Dean, College of Communication and Information

Knoxville, TN
Dec 12, 2020
Executive Administration Jobs
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Dean, College of Communication and Information

Knoxville, TN
Open Date:
Dec 7, 2020


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) invites applications and nominations for the position of the Dean of the College of Communication & Information. The dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College reporting directly to the provost. The new dean will lead a diverse, talented group of faculty, staff, and students in addressing communication and information issues in our current and future era characterized by rapid change, ethical questions, and differentiated access. The College has the added the goal of developing nationally ranked programs, world-class scholarship, and work that has a direct impact on the community. The dean must be champion of diversity, equity and inclusion and lead with a spirit of humanity, generosity, and empathy.

The University and Region

UTK  is the state’s flagship, land-grant university.  We are a Research 1 university with 11 colleges and nearly 30,000 students.  With new leadership at the system, university, and college levels, UTK is poised for dramatic positive change focused on solving some of the most audacious, pressing problems our country and world face today. The city of Knoxville is a hidden gem surrounded by eight gorgeous lakes, with a beautiful and walkable downtown, a diverse music scene including internationally recognized festivals, active neighborhoods, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural and outdoor activities. UTK is located within easy driving distance to the Great Smoky Mountains, Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville and Cincinnati. It is only a day’s drive to Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The Knoxville region houses many leading corporations, including Bush Brothers & Company, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PetSafe/Radio Systems Corporation, Pilot/Flying J, and Tennessee Valley Authority.  Knoxville is one of the top video producers in the nation.  It is home to Tombras Group advertising, AC Entertainment, Regal Cinemas, HGTV, DIY Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

The College

The College of Communication & Information is comprised of 1280 undergraduate students, 420 graduate students, nearly 80 full-time faculty, and 40 staff.  It boasts four schools: the School of Advertising and Public Relations, the School of Communication Studies, the School of Information Sciences, and the School of Journalism and Electronic Media.  The College offers bachelor’s degrees, an undergraduate honors program, Master of Science degrees, and an interdisciplinary PhD in Communication and Information. The College has a Board of Visitors comprising 43 distinguished individuals who support the College and represent the disciplines and professions ( The College is home to the Center for Information and Communication Studies (, which assists CCI faculty with obtaining and managing external funding for research and teaching projects. These projects are also supported by several labs within the College, including the Scripps Convergence Lab, the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center, the User eXperience Lab, the Message Effects Lab, the Converged Newsroom Lab, and a Public Speaking Center. The College’s School of Information Sciences is ranked in the top 20 in the U.S. News & World Report Graduate rankings and is accredited by the American Library Association. All units are nationally accredited.

The Position

The College is well positioned for a new dean to lead faculty and staff in addressing current national and international issues in the field of communication, raising the level of recognition, and increasing enrollment.  The new dean will lead the College in building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that fosters a sense of the legal and ethical responsibilities of access to information and the exercise of expression in a democratic society. The new dean will work with integrity and shared governance to increase awareness of the important communication and information issues in the contemporary world. The dean will lead the college programming in developing students’ personal skills in communication, critical thinking, research, and evaluation.  The dean will work with current and future community partners to fulfill the university’s new strategic vision developed in 2020.


  • Lead the College in developing a new vision that identifies and adapts to disciplinary changes in the field and in each school;
  • Foster curricular, teaching, and research excellence in all areas of the College;
  • Recruit, retain, develop, and evaluate diverse faculty;
  • Develop and support faculty in solving national issues in the field, mentoring students, and building leadership capacity;
  • Enhance the College’s national and international reputations;
  • Increase external funding through fundraising and grants programs;
  • Develop and nurture strong relationships with relevant academic, public, and business communities;
  • Contribute actively and positively as a member of the Council of Deans and as a senior administrator of the University;
  • Advocate for and enhance the visibility of the College within the university through collaborative partnerships and interdisciplinary programs and projects;
  • Oversee College communications, marketing, and recruitment efforts;
  • Lead each school through accreditation cycles;
  • Skillfully plan, direct, and coordinate the College’s operational, personnel, and budgetary policies and procedures (including the effective management of a $9M dollar budget).


Required Qualifications

  • Earned terminal degree(s) in a relevant field or fields of study;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of academic life and knowledge of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action;
  • Evidence of knowledge of the rapidly evolving field and a sense for what the future holds for communications and information
  • Record of visionary and innovative leadership;
  • Strong record of scholarly or creative achievement, teaching, and professional accomplishments appropriate for appointment as a tenured full professor in the College;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the research university environment;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of the communication and information sciences and the specific disciplines/sub-disciplines represented by the College;
  • Demonstrated understanding of academic and professional training programs;
  • Demonstrated experience in skillful management of personnel and financial resources;
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic planning development and implementation;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and sustain collaborative working relationships with diverse faculty, students, staff, administrators, and external constituencies.

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in planning and executing successful fundraising programs;
  • Demonstrated experience with outreach and distance education programs;
  • Demonstrated experience leading global programs;
  • National and international reputation in the field.

Application Instructions:

Applications should include: (1) a letter of interest addressing the qualifications, (2) a comprehensive curriculum vitae, (3) a statement of leadership philosophy, (4) a diversity statement, and (5) the names and contact information (addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses) of five references.

The position will be open until filled, but to be assured of full consideration, all materials should be received by February 1, 2021.  Confidential inquiries and nominations may be directed to Brooke M. Swart, Executive Recruiter, at [email protected].

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