Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois

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Executive Administration Jobs
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Illinois State University seeks an academic leader committed to the mission, vision, and values outlined in the University’s strategic plan to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The dean is the chief academic and executive officer of the college, providing vision and leadership in teaching, research, and service in the context of shared governance. The dean leads the development and implementation of the college’s strategic future and reports to the provost, who also serves as vice president for academic affairs.

The dean has overall responsibilities for developing an effective collegial environment that supports excellence in teaching, research, and service that advances the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics; facilitating collaboration between faculty members and among programs within the college and university; and coordinating the college’s efforts with schools, corporations, other universities and communities, and state, federal, and international agencies. The dean will provide leadership and support efforts to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in Illinois State’s culture, environment, programs, policies, and personnel. The dean must be committed to promoting the value of a liberal arts and sciences education; engaging in student success initiatives aimed at the recruitment and retention of a diverse student population; pursuing continued excellence in undergraduate and graduate education; supporting faculty scholarship and research activities, including extramural funding; creatively supporting interdisciplinary collaboration; and promoting outreach and public service efforts with the local community and beyond. The dean will engage college faculty, staff, and students in developing a shared plan for the future of the college and its role in the broader mission of the University.

The College of Arts and Sciences is seeking a dean who will provide leadership to 16 departments and schools, 16 interdisciplinary programs, three centers, a publication unit, an NPR public radio station, a student radio station, TV station, and newspaper, and a clinic for speech and hearing.  The dean reports to the vice president for academic affairs & provost and has supervisory authority for three associate deans, an assistant dean, 13 department chairs, three school directors, three program directors, and additional support staff. The dean is expected to work collaboratively and collegially with six other academic deans as well as administrators from all four divisions of the University. 

The college is a comprehensive and complex organization that prepares students with a liberal education in addition to attainment of career-oriented skills. Graduates with a liberal education acquire knowledge and skills in critical thinking, oral and written communication, analytic methods, the ability to work in diverse teams, and problem solving through reasoning. The college offers the core of the general education program required of all undergraduates and a wide range of academic major and minor programs for meeting baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degree requirements. Graduates from the arts and sciences pursue a variety of careers and are adaptable to changing circumstances.

Please view the full leadership profile at for a detailed description of Illinois State University, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the dean opportunity. 

Required Qualifications

  1. Earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree in a discipline represented in the college. 
  2. Nationally recognized accomplishment as a scholar and teacher commensurate with appointment as a tenured Professor. 
  3. Experience with and understanding of the scholarly, teaching, and service responsibilities of a College of Arts and Sciences faculty member at a major university. 
  4. A record of successful administrative leadership in large and complex academic organizations. 
  5. A record of accomplishment as a manager of people and resources in support of high-quality graduate and undergraduate instruction; research and creative activity; public engagement; and outreach activities. 
  6. Experience in strategic plan development and implementation. 
  7. Demonstrated commitment with proven results for equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. 
  8. Demonstrated ability to work with other deans, administrators, and diverse stakeholders in developing goals and programs. 

Desired Qualifications

  1. Demonstrated administrative experience at the chair's level or beyond, including budget and personnel experience, especially with recruitment and retention of diverse faculty. 
  2. Innovative leader and strategic thinker. 
  3. Experience working with external agencies, such as foundations and legislatures. 
  4. Demonstrated skills in fund raising, ability to articulate the college mission to external communities, including alumni and potential donors. 
  5. Exceptional communicator, with the ability to bring individuals and groups with diverse perspectives to consensus and common action. 
  6. Able to work in a collegial fashion with the faculty, staff, and community members and to be an effective advocate for the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics within the context of the University's mission. 

Procedure for Candidacy:

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited.  To assure full consideration, an application along with a resume/curriculum vita and letter of application must be submitted online at Initial review of applications will begin on November 15, 2021.

Nominations and inquiries should be directed to:

Lisa Mason

Director of Executive Search Services at Illinois State University

[email protected] or 309-438-7487

Illinois State University:

Illinois State University, founded in 1857, is the oldest public university in Illinois. Illinois State is a co-educational, residential university committed to fostering a small-college atmosphere with large-university opportunities and promoting the highest academic standards in teaching, scholarship, and community service. Serving more than 20,000 students, our six colleges offer 178 undergraduate majors, 77 minors, 102 master’s programs, 18 doctoral degrees, and 42 certificate options. We have repeatedly been named a “Great Place to Work” by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Illinois State University is committed to and accountable for advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our mission.

