The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin

Dean Search

The University of Texas at Austin seeks a Dean for its College of Liberal Arts. Candidates for the Deanship should be able to articulate the importance of the liberal arts to the future of a major public university and be committed to developing the excellence of its faculty, recruiting and supporting promising students, and promoting the diversity of the College. They should possess experience in academic administration and have demonstrated scholarly excellence. They must have outstanding skills in raising funds externally, securing internal funding, and interacting with alumni and other supporters of the College.

The College comprises disciplines in the humanities, languages, and social sciences and is the second largest at the University. With an annual operating budget of $157 million, it enrolls more than 9,500 undergraduate and 1,100 graduate students. Its faculty of over 500 members offers 37 undergraduate and 36 graduate programs through 44 departments and other administrative units. External research funding supports over $20 million in annual expenditures. The College boasts $372 million in endowments, including 170 endowed chairs and professorships.

Reporting directly to Executive Vice President and Provost Maurie McInnis, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts is the chief academic and administrative leader for the College and serves as an essential member of the University's leadership team. The Dean will set the strategic direction for the College, with the responsibility for advancing the mission and operations of the College through judicious personnel decisions, general administration and management, creative budgeting, academic program support, and fundraising. The Dean will guide a robust scholarship and research agenda and promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, including the development of collaborative academic programs.

The College of Liberal Arts (CoLA) consists of 25 independent departments: African and African Diaspora Studies; Air Force Science; American Studies; Anthropology; Asian Studies; Classics; Economics; English; French and Italian; Geography and the Environment; Germanic Studies; Government; History; Linguistics; Mexican American and Latinx Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; Military Science; Naval Science; Philosophy; Psychology; Religious Studies; Rhetoric and Writing; Slavic and Eurasian Studies; Sociology; and Spanish and Portuguese.

In addition, there are more than 20 centers and institutes in CoLA, including: Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies; Center for Asian American Studies; Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies; Center for East Asian Studies; Center for European Studies; Center for Mexican American Studies; Center for Middle Eastern Studies; Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning; Center for Perceptual Systems; Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies; Center for Women's and Gender Studies; Imaging Research Center; John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies; Linguistics Research Center; Population Research Center; Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies; Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies; Texas Language Center; Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas; and the University Writing Center.

Key priorities for the CoLA Dean will be to:

  • Define the role of a liberal arts education and articulate the importance of the humanities and social sciences;
  • Recruit and retain the best faculty, supervise the promotion and tenure process;
  • Increase graduate student support;
  • Build relationships, within CoLA and across campus;
  • Establish strong consultative and collaborative relations with department chairs and with faculty;
  • Increase faculty participation in shared governance;
  • Foster the cultural and ethnic diversity of the faculty, staff, and students;
  • Pursue opportunities for global programming;
  • Support faculty research and scholarship;
  • Sustain and enhance interdisciplinary initiatives with other colleges and schools within the University;
  • Enhance the financial resources of the College through developmental activities;
  • Build external partnerships with philanthropic foundations; and
  • Provide wise leadership for the College.

Characteristics of the successful candidate will include:

Leadership: An established record of effective, strong, and collaborative leadership. Demonstrated administrative and budgeting experience. A history of developing and promoting shared governance between faculty and administration. The capacity to formulate and articulate a shared vision, to persuade a wide range of audiences of its value, and to engage others in its implementation. The ability to recruit outstanding new faculty as well as retain the College's strongest faculty. Experience engaging with, recruiting, and retaining faculty of color and those from diverse backgrounds. Familiarity with appointment, promotion, and tenure procedures. Ability to motivate and inspire others to strive continuously for academic excellence. Appreciation for the widely different departments within CoLA.

Academic Background: Outstanding academic credentials and a passion for academic excellence. Scholarly accomplishments and national recognition in one of the disciplines represented by or related to the College. Credentials for appointment at Full Professor level, including Ph.D. or recognized equivalent.

Focus on Students: Genuine investment in the College's teaching mission and the importance of providing undergraduate and graduate students with the highest-quality educational experience. Must understand and value the importance of a diverse student body and mechanisms for retention and support of all students, with an emphasis on students from underrepresented groups.

Fundraising: Commitment to increasing philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and the government.

Financial Management Experience: Record of operational leadership and fiscal management demonstrating excellence, growth, and financial effectiveness.

Personal Qualities: Personal and academic integrity. Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, emotional intelligence, intellectual curiosity, courage, and a capacity for openness and transparency. Ability to foster a collegial and respectful work and educational environment.

Two professors in the Visualization Lab examine the illustrations of Robert Hooke on one of the world's highest resolution tiled-displays.
Two professors in the Visualization Lab examine the illustrations of Robert Hooke on one of the world's highest resolution tiled-displays.