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About the Position

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) seeks applications and nominations for Dean of the College of Natural Sciences. A member of the prestigious Association for American Universities (AAU) and one of the nation’s premier centers for academic excellence, more than 40 of the University’s programs are ranked among the top ten in the country. The Dean of the College of Natural Sciences will play an essential leadership role in advancing the mission, operations and service of the largest college at the University, with 10,400 undergraduates, more than 1,100 graduate students, and over 700 tenured, tenure-track and instructional faculty.

The College of Natural Sciences (CNS) is composed of 12 independent departments: astronomy; chemistry; computer science; human development and family sciences; integrative biology; marine science; mathematics; molecular biosciences; neuroscience; nutritional sciences; physics; and statistics and data sciences, and the School of Human Ecology. Centers for research and education stretch across Texas and include the McDonald Observatory in West Texas, the Marine Science Institute on the Gulf Coast, and the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in Austin. U.S. News and World Report ranks 12 of the College’s programs among the top ten in the country. The annual operating budget is $258 million, and the College boasts more than $100 million in extramural funding each year. With an endowment of $389 million, CNS has 60 endowed chairs, 72 endowed professorships, and a number of excellence funds to support designated faculty research programs.

Reporting directly to Executive Vice President and Provost Maurie McInnis, the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences is the chief academic and administrative leader for the College and serves as an essential member of the University’s leadership team. The Dean is responsible for advancing the mission, operations, and service of the College, through strategic decisions regarding personnel, general administration and management, budget, academic programs, and development functions. S/he will guide a robust scholarship and research agenda and promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, including the development of collaborative academic programs.

Among the key priorities for the CNS Dean are to:

  • Provide bold vision and leadership for CNS;
  • Recruit and retain the best faculty, enhance their career development, and empower them to participate in governance;
  • Enhance and foster the cultural and ethnic diversity of the faculty, staff, and students;
  • Support the College’s research and scholarship;
  • Establish strong consultative and collaborative relations with department chairs and with faculty;
  • Develop interdisciplinary initiatives with other colleges and schools within the University;
  • Enhance the financial resources of the College through developmental activities;
  • Build external partnerships with industry and philanthropic foundations;
  • Promote collaboration and strategic research partnerships; and
  • Address the capital needs of the College and physical maintenance of the College.

Leadership: An established record of effective, strong, and collaborative leadership. Demonstrated administrative 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. Ability to recruit outstanding new faculty as well as retain the College’s strongest faculty, with specific experience engaging with, recruiting, and retaining faculty of color and diverse backgrounds. Familiarity with appointment, promotion, and tenure procedures. Ability to motivate and inspire others to strive continuously for academic excellence. Strong interdisciplinary outlook.

Academic Background: Outstanding academic credentials, including a strong record of success in funded research, and a passion for academic excellence. Scholarly accomplishments in one of the disciplines represented by or related to the College, as well as recognition by professional societies and/or associations at a national level. Credentials for appointment at Full Professor level, including Ph.D. or recognized equivalent.

Focus on Students: Genuine understanding of the 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 towards students from underrepresented groups.

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

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, with a focus on openness and transparency. Innovative and entrepreneurial, with a willingness to take risks. Ability to foster a collegial and respectful work and educational environment.

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