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Dean, School of Communication

Organization: Northwestern University
Date Posted: 1/8/2020
City: Evanston
Location: Illinois
Country: United States
Primary Category: All UFVA Job Listings

Description & Details

Northwestern University invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of dean of the School of Communication (SoC).

The SoC's 170 faculty members, more than 1,200 undergraduates and 700 master's and doctoral students form a vibrant community that advances the arts, sciences, and practices of human communication through every appropriate means, and especially through education, scholarship, artistic work/performance, policy analysis, and advocacy. In pursuit of this mission, the school has developed innovative curricula for undergraduate, professional, and doctoral programs in each of its five departments (communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, radio-television-film, performance studies, and theatre); it also offers pre-college and continuing education programs in selected areas. The school's research programs provide comprehensive and interdisciplinary study of human communication and expression, from speech and hearing sciences through social scientific and humanistic studies of media to the arts of performance and storytelling. Through its clinics, theaters, centers, and co-curricular offerings, the school carries out an effective program of translational activities designed to reshape the capabilities and practices of individual communicators and the communities in which they work and live. The school offers six majors in its five departments and a robust range of graduate programs consistently ranked highly, nationally and internationally. The SoC has an annual budget of approximately $51 million, including endowment income of nearly $5 million, and attracts nearly $10 million in annual research support.

The university seeks a new dean to provide visionary leadership to advance the school and to marshal the resources necessary to support its ambitions. Reporting to the provost, the dean is the chief executive and academic officer of the school, collaborating with faculty in overseeing all programs and policies; fostering a cohesive scholarly and creative community that values strong connections between research, practice and performance; generating a passion among students and faculty for the school's mission; stewarding the school's financial, capital and human resources; and playing a leadership role in fundraising and external relations. Ideal candidates will be leaders whose active and distinguished professional records include a compelling combination of teaching, research, practice, or performance within the fields of study that address human communication; who bring vision, a record of improving diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to building community; and who have strong academic leadership and management experience.

The school seeks in its next dean an outstanding leader who is committed to fostering excellence, creativity, collaboration, and common purpose; will maintain the school’s investment and abiding interest in its students; has an eagerness to listen to and learn from others and actively supports shared governance; will build on the school’s record of advancing institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion; and has the capacity and enthusiasm to generate new resources.

Northwestern is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students in a diverse academic community. Its main campus is based in Evanston, Illinois, on the shore of Lake Michigan, with additional campuses located in downtown Chicago and Doha, Qatar. It has approximately 21,000 students enrolled in its twelve schools and colleges, 8,200 of whom are undergraduates, and more than 3,700 full time faculty members. For fiscal year 2018, Northwestern reported operating revenues of approximately $2.5 billion and an endowment of almost $8.5 billion. In 2019, the university attracted nearly $800 million in sponsored research.

Candidate materials should include a letter of interest that reflects the themes in the leadership profile available at and a CV. Northwestern University has engaged WittKieffer to assist with this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made. Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed to the search consultants, Robin Mamlet and Elizabeth Bohan, at

Northwestern University values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.

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