Divisional Dean, School of Social Work

Boise State University
Boise, Idaho
Commensurate with experience

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Faculty Jobs
Professional Fields, Social Work
Executive Administration Jobs
Position Type
Tenured & Tenure-Track
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

Divisional Dean, School of Social Work

Boise State University

Boise State University, powered by creativity and innovation, and uniquely positioned in the Northwest as a metropolitan research university of distinction, seeks a new Divisional Dean to build on the School’s history of success; lead and continue to grow the thriving MSW and BSW programs; develop and expand existing distance and alternative education platforms; and support interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and community-engaged teaching, scholarship, research, and service.

The Position

As the chief academic officer for the School of Social Work, the Divisional Dean provides leadership for the School and exercises responsibility for its academic and administrative operations; including budget, personnel, programs, and physical facilities. Through consultation with the faculty, the Divisional Dean establishes a vision in setting priorities, maintaining academic standards, and strengthening faculty scholarship and research. Areas of responsibility include leadership for graduate and undergraduate programs, outreach, and continuing education; establishment and expansion of research, clinical practice, and educational programs; growth of extramural funding and fundraising; cultivation of alumni relations; and building and sustaining strong relationships with internal and external constituents. Working in partnership across the College and University, the Divisional Dean represents the School within the University, the external community and region, the state, as well as with external agencies and organizations. The Divisional Dean reports directly to the Dean and participates in a shared governance system with faculty, staff, and students.

The Qualifications

The University seeks individuals with a solid record of professional accomplishment; commitment to excellence in research and teaching; administrative, budget, and leadership skills; Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation experience; a high standard of excellence, and strong community engagement skills. Required qualifications include a Ph.D. in Social Work or a closely related field and a Master’s degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the CSWE. Preferred qualifications include proven skills in leadership and a commitment to excellence and innovation with a vision for the future of education in social work; program development and management in face-to-face, online, and distance education; ability to secure external research funding and assist and support faculty and students applying for external research grants and opportunities; experience in developing and maintaining successful community partnerships; success in supporting innovative curriculum, research, and program development; track record of work with doctoral programming (DSW and/or PhD); and capacity to make bold leadership decisions that support growth in spite of the changing climate in higher education.

The School

The School of Social Work prepares graduates in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest for beginning and advanced social work practice. Programs are rigorous and transformative, and faculty provide a comprehensive and hands-on education. Curriculum includes a liberal arts perspective informed by recognition of the critical import to social work education and practice of cultural, political, and socio-historical contexts; skills in communication, reasoning, analysis and critical thinking and inquiry; understanding of human behavior; and scientific method. The department of social work officially became a School in 1994. Originally under the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs, the School was transitioned to the College of Health Sciences in 2014. Today the School has the largest graduate program at the University. The 280 undergraduate students and 470 graduate students (86 face-to-face and 384 online) are served by 16 faculty. In addition to the undergraduate BSW program, the School also offers both the Full-Program MSW and the Advanced Standing MSW options. All social work programs have been reaffirmed for accreditation through February 2026 by the CSWE.

The University

A metropolitan research university with over 19,000 students, Boise State is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Top Up-and-Coming” universities in the West and as one of the “Top 50 for Innovation.” The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized the University as one of the fewer than 100 universities with a community engagement classification. The University offers over 150 academic programs, including 76 Master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs. The 285-acre campus is located near downtown Boise on the south bank of the Boise River and includes more than 170 buildings. Despite the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University broke records for 2021 research and sponsored project awards and expenditures. The University strives to be a “new kind of research university” in which research impacts students at all levels of their education, is fully integrated into how people teach and learn, and helps students become innovative thinkers and leaders. In the face of the significant uncertainty and economic disruptions, University donors increased their support by more than $7.6 million during fiscal year 2021, the result of more than 83,000 gifts from 24,500 individual, corporate, and foundation donors.

