Illinois State University — Founding Dean, College of Engineering

Illinois State University (ISU) seeks an energetic, innovative, and inspiring academic leader to serve in a career-defining opportunity as the founding dean of its newly created College of Engineering. Applications, inquiries, and nominations are invited.

Founded in 1857, Illinois State is the oldest public university in the state. Located in Normal, 125 miles southwest of Chicago, ISU hosts a diverse community of scholars committed to fostering a small college atmosphere with large university opportunities. Illinois State’s mission is based on a shared set of core values: Learning and Scholarship, Diversity and Inclusion, Respect, Collaboration, Individualized Attention, Civic Engagement, and Integrity. Students at Illinois State find rigorous academic programs that challenge them to be their best and a welcoming and supportive campus atmosphere that helps them grow and mature as scholars, citizens, and leaders. ISU has a total enrollment of 20,233 students (17,674 undergraduate and 2,559 graduate) situated on a 1,111-acre campus.

Established in 2022, with the first cohort of students expected to enroll in the fall of 2025, the College of Engineering will initially offer electrical, mechanical, and general engineering programs. The college will be uniquely designed with a vision of student success, diversity, and workforce development. Illinois State University aims for its new college to be recognized for excellence in the education of a diverse community of students who possess the attitudes, behaviors, and skills of engineering professionals. Leveraging their reputation as a student-focused institution, the College of Engineering will prepare students for success by melding theory and practice in core engineering disciplines and innovative cross-disciplinary experiences.

The founding dean will be the key architect and builder of the college, a senior academic leader at Illinois State, an engaged leader in the community, and an advocate and ambassador for the college. As the chief academic and executive officer, the dean will provide vision and leadership in teaching, research, and service. The founding dean will work collaboratively and collegially with seven other deans and administrators from all four university divisions. The ideal candidate will be expected to set the strategic vision and direction of a new college designed with an equity lens and within a shared governance environment.

Reporting to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the founding dean will recruit, hire, and supervise an associate dean, two department chairs, a director of diversity, academic faculty, and administrative and support staff. The dean will work closely with facilities management on designing and developing a new facility to house the college. The dean will work with other content experts and university administrators to ensure the creation of an interdisciplinary, cutting-edge curriculum for engineering majors. The dean will lead the design of the annual evaluation, promotion and tenure, administrative, budgetary, and personnel structures and processes of the college. The candidate should possess a record of effectively mentoring junior faculty and staff. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree, either electrical or mechanical engineering background is preferred, from an accredited institution and have a record of teaching and scholarly or professional attainment that merits appointment as professor with tenure. More information can be found at www.wittkieffer.com. 

WittKieffer is assisting Illinois State University in this search. All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume, and a letter of interest. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by October 24, 2022. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Jessica Herrington, and Luis Bertot at ISUEngineeringDean@wittkieffer.com. 

Illinois State University, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding affirmative action, nondiscrimination, and anti-harassment. Illinois State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, order of protection, gender identity and expression, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, unfavorable military discharge, or status as a veteran in employment, educational programs and activities, or admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed by contacting the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access by email at EqualOpportunity@IllinoisState.edu, by calling (309) 438-3383, or by mail at Illinois State University, Campus Box 1280, Normal, IL 61790.

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