University of California, Merced — Dean of the School of Engineering

Anticipated start: July 1, 2022
Next review date: Thursday, Apr 7, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: Friday, Aug 5, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

The University of California, Merced (UC Merced) invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the School of Engineering (SOE). This senior administrative position reports to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.

UC Merced
Located in the San Joaquin Valley, UC Merced was founded in 2005 as the tenth and newest campus within the University of California system. UC Merced is a public land-grant research university, established purposefully to uplift educational, health, societal, environmental, and economic outcomes, and to build civic capacity within its region. Drawing from the community and cultural wealth of its diverse, predominantly first-generation students, UC Merced promotes excellence through equity and justice, and honors a broad representation of backgrounds on the campus. Within a short time, UC Merced has become a top-100 institution and an R2 research enterprise. Recently, UC Merced doubled the size of the physical campus with the nation’s largest higher education public-private partnership. Further, the campus has substantially increased research grants awards, enrolled successive record first-year classes, and achieved record philanthropic support, including the university’s largest gift this past year. The Schools of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts support 8321 undergraduate and 772 graduate students.

School of Engineering (SOE)
The SOE currently offers six undergraduate and seven graduate degree programs through its six departments: Bioengineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Management of Complex Systems, Materials Science & Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Since the campus opened, the SOE has enjoyed continuous growth in the size of its faculty and its undergraduate and graduate enrollments. Entering Fall 2021, the SOE had 80 tenured and tenure-track faculty; 2,324 undergraduate students and 262 graduate students (228 Ph.D.) and $18.6M in externally funded research awards.

Position Overview
The Dean of School of Engineering (SOE) will report to the Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost and is the chief officer of the School, serving as its executive head, representative, and administrator. The Dean will provide intellectual and academic leadership for the instructional and research missions of the SOE, overseeing the School’s faculty and staff through a period of great growth. The successful candidate will engage the faculty and staff in this endeavor and provide leadership for the department and program chairs within the School. The Dean will oversee the hiring, promotion, and retention of faculty and staff, guide development and oversight of undergraduate and graduate curricula and degree programs, oversee School resources, and work with campus administration and the Academic Senate on campus-wide decisions and policy. Because of UC Merced’s size and the highly interdisciplinary nature of the university, a close working relationship among Deans is also crucial, as it is with other senior leadership on campus.


Lead the vision and strategy for the School
The next Dean of SOE will provide critical leadership in guiding the School towards its vision and goals. The individual will embody the spirit of vibrancy, collaboration, and sustainability that is embedded within UC Merced’s Strategic Plan as it strives to become a top-tier (R1) research university. Working with stakeholders, the Dean will work with the faculty and staff to understand the nature of the School, what it does well, and what can be improved. The Dean will invest in the future of the School in thoughtful and impactful ways that bring faculty together and enhance the academic future of SOE.

Recruit, retain, and support talented faculty
Considering the growth aspirations of UC Merced and SOE, the campus anticipates significant faculty hires in the coming years. Successful attraction and selection of high caliber faculty will be essential to enhance the future quality and reputation of the School. In addition to hiring outstanding new faculty, the Dean will work to promote structures and programs that continue to aid, develop, and support existing faculty in their pursuit of excellence in scholarship and instruction. Along with supporting individual achievement, the Dean will strive to establish a culture of inclusive excellence and promote both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research across the campus.

The Dean will be attentive to diversity as part of all work related to recruiting, retaining, and supporting faculty and staff, and promote the culture of inclusivity and the commitment to diversity that is critical to the fabric of UC Merced.

Enhance the academic profile and scholarly impact of the School
The Dean will lead the growth of the School’s research portfolio and support faculty engagement in research and scholarly activity. In close collaboration with faculty, they will further expand existing research programs and identify new opportunities for scholarly research.

Manage the academic enterprise
As UC Merced and SOE grow, the Dean will be responsible for tuning the School’s administrative infrastructure to support its ongoing growth and success. The Dean will work with the faculty and staff to position them for success in this changing environment.

Advocate for SOE as a unit, both internally and externally
As the leader of the SOE community, the Dean will be a compelling spokesperson for the School. They will build relationships and bridges at UC Merced through working collaboratively with other Deans and administrators. At the university level, the Dean will advocate for investment in infrastructure that will amplify the School’s research and educational missions. The Dean will work with the Office of External Relations to promote SOE externally by creating and maintaining relationships in the region and globally. This advocacy will raise the profile and prestige of the School, and lead to broadened partnerships for scholarship, learning, and financial resources.

Grow the student body thoughtfully and effectively
Currently, graduate students comprise only ten percent of the student body of SOE. While the current graduate programs are robust, the future of UC Merced and of SOE will require significant growth of the overall graduate population by at least doubling it. This must be done both by attracting diverse and talented new students and by improving completion rates and supporting new graduates to find excellent career paths.

SOE’s 2324 undergraduate students are comprised of a multi-ethnic student body with around 19% women and half of students from Hispanic background. For undergraduate students, opportunities for academic enrichment include involvement in student professional organizations, comprehensive student advising, leadership opportunities, experiential learning and faculty/industry mentorship, just to name just a few.

As with faculty, diversity will be a framework the Dean will use to approach enrollment growth undergraduate and graduate students in the SOE. UC Merced is the most ethnically diverse campus in the UC System and has been designated both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The campus is a vivid example of how academic excellence and diversity inform one another and provide the best possible environment for learning. The Dean must be dedicated to supporting these ideals, actively promoting them within the School and across the university, with attention to recruiting and retaining diverse students and cultivating an environment of inclusiveness across the School.

Basic qualifications

  •   An earned doctorate in a field compatible with the programs offered within the School of Engineering
  •   A distinguished record in teaching, scholarship, and service consistent with the expectations of the rank of a full professor with tenure in the School of Engineering
  •   Demonstrated academic leadership, vision, and management skills as well as significant administrative experience
  •   Demonstrated leadership skills in a full range of activities associated with the academic and research missions of the School
  •   Experience fostering interdisciplinary research and education
  •   Proven experience as a leader in the creation of new programs and academic structures
  •   Ability to focus on regional and global issues, with a particular focus on the UC Merced campus
  •   Demonstrated ability to be a good listener who can communicate effectively with administrators, faculty, students, and staff
  •   Understanding of academic checks and balances and an environment of shared governance, as well as the ability to be open to consultation with faculty and staff
  •   Experience in fundraising and securing external support from a variety of sources
  •   Excellent interpersonal skills, and a leadership style of being accessible to others
  •   Appreciation for the mission and responsibilities of a university serving a multi-ethnic state and a demonstrated personal and professional commitment to diversity.
  •   Familiarity with ABET accreditation procedures

Preferred qualifications

  •   Significant knowledge of the organizational unit’s objectives and activities
  •   Thorough knowledge of university administrative organization, policies, procedures and practices including the principle of shared governance
  •   Familiarity with WASC or other university-wide accreditation procedures

Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – Statement on your contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion. Please review the UC Merced Diversity Statement Guidelines and UC’s Commitment to Diversity
  • Statement of Research (Optional)
  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

Reference requirements

  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

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The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

UC Merced is a smoke & tobacco free campus (