Oakland University — Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Oakland University cultivates the full potential of a diverse and inclusive community. As a public doctoral institution, we impact Michigan and the world through education, research, scholarship and creative activity. – Mission of Oakland University

Oakland University (OU), a public doctoral research institution in southeastern Michigan, seeks a dynamic, collaborative, and innovative leader to serve as its next Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). The CAS is the largest academic unit at OU and is home to many vibrant undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as faculty with an exceptional record of research, scholarship, community engagement and dedication to student success. The new Dean will guide the CAS through a rapidly changing higher education landscape while championing the value of a liberal arts education. Committed to the breadth of academic strengths that the CAS affords, the Dean will be a determined and visible advocate for the CAS and promote initiatives to further the University’s excellence in teaching, research, and service. Reporting to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Dean is responsible for overarching leadership and operational accountability for all academic activities and departments in the College. Oakland’s recent recognition by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions in Higher Education as an R2 doctoral institution will be a driver in the CAS and the entire academic community in enhancing current research and embarking on new research endeavors with a dedicated faculty and staff that is fiercely passionate about engaged learning, academic discovery, community engagement, and diversity. Oakland’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been comprehensive and university leadership responded quickly to preserve the safety and health of its students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. The next Dean will join the university at a time when strategic and creative leadership is required to reimagine higher education at Oakland University throughout the course of the pandemic and beyond.   

Founded as Michigan State University-Oakland in 1957 following the unique donation of the vast Matilda and Alfred Wilson estate to support higher education, Oakland University has grown into a student-centered research institution with a global perspective. Operating independently since 1970, the University serves a diverse student population and the institution is woven deeply into its surrounding community. Over its history, the University has grown to accommodate more than 19,000 students, over 600 full-time and 200 bargaining unit part-time faculty and offers more than 140 bachelor’s degree programs and 130 doctoral, master’s degree and certificate programs. In addition to the main campus, OU delivers courses at the Anton Frankel Center and the Macomb University Center. With a strong foundation in the liberal arts, as well as a robust cadre of professional schools including the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, OU is poised to build upon its bold and remarkable past as it charts an exciting and even more powerful future. As outlined in the university’s 2025 Strategic Plan, efforts are underway to enhance student success, grow research and scholarly activity, advance diversity, equity and inclusion, and expand the institution’s visibility both in the region and nationally. To serve the mission of OU, the CAS is home to over 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students with 100 majors within 18 departments, including the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, teaching over two-thirds of the academic classes on campus. In alignment with the Mission of Oakland University, the breadth of research in the College of Arts and Sciences is reflected in terms such as research, scholarship, and creative activity. The college is comprised of 320 full time faculty, 180 special lecturers and 217 lecturers.

This is an outstanding role for a strategic, proactive, and entrepreneurial academic leader to grow and further develop the largest academic unit at Oakland University. With a proven track record in academic excellence in research, diverse faculty and student recruitment and retention, and community engagement, the next Dean will set the tone and vision for the CAS as the college moves forward with the strategic enrollment management and university strategic plans. The next Dean will have demonstrated success and willingness in engaging community partners, alumni, and corporate relationships to further the mission via philanthropic support.  

Oakland University has retained the services of Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in conducting this search. Please direct all inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications in strict confidence to:

Pam Pezzoli, Partner
Robin Dougherty, Senior Associate
Isaacson, Miller

Electronic submission of materials is strongly preferred.