiality, sound judgment and discretion.
  • Demonstrated capacity to establish strategic organizational direction; to develop organizational plans, policies and priorities; and to assess progress toward achievement of those priorities.
  • Ability to effectively use managerial principles and practices, including strategic planning and continuous quality improvement
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead pedagogical development of faculty and curricular development of programs.
  • Demonstrated leadership competency in multicultural educational environments.


  • Demonstrated advocacy skills, including the ability to articulate school values and priorities for a range of audiences. This would include the ability to discuss identity issues and differences related to gender, sexuality, class, race, religion, ethnicity, ability, language, etc., not just in theory but in terms of institutional practices and concrete examples.
  • Evidence of superior interpersonal and communication skills that reflect clarity of expression and effectiveness in working with diverse groups in a complex organizational setting.
  • Evidence for transparency of practice and ability to facilitate decision making via consensus.

Faculty and Higher Education Context

  • Demonstrated ability to develop collaborative relationships and partnerships with faculty, staff, and academic leadership; to build strong relationships with faculty; and to mentor them.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and ability to lead the School in implementing higher education academic accreditation and assessment standards and procedures.
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate cross/interdisciplinary teaching and research.
  • Record of curricular and programmatic implementation and ability to articulate the practical trajectory from idea to reality, including the issues of resources, i.e. money and time.
  • Record of working with and promoting demographic inclusion in higher education institutions.
  • Knowledge of national efforts to advance initiatives pursued in the liberal arts and sciences at Pratt, and an understanding of how to engage with it
  • Vision of the role of the liberal arts and sciences, and written and performing arts, within an art and design school context; interest in fostering the continued co-evolution of the liberal arts and sciences in dynamic relationships with art, design and architecture.


  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion efforts and the creation of a culturally responsive learning environment.
  • Skill in addressing student needs and concerns.
  • Experience supporting the needs of international students.

Development and Partnerships

  • Demonstrated ability to raise external funds for student scholarships, facilities, research, teaching and learning.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop partnerships with NYC institutions and beyond (local, national, and global) for enhancing research, teaching and learning.

Application Instructions:

To apply please submit a cover letter, CV, and a statement describing how you have worked to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in your career and how you plan on continuing to do so here at Pratt.




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Job No:
Posted: 12/30/2018
Application Due: 9/27/2019
Work Type: