University of Washington — Dean of the School of Social Work

The University of Washington (UW), one of the world’s preeminent public universities, is seeking a visionary, collaborative, and inclusive leader dedicated to social equity and justice to serve as the next dean of the School of Social Work. 

The dean of the School of Social Work inspires and supports the continued excellence of faculty, staff and students to fulfill the School’s mission: to promote social and economic justice for poor and oppressed populations, enhance the quality of life for all and maximize human welfare. The School achieves this mission through the education of effective social work leaders, practitioners and educators who will challenge injustice and promote a more humane society; research that engenders understanding of complex social problems, illuminates human capacities for problem-solving, and promotes effective and timely social intervention; and public service that enhances the health, well-being, and empowerment of disadvantaged communities and populations at local, national, and international levels.

Reporting to the provost and serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet and Board of Deans and Chancellors, the dean provides vision, executive leadership, and strategic direction to support the success of the School’s 126 full and part time faculty, 680 students and 313 staff. The dean will bring the energy, integrity, personal qualities, and the professional profile to inspire the School community and garner the trust, respect, and collaboration of colleagues across the University and across myriad community partners. The new dean will possess the capacity to create and shape an innovative vision for the future enabling UW to remain at the forefront nationally in social work education, research, and service. Honoring what the community has experienced and learned from the pandemic, the dean will revitalize an inclusive and welcoming community with an emphasis on recruiting, supporting, and retaining a diverse and strong faculty, staff, and student body. The dean will serve as a thought leader and vocal spokesperson for social equity and justice across the University, region, and nation while strengthening engagement with the greater Seattle community and the State of Washington to increase UW’s presence and impact. At the foundation of their leadership, the dean will inspire and catalyze a culture of collaborative research excellence and innovation to advance the School and the field. 

The dean will bring visionary leadership with an engaging and collaborative leadership style, as well as strategic and operational strength, and genuine concern for the experiences and success of faculty, staff, and students in their scholarship and work. A lifelong commitment to social justice and equity with the ability to integrate those values into all aspects of the School’s mission and operations is vital. The dean will be a nationally recognized scholar whose professional record includes a relevant and compelling combination of teaching, research, and administrative leadership in social work or a closely related context. Candidates must qualify for an appointment as a tenured full professor at the University of Washington, and will be expected to have a demonstrated commitment to implementing strategies and programs that attract and support a diverse faculty, staff and student body. A terminal degree is required; an M.S.W. is strongly preferred.

It is an exciting time to join the University of Washington. The University’s impact on individuals, its region, and the world is profound. Ranked No. 7 in the world on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities Rankings, the UW educates more than 54,000 students annually and is home to UW Medicine, a world-class comprehensive health system. The University is comprised of three campuses – Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma – with the flagship Seattle campus located in Seattle’s University District, one of the city’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods. The city of Seattle, which serves as the extended campus of the University, is considered to be one of the most livable cities in the United States and is renowned as a hub for outdoor recreