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Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Tarleton State University
Stephenville, Texas (US)

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Executive Administration Jobs
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


Tarleton State University seeks an experienced educator, researcher, and administrator to serve as Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.

The Dean serves as the academic officer responsible for executive management of the college and its full range of programs and initiatives; exercises leadership responsibility in advising the college regarding administrative, curriculum and budgetary matters; and provides a vision that contributes to achieving the goals of the institutional strategic plan: Tarleton Forward 2030. The ideal candidate will be a person who can articulate the importance of the collective disciplines of the college to outside stakeholders, and thinks creatively and energetically about the challenges of the changing demographics in higher education. The position reports to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Institutional Profile

Tarleton State University is an energetic, comprehensive Carnegie R2 Doctoral University: High Research Activity, with the elective Community Engagement classification, and a new member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The Wall Street Journal’s latest rankings have Tarleton State fifth among U.S. schools highly recommended by their students and recent alumni.

Fall 2023 brought another all-time-high enrollment, outpacing many institutions nationwide. A total of over 14,500 students is up over 10% from 2019, making Tarleton the fifth fastest growing university in Texas.

The university offers 84 bachelor’s, 39 master’s, and three doctoral degree options, with 10 additional research and health professional doctorates proposed for 2024–2028. For their majors, students choose from seven academic colleges — Agriculture and Natural Sciences; Business; Education; Health Sciences; Liberal and Fine Arts; Science and Mathematics; and the Mayfield College of Engineering.

Tarleton State University is a proud member of The Texas A&M University System, and serves students on the main campus in Stephenville, its growing Fort Worth campus, in Waco, and on the A&M-RELLIS campus in Bryan. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state, and national needs.

Joining NCAA Division I in July 2020 as the ninth full-time member of the Western Athletic Conference increases national recognition for student-athletes and academic programs, positioning Tarleton State as a frontrunner for anyone seeking a university education. Among numerous milestones, its storied rodeo program boasts eight national team titles and 29 individual CNFR (College National Finals Rodeo) champs, making it a top pick for many cowgirls and cowboys.

Tarleton Student Body

Over 50% of Tarleton State students are first generation with no family tradition of seeking a post-secondary degree. Others are legacy students following their parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents as proud defenders of the purple and white. Some graduate from the only high school in their rural county, and some transfer from large urban community college districts.

Tarleton State students are a diverse group (almost 40 percent report an ethnicity other than white) from all parts of Texas, 48 states and 47 countries. Over 80% receive some form of financial assistance, and 37% are Pell Grant eligible. They love the university — its people, its traditions, its commitment to student triumphs in and out of the classroom.

The university is fast approaching status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution with almost 23 percent of its student body identifying as Hispanic in fall 2023.

The Class of 2027 is over 2,700 students and represents the largest, and most well-prepared group of incoming students in the university’s 124 years — proof that Tarleton State is quickly becoming one of the nation’s premier comprehensive public universities.

Financial Stability

  • Tarleton State’s comprehensive operating budget for fiscal 2022 was $276 million, giving the university sound financial footing.
  • The university’s largest-ever comprehensive capital campaign recently met its $125 million target 18 months ahead of schedule. These campaign dollars will strengthen student success, enhance the academic experience, elevate Tarleton State’s institutional profile, and fortify the school’s infrastructure.
  • Tarleton State saw the second-highest percentage growth in funding in the A&M System (only behind A&M-College Station) as part of a record $1.19 billion appropriated to the System by the 88th Legislature. The university also received a $5 million exceptional item, reflecting its contributions to research and innovation in rural healthcare.
  • Tarleton State annually generates an estimated $1.2 billion for North Central Texas and $2 billion in added income for the state.


College of Liberal and Fine Arts

The College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA) is dedicated to providing an academically challenging education through exemplary teaching, significant research and inspired creativity. Home to 298 faculty and 26 staff who serve over 1,500 undergraduate majors and over 250 graduate students, the college manages a budget of almost $10 million and consists of the School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Public Administration, which houses the departments of Criminal Justice and Public Administration, and six additional academic departments: Communication Studies; English and Languages; Government, Legal Studies, and Philosophy; History, Geography and GIS; Performing Arts; and Visual Arts and Design. The college offers 22 baccalaureate and five master’s degrees, as well as the PhD degree in criminal justice, and plans to seek system and state approval for a new PhD program in Public & Applied Humanities.