Bloomington-Normal Community:

Illinois State University is located in the growing twin cities of Bloomington and Normal, with a population of approximately 132,000 and conveniently located approximately two hours from both Chicago and St. Louis. The community is home to GROWMARK, Illinois Farm Bureau, State Farm Insurance International Headquarters, Rivian, Illinois Wesleyan University, Lincoln College, and Heartland Community College. The community has distinguished itself for its outstanding school systems and educational attainment, parks and recreation, health care, job growth, economic opportunity, and low crime. Please visit the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website at and Bloomington-Normal Advantage as for more information.

Illinois State University, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding affirmative action, nondiscrimination, and anti-harassment. Illinois State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, order of protection, gender identity and expression, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, unfavorable military discharge, or status as a veteran in employment, educational programs and activities, or admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed by contacting the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access by email at [email protected], by calling (309) 438-3383, or by mail at Illinois State University, Campus Box 1280, Normal, IL 61790.



Founded in 1857, Illinois State University was the first public university in the state and is one of the Midwest’s oldest institutions of higher education. It is a coeducational, residential university. Its 34 academic departments in six colleges offer 77 undergraduate programs in more than 160 fields of study. The Graduate School coordinates 41 master’s, nine specialist, and ten doctoral programs.

The 1,110 acre campus includes more than 60 major buildings with state-of-the-art technology, and Watterson Towers is one of the most unique structures, as this residence hall is the tallest building between Chicago and St. Louis. Other major facilities include a Center for the Performing Arts, a 360-acre farm, Bone Student Center and Braden Auditorium, a University Planetarium, Redbird Arena, and Hancock Stadium. From meeting facilities to cultural opportunities through the arts, and excitement of numerous sporting events each year, ISU is a vital part of the Bloomington-Normal community.


Illinois State University, a first-choice public university, will be increasingly recognized as a national leader for educating high-achieving, motivated students who seek an individualized and transformative experience at an institution that:

  • Offers premier undergraduate and graduate programs that integrate traditional knowledge and methods with emerging ideas and innovations
  • Generates knowledge through high-quality research, scholarship, and creative activities
  • Supports student learning and development inside and outside of the classroom
  • Serves the region, state, nation, and world through its commitments to responsible stewardship, meaningful civic engagement, cultural enrichment, and the development of global citizens


We at Illinois State University work as a diverse community of scholars with a commitment to fostering a small-college atmosphere with large-university opportunities. We promote the highest academic standards in our teaching, scholarship, public service and the connections we build among them. We devote all of our resources and energies to creating the most supportive and productive community possible to serve the citizens of Illinois and beyond.


Pursuit of Learning and Scholarship

Illinois State University works with students as partners in their educational development inside and outside of the classroom so that students come to appreciate learning as an active and lifelong process. The University contributes new knowledge through research, scholarship, and creative activities in which all students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate. Faculty members embrace a balanced teacher–scholar model that values their contributions as teachers (facilitators of learning) and scholars (creators and discoverers of knowledge and information). 

Individualized Attention

Illinois State University provides a supportive environment that places all learners at the center of teaching and scholarship. Innovative curricular and cocurricular programs, strong student-faculty-staff connections, and superior student services focus on each student as an individual. The University fosters academic and personal growth, recognizes unique educational aspirations, and acknowledges that each faculty and staff member is integral to student success.


Illinois State University affirms and encourages community and a respect for differences by fostering an inclusive environment characterized by cultural understanding, ethical behavior, and social justice. The University supports a diverse faculty and staff who mentor a diverse student population. The University endeavors to provide opportunities for all students, staff, and faculty to participate in a global society.


Illinois State University promotes an environment defined by the highest ethical standards. Leadership of the University is characterized by stability, adherence to shared values, collaborative decision making, and accountable stewardship of all university resources. Members of the University community work collaboratively through shared governance to ensure the success of the University and are dedicated to making ongoing improvements, always enhancing their contribution to Illinois State University and building on prior accomplishments. Teaching and learning, including research and creative activities, are conducted at the highest level of academic quality and integrity.

Civic Engagement

Illinois State University prepares students to be informed and engaged global citizens who will promote and further the goals of society. The University promotes active learning experiences through which students will gain an awareness and understanding of civic engagement as a lifelong responsibility. The University partners with business, industry, government, and educational entities providing leadership in local, statewide, national, and international initiatives; expanding service and outreach; and enhancing financial support for instructional, scholarly, and service activities.

Illinois State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer​.

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