Position Description

Basic Function and Responsibility:

The dean is the chief academic, executive, and fiscal officer for the College of Engineering and reports to the executive vice president and provost. The dean provides leadership and oversight for the strategic, academic, intellectual, and administrative affairs of the College, and must be a visible and familiar presence within the College and across campus. The dean must have a successful track record of leading multi-faceted units. The dean should be a strong communicator as well as forward-thinking and innovative.

Direct reports to the dean currently include the associate dean for academic programs and the associate dean for graduate programs and research; director of finance and operations, director of human resources, director of marketing and communications, chief technology officer, and an administrative manager. Additionally, there are a number centers and institutes affiliated with the College of Engineering.  

The immediate opportunities and challenges facing the next dean of Engineering include:

  • Implementing the new strategic plan
  • Managing the college under a new fiscal model
  • Maintaining undergraduate student enrollment 
  • Increasing graduate student enrollment
  • Maintaining our successful research programs
  • Attracting, retaining, and graduating a diverse student body
  • Attracting and retaining an excellent faculty
  • Managing payments on the Annex and the balance still due on the internal loan 

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Is the principal external spokesperson for the College, reflecting and enhancing its preeminent national standing, while negotiating and advocating on its behalf and is dedicated to creating a culture of excellence within the College.
  • Maintains collaborations with and builds on established relationships with centers of excellence at the University of Iowa including the Health Sciences and the Performing Arts
  • Articulates and advocates a vision for the future of the College of Engineering in a comprehensive public research institution and for the profession of engineering.
  • Provides educational leadership and vision for academic programs that are innovative, cost effective and consistent with high standards while working to maintain appropriate accreditation of these programs.  Maintains and builds cooperative relations with other colleges to foster combination engineering degrees with other disciplines.
  • Promotes, stimulates and is deeply committed to a research environment conducive to interdisciplinary inquiry that stimulates growth and facilitates translational research into the community and practice environments. Is a strong advocate for the commercialization of basic research ideas and intellectual property into a broad-based economic development approach for the College.
  • Provides strong leadership in recruiting outstanding and diverse faculty, staff, and students and creates diverse and inclusive environment in which they can flourish.  Advances a culture of high ethical standards.
  • Represents the College in its relations with University administration, alumni, advisory boards, and other colleges and external constituencies to effectively advocate for and secure the resources necessary to fulfill the College’s mission.
  • Promotes and maintains dialogue within the College concerning policies, resources and programmatic directions through regular consultation with the academic DEOs and research center heads, staff leaders, Engineering Faculty Council, Engineering Staff Council, Engineering Student Council, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and by chairing the Administrative Council of the College.
  • Promotes the academic quality and welfare for 110 collegiate faculty through the oversight of faculty development and review and through recommendations to the Provost of the University concerning faculty reappointment, promotion and tenure.
  • Executes responsibility for the College’s administrative structure, human resources, and activities.
  • Oversees the College’s relationship with its key public stakeholders, including alumni, donors, and business partners.
  • Oversees and promotes public engagement by the College, including grants, contracts, and strategic partnerships to support the College’s mission.
  • Working with assigned development team from the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, secures private funding to support key initiatives.
  • Establishes and maintains collaborations with professional organizations and engineers throughout the state and nation.
  • Advances the overall reputation and ranking of the College.

The successful candidate will possess the following skills and qualities:


  • Qualifications appropriate for a tenured appointment at the rank of full professor (PhD required) in the College of Engineering;
  • A successful record of excellence in teaching, scholarly achievement, funded research, and service;
  • A record of dynamic, innovative, and visionary academic leadership experience, including significant and progressive administration experiences;
  • Administrative, fiscal, and operations management experience with an astute understanding of university finances and the relationships among academic priorities;
  • A thorough knowledge and understanding of elements required to sustain and expand top-tier extramural research and entrepreneurial initiatives;
  • Demonstrated experience advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • The ability to clearly communicate the College’s vision and mission to a diverse audience of stakeholders.

While no one candidate will likely possess all of them, the successful candidate will also possess many of the following skills and qualities:

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Experience leading an academic unit such as a department or research center.
  • Demonstrated record of productive interaction with representatives of business and industry, community and state leaders, legislators and officials at all governmental levels;
  • Strong record of support for staff and faculty development and a proven track record for leadership in developing and implementing teaching, research, and service activities enhancing the quality of undergraduate and graduate education and research;
  • Strong record of supporting research and experience supporting faculty in obtaining external funding;
  • Experience working with high level donors and development staff to secure private funds in support of strategic objectives;
  • Experience in academic review (e.g. as internal or external member of departmental review committees, referee for granting agencies, external evaluator in promotion/tenure decisions, or member of college-wide or university-wide faculty promotion committee);
  • Demonstrated commitment to faculty and staff shared governance, transparency in management, and data- driven decision-making;
  • Experience with technology transfer and commercialization of academic research;
  • An effective communicator with the ability to attract, develop and retain faculty and staff;
  • Demonstrated ability to serve faculty, staff, and students and other constituencies in a manner that inspires reciprocal respect;
  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting and maintaining a strong culture of collaboration across disciplinary areas;
  • Demonstrated success in collaborating with supervisors and other leaders to successfully represent the interests of a constituency.    
  • Active membership and leadership in professional organizations.