COLFA Points of Pride

Named for a distinguished Tarleton alumnus and chairman of the Texas A&M Board of Regents, the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center opened in 1980, and is considered a crown jewel of Tarleton State’s Stephenville campus. The facility features a theater, an auditorium, two workshop theaters, band and choir rehearsal halls, music and art design labs, and an art gallery.

Criminal Justice Research: The college is home to four dedicated research institutes that are nationally recognized for specialized work that is addressing challenges and issues in the criminal justice system: The Institute for Criminal Justice Leadership and Public Policy; the Institute for Homeland Security, Cybercrime, and International Criminal Justice Studies; Institute for Predictive and Analytical Policing Science; and the Institute for Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking.

The Texas Folklore Society is the second oldest folklore organization continually functioning in the United States, after the American Folklore Society founded in 1888. Chartered in 1909, The Texas Folklore Society held its first meeting at the University of Texas in 1911. The society has stimulated the recording and study of Texas’ rich folk culture, has attracted both laymen and scholars, and has distributed its publications throughout the world.


Responsibilities of the Dean

  • Vision and Planning: create a vision and strategic plan for the college that aligns with the institutional goals and strategic plan.
  • Fiduciary Decisions: manage the budget and other resources.
  • College Administration: appoint department heads and college administrators, and conduct performance reviews in concert with the Provost.
  • Personnel: oversee hiring; establish job titles and salaries; make decisions and review procedures regarding renewal, tenure, promotion, and dismissal; authorize faculty leave; review faculty annual evaluations; promote departmental mentoring and development opportunities; and support professional development of faculty and staff.
  • Educational Leadership: provide leadership and vision for new and continuing academic programs, considering innovation, cost effectiveness, market demand, fidelity to standards and accreditation; establish and maintain high academic standards; ensure effective student quality, recruitment and retention.
  • Development: contribute to development and fulfillment of fundraising priorities; participate in comprehensive capital campaign initiatives.
  • College Governance: create ad hoc committees of the collegiate faculty; hear faculty grievances; promote academic freedom and responsibility; ensure that the college provides an inclusive, opportunity- and perspective-rich environment; promote and support collaborative governance.
  • Communities of Connection and Belonging: foster appreciation for intercultural experiences, commitment to systemic accessibility, and the elimination of barriers that impact success for all students, faculty and staff.
  • Outreach: participate in various councils, commissions, and committees as set forth in university policy; represent the college within state and national boards and organizations, and other appropriate groups; effectively demonstrate a commitment to Tarleton State University core values and engage the college in the campus, state and national communities.


Required Qualifications and Credentials

  • Possess an earned terminal degree from an accredited institution that is aligned with one of the disciplines of the college.
  • Have a distinguished record of teaching, scholarship, and leadership that warrants a tenured faculty appointment at the rank of Full Professor.
  • Have a three-to-five-year track record of successful administrative leadership experience in higher education as a dean, associate dean, center or institute leader, department head or chair, or comparable position with responsibilities that have included budgets, strategic planning, personnel management, performance reviews, and promotion and tenure decisions. 


Preferred Qualifications

  • Emphasized commitment to student success demonstrated through impactful and transformative educational opportunities;
  • Experience in launching and sustaining masters and doctoral programs;
  • Accomplishments in building institutional capacity for research and creative scholarship.


Procedures for Applying

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include the following components, as separate .pdf documents:

  • A detailed letter of interest addressing the responsibilities and qualifications outlined above;
  • A full curriculum vitae with relevant administrative and scholarly accomplishments and responsibilities;
  • A list of five professional references, including names, titles, organizations, phone numbers, and email addresses, noting the candidate’s relationship with each reference. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates.

Application packets only accepted online at :

Apply directly to posting: Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts

The search will be conducted with a commitment to maintaining confidentiality for candidates until finalists are selected. Finalists will participate in on-campus interviews that may include a public presentation. A background check (including identity, degree verification, and criminal records scan) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered this position.

Candidate materials received by January 15, 2024, will be given full consideration, although applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Tarleton State University provides equal opportunity to all employees, students, applicants for employment, and the public regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, genetic information or veteran status.

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