Dean of School of Arts & Sciences

Aurora, Illinois
Jul 09, 2019
Executive Administration Jobs
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Dean of

School of Arts & Sciences

at Aurora University near Chicago

Aurora University, a private, multi-campus liberal arts university located in the outer suburbs of Chicago, invites applications and nominations for the Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. The University plans to merge its School of Liberal Arts and School of Science and Engineering into the School of Arts & Sciences during the 2019-2020 academic year. The Dean of Arts and Sciences will be the administrative and academic head of the School and will report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Complete information is available in the Search Profile at

The Opportunity

Located in the second-largest city in Illinois, less than an hour from Chicago, Aurora University has a thriving student enrollment and is expanding both its academic programs and facilities. More than 5,800 students are enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs across five academic schools.

One of the most successful institutions in the Chicago suburbs, AU has witnessed growing enrollment at all levels. Concerted efforts by faculty and staff have caused an impressive increase in freshman-to-sophomore retention. The University also enrolls large numbers of transfers on an annual basis. Prudent financial management has enabled AU to make significant investments in infrastructure and programs while keeping debt at an absolute minimum.

An innovative contrarian mindset has led to the introduction of new and exciting majors that attract growing numbers of students. The Dean of Arts & Sciences will help to identify programs for 21st century undergraduate and graduate students.

The School of Arts & Sciences serves all undergraduate students completing their general education requirements. Additionally, it has 1,126 students pursuing majors in the School’s 17 fields of study.

Students can major in Actuarial Science, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Engineering Science, English, Environmental Studies and Sustainability, Health Science, History, Mathematics, Music, Psychology, Sociology, Software Engineering, Spanish, and Theatre and Musical Theatre. Minors are offered in American Sign Language, Biotechnology, Black Studies, French, Gender Studies, Homeland Security, Latin American and Latino/a Studies, Museum Studies, Physiology, and STEM.

Faculty members bring both their subject expertise and their dedication to student success to their classrooms. Of the School’s 56 faculty members, 93 percent hold terminal degrees in their fields.

AU seeks an engaged and collaborative academic leader who is committed to faculty excellence and student success to lead the School of Arts & Sciences as Dean. This academic leader provides strategic direction and day-to-day leadership to the School of Arts & Sciences that advances the mission of the University. This academic leader fosters an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning through both practice and principle.

Representing AU in a positive, professional manner, the Dean interacts effectively with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, prospects, alumni, and others throughout the University and the community. All information is handled with tact and discretion, as the Dean recognizes the confidential nature of university business. This senior administrator will learn and use the operating practices of both the School and the University.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provides visionary leadership, direction, and follow-through and leads in collaboration.
  • Coordinates all faculty and student activities that lead toward fulfillment of mission and attainment of successful outcomes of goals and objectives.
  • Strategically plans the direction of the School, in collaboration with the administrative and academic leaders of the University.
  • Communicates, interprets, and supports University goals, policies, concerns, and mission to faculty, staff, students, etc.
  • Supervises the Chairs of the departments comprising the School.
  • Works in collaboration with Admissions to ensure enrollment and revenue goals are met.
  • Collaborates with the administration to gather post-graduation data on alumni.
  • Continuously edits and updates the School’s website.
  • Manages the School’s overall operations, including budgeting, resource allocation, strategic planning, scheduling, and program committee assignments.
  • Develops, maintains, and supports an environment that promotes academic excellence.
  • Encourages interdisciplinarity.
  • Develops and promotes excellent student services and resolves student concerns in a timely fashion.
  • Leads outcomes assessment activities of the School and applies assessment results to planning, resource allocation, curriculum development, and other aspects of the School’s management.
  • Develops, manages, and evaluates personnel.
  • Works with library and information services staff to develop and maintain services that support the academic mission of the School.
  • Identifies and arranges meaningful co-curricular opportunities, such as practica and internships, for students majoring in the arts and sciences.
  • Collaborates with Advancement to develop resources to support the program through grants, fundraising, activities, and donor cultivation.
  • Plans, manages, and maintains linkages with alumni in collaboration with Alumni Affairs.
  • Creates, implements, and monitors programs policies and procedures and assesses legal risks, and closely communicates with University administration about risk assessment and management.


Candidates must have an earned Ph.D. degree and experience working in an academic setting. A doctorate in an arts or sciences discipline is strongly preferred.

