Dean, College of Architecture + Design

Knoxville, TN
Nov 14, 2020
Executive Administration Jobs
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Dean, College of Architecture + Design

Knoxville, TN
Open Date:
Nov 13, 2020


The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the College of Architecture + Design. The dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the college, reporting directly to the provost, and collaborates daily with diverse stakeholders in the college, such as students, faculty and staff, as well as alumni, donors, parents, community leaders and university administration. The dean is responsible for being familiar with the complexities and opportunities associated with the status of a public land-grant institution and prioritizes and encourages projects that further our access mission. 

The University and Region:

UTK is the state’s flagship, land-grant university. We are a Research 1 university housing 11 colleges and 900+ programs of study. With an enrollment of 30,000 students, its undergraduate and graduate programs are repeatedly ranked among top national programs. The city of Knoxville is a hidden gem with a beautiful and walkable downtown, a diverse music scene, active neighborhoods, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of outdoor and cultural activities. UTK is located within easy driving distance to Asheville, Nashville, Atlanta, and the Great Smoky Mountains; and a day’s drive to Memphis, Chicago and Washington D.C. Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a statistical area population of over 850,000 people. The Knoxville region houses many leading corporations, including Bush Brothers & Company, Clayton Homes, Crossville Tile, Discovery Inc., General Shale Brick, Local Motors, PetSafe/Radio Systems Corporation, Regal Cinemas, Pilot/Flying J, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

The College

The college is comprised of 680+ students, 60 faculty, 20 staff. Student enrollment in the college has grown by more than 50% since 2015. 

The college offers programs in Architecture, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Graphic Design. These are delivered primarily in two facilities: the 160,000-square-foot Art + Architecture Building (A+A), in the center of UT Knoxville’s campus, and the 20,000-square-foot Fab Lab, an advanced maker space in downtown Knoxville. The A+A, an award-winning building, boasts open studios, a four-story atrium, a woodshop, and review and lecture spaces. With technology worth more than  $1,000,000 in the Fab Lab, students access some of the best fabrication technology in design education. 

Design education in the College values balance between theory and practice and highlights the importance of inter-disciplinary collaboration. The Masters in Landscape Architecture program, for example, is administrated together with the Herbert College of Agriculture. 

The Position

This position requires a creative leader who can harness existing momentum and establish a vibrant future for the college in the complicated but opportunity-laden 21st Century. The next dean of the college should bring exceptional scholarly and/or professional experience, a record of earnest and ambitious leadership, and a spirit of collaboration and effective communication with faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The position requires high-level critical thinking, conscientious interpersonal skills, and the need to value and support contributions from across the college’s primary functions (academics, research, development, recruitment, student success, communications) to ensure its future growth and success.   

The dean promotes educational, scholarly and creative excellence across a plurality of design disciplines and approaches to benefit faculty research opportunities and students’ educational experiences. Nurturing a vivid and accelerative academic atmosphere within the college and connecting the college to the wider academic, research, and professional realms is essential. The dean communicates the college’s achievements, facilitates transdisciplinary work, and sets the stage for collaboration beyond the university. The dean must understand the value of participating in varied projects that advance the discipline, must seek and secure resources for such projects, and empower and support directors and faculty in their work.

The dean must lead the college in matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion with a spirit of humanity, generosity, and empathy. Working with the faculty, staff, and students, the dean is responsible for fostering an inclusive and equitable academic community, developing meaningful strategies to empower that community through diversity at an institutional and disciplinary level, and diversifying the next generations of design professionals. 

Creating and sustaining partnerships with other academic disciplines, industry, government, and design professions are essential for the dean’s position. Such partnerships bring diversity to the college, opportunities for students, resources for the curriculum, and recognition on a national and international stage. An interconnected and interdependent college environment, where other discourses are welcome and valued, yields opportunities for faculty and students not otherwise possible. The School of Landscape Architecture is a joint program between the College of Architecture and Design and the Herbert College of Agriculture, and the dean must work closely with the dean of Herbert as well as department heads and faculty to support the evolution of that school. 

The dean is a fundraiser for the college and must be capable of securing funding from a variety of sources and making financial decisions for the good of the people in a complex enterprise. The dean prepares and administers the budget of the college and facilitates the efforts of directors and departments.


Minimum Required Qualifications

  • Terminal degree or foreign equivalent in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, history/theory of a design area or a related field; or a degree in one of the listed fields along with a nationally/internationally recognized body of professional work.
  • Evidence of:
    • Demonstrated record of visionary, strategic and creative leadership.
    • Commitment to effectively act on the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.
    • Demonstrated financial acumen and fiscal responsibility.
    • Established record of working across academic or disciplinary design units and programs.
    • Collaboration with a variety of internal and external constituencies.
    • Established record as an exceptional teacher and scholar or comparable professional achievement meriting tenure at the rank of a full professor.

Desired / Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to demonstrate clear, concise and persuasive skills in communications and active listening. Including an understanding of, and value for, communication across an array of media platforms.
  • Demonstrated record of availability and appreciation for a wide range of disciplinary, scholarly, and pedagogical approaches across various design disciplines.
  • Interpersonal skills that indicate a high level of professionalism, initiative, resourcefulness, and personal accountability.
  • Capacity to attract, recruit, retain, motivate, and inspire constituencies through shared decision-making and collaboration central to the mission of the university.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • Experience and ability in office administration that encompasses balanced and effective team management, delegation, and performance management.
  • Established experience with fiscal management, facilitation, and negotiation including fundraising and a forward-thinking approach to growth and management.
  • Demonstrated support for traditional and emergent technologies and the development of innovative, future-oriented curricula.
  • Demonstrated record of identifying and partnering with professional and industry partners who advance curricular initiatives and strategic goals.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the research, instructional, and service needs of a Research I university.
  • Familiarity of the purpose of public land-grant universities.
  • Registrations and/or certifications appropriate for their discipline.


Application Instructions:

Submission Materials

  • Letter of Interest that summarizes the candidate’s creative activities, research interests or agenda, teaching experience, and service interests
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Vision Statement that outlines the candidate’s vision for Research and Creative Work, Teaching and Pedagogy, and Diversity in the College. We request that all applicants detail in this statement how their previous and potential contributions enhance a culture of diversity and inclusion through teaching, research, and creative activity and/or service. 
  • Samples of research, scholarship and/or creative work
  • References (3), noting professional relationship and contact information

Priority consideration will be given to application materials received by January 31, 2021. For confidential inquiries or nominations, please contact Brooke Swart, Executive Recruiter at [email protected].

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