The Location

Boise is Idaho’s capital and a city consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best places to live. Each year the city ranks on multiple top 10 lists and has been placed among the best U.S. downtowns, the best city to raise a family, the healthiest, the best place to retire, the best place to be a doctor, and a good spot for yogis and asthmatics. Beautifully situated at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, downtown Boise is the cultural center and home to a variety of shopping and dining experiences. The downtown contains a pedestrian zone with sidewalk cafes and many local restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The city’s attractions include the art deco Boise Art Museum and sculpture garden; the sandstone Idaho State Capitol Building; the classic Egyptian Theatre; the Basque Block, which showcases Boise's Basque heritage; and Zoo Boise on the grounds of Julia Davis Park. Boise offers numerous recreational opportunities, including extensive hiking and biking in the foothills north of downtown. The Boise River runs through the heart of the city and an extensive twenty-five-mile urban trail system called the Boise River Greenbelt runs along the river and features walking, jogging, and biking paths; prime wildlife habitat; and is a common destination for swimming, rafting, kayaking, and fishing.

The Invitation

Boise State University is pleased to partner with the search firm Strategic Search Advantage. To learn more about this opportunity, please view the position profile at https://www.strategicsearchadvantage.com/boisestate-dean-socialwork  

To apply, please submit a complete curriculum vitae, letter of application, and a list of five references (none of whom will be contacted until a later stage of the search and not without candidate permission). The letter should summarize your professional qualifications and the accomplishments that reflect the skills, background, and experience to be successful in this key position. Successful applicants will provide specific examples of past work experience as it relates to the position responsibilities and qualifications. Send your application materials to Gary Rhoads at the email address below. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, November 5, 2021. First consideration will be given to those who apply by this date. The position will remain open until filled.

Nominations for this opportunity are encouraged. If a colleague comes to mind you feel might have an interest, please forward your nomination to Gary via email or contact him by phone.

Applications will only be accepted by email to the address below: 

Gary Rhoads, Search Consultant

Strategic Search Advantage

[email protected]


Boise State University is an equal opportunity employer. The University is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and qualified applicants for employment as provided for by federal, state, and local law. Boise State prohibits, to the extent permitted by applicable law, discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic information, or sexual orientation. As an affirmative action employer, the University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, qualified individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans.


Working at Boise State University

Boise State University has been named one of the most innovative national universities in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Our university is designated a doctoral research institution with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institution of Higher Education. We are home to more than 25,000 students from every state and more than 60 foreign countries.

Points of Pride:

Boise State University’s College of Education is among the top 30 public universities on the U.S. News and World Report 2020 best graduate schools list. The college has climbed in rankings every year for the last six years and offers two doctoral programs, two educational specialist degrees, 14 master’s degrees and 13 graduate certificate programs training Idaho’s future teachers and educational leaders.


Boise State’s College of Business and Economics ranked 127 out of 220 national institutions for its part-time MBA program, jumping more than 40 rankings from its previous year’s ranking of 168.


Boise State University’s College of Engineering has been recognized for its dedication to promoting diversity and awarded the Bronze Award for the 2019 ASEE Diversity Recognition Program by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The


Bronze Award is the highest level that was conferred during 2019 and distinguishes colleges who are among the nation’s leaders in inclusive excellence.


Boise State University School of the Arts will offer two new degrees in creative writing — a bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts — as well as a bachelor of fine arts in narrative arts beginning in fall 2018. Students at Boise State also now will be able to minor in creative writing.


Boise State students can choose from more than 200 areas of study in seven academic colleges – including the nation’s only master’s degree in raptor biology.


We’ve become Idaho’s largest graduate school through record-setting growth. A recent study showed that Boise State is one of just three universities in the nation that have ranked in the top 5 percent of graduate school growth in both of the past two decades.


Expenditures for research projects at Boise State University reached an all-time high of more than $41 million in fiscal year 2018 – an 18 percent increase over the previous year and impressive 64 percent increase since fiscal year 2014, according to data tracked by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development survey.

About Our Community:

Boise State, Idaho’s largest public university, drove $667.2 million of the state’s economy in fiscal year 2015 and created 6,987 jobs across the state.  Our campus is located in one of the fastest growing high-tech cities in the nation and home to several corporate headquarters, state and federal offices, medical centers and media outlets. The city has garnered national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Inc. for being a great place to live, work and study, and has been dubbed one of the hottest cities for entrepreneurs. With stats like these, it’s easy to see why more than 46,000 graduates have chosen to live in the Treasure Valley after earning their degree from Boise State.

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