Other qualifications include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Customer-service focused
  • Strategic thinking and orientation with the ability to solve problems
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, in a manner that reflects positively on the University
  • Ability to foster a cooperative work environment
  • Ability to interact effectively with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and other customers of the University
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously, as well as the ability to deal with changing needs
  • Ability to supervise and train staff, including organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments
  • Skills in budget preparations and fiscal management
  • Ability to move about the campus and between locations
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule as needed with some weekends and evenings required

Aurora University

Founded in 1893, Aurora University is a comprehensive educational institution with two distinctive campuses and two academic centers across two states. The 37-acre historic main campus in Aurora is located in a residential area of the city. Known for its distinctive red tile roofs, the campus is a blend of traditional architecture, green space, and state-of-art-facilities.

The 137.5-acre George Williams College campus is located on Geneva Lake in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. George Williams College is a living learning lab — the ideal setting for an integrated, experiential education. The holistic, liberal arts curriculum gets students out of the classroom and learning by experiencing. Picturesque Williams Bay is just two hours from downtown Chicago and one hour from Milwaukee or Madison, Wisconsin, and offers numerous opportunities for volunteerism, internships, and field experiences ventures.

The University draws upon the rich legacies and distinctive traditions of Aurora and George Williams College to benefit all of its students. This history has helped shape Aurora University, which continues to build upon its important past to help shape the future.

The University’s two additional locations are the Orchard Center, which is 5 miles from the Aurora Campus, and the Woodstock Center, located in downtown Woodstock, Illinois.

A wide range of academic programs are offered through the School of Arts & Sciences (currently the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Science and Engineering), the Dunham School of Business and Public Policy, the School of Education and Human Performance, the School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work. Undergraduate students participate in a wide range of on- and off-campus learning experiences.

Across the University, small class sizes and a close-knit community ensure personal attention from professors and staff members and a close bond with classmates. Students are connected with the networks and resources they need to achieve their personal and professional goals.

AU has the wide-ranging programs of a university while providing the personal attention of a small college. The University’s 458 full- and part-time faculty members are accessible and knowledgeable. The academic and support programs are designed to help students succeed.

The University encourages activities beyond the classroom. Students participate in more than 50 musical, literary, religious, social, and service organizations, and play active roles in campus governance.

AU believes that the educational needs of its students are served best through the formation of strategic partnerships with institutions of like vision, mission, and values. For example, its innovative collaboration with area corporate, civic, nonprofit, business, and education partners fostered the launch of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School, which serves elementary and middle school students from area school districts and is staffed via a unique professional model.

Aurora University fields 21 NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletic teams. Approximately 40 percent of the student population participates in intercollegiate sports. All Spartan athletic teams compete in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference with the exception of the men’s lacrosse team, which is part of the Midwest Lacrosse Conference.

Aurora University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award degrees at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Additionally, Aurora University is a participant in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements initiative.

For additional information, visit the University’s website at

Aurora and the Greater Chicago Area

Aurora University is ideally situated to offer great quality of life options, whether seeking small-city charm or dynamic city amenities. Both are within easy reach for residents.

An outer suburb of Chicago, Aurora has a population of more than 198,000 residents. Straddling both the east and west sides of the Fox River, the city offers excellent educational resources, first-rate parks and athletic facilities, a vibrant arts and music scene, outstanding museums and cultural arts, a popular zoo, a wide variety of shops and restaurants, and quality housing.

Just 40 miles east by the interstate is downtown Chicago, the largest metropolitan city in the state and Midwest. An international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation, Chicago has the second largest central business district in the United States.

Complementing its vast business community, Chicago is a major center for cultural, entertainment, and professional athletic activities. Live theatre, opera, ballet, symphonies, concerts, and festivals are among the multitude of offerings of the city. In 2018, Chicago welcomed a record 58 million domestic and international visitors, making it the second most visited city in the nation, only slightly behind New York City.

Aurora University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application and Nomination Process

Confidential inquiries are welcomed, and nominations are invited.

To Apply - Applicant must submit: 1) Letter of interest, 2) Current curriculum vitae, and 3) At least five references with full contact information, including e-mail addresses (References will not be contacted without applicant’s consent.)

Submit application materials (preferably as PDFs) to [email protected] by September. 9, 2019, for best consideration.

 Submit nominations to [email protected] with complete contact information, including e-mail address, for the individual being nominated.

Kenny Daugherty, President, and Emily Parker Myers, CEO, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting are assisting with this search.

Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting

515 Mulberry Street, Suite 200, Macon, Georgia 31201

(478) 330-6222 |


Apply for Dean of School of Arts & Sciences

Already uploaded your resume? Sign in to apply instantly


Upload from your computer

Or import from cloud storage

Your Resume must be a .doc, .pdf, .docx, .rtf, and no bigger than 1Mb

4000 characters left

Marketing Communication

We'd love to send you information about Jobs and Services from Inside Higher Ed Careers by email.

All emails will contain a link in the footer to enable you to unsubscribe at any time.

By applying for a job listed on Inside Higher Ed Careers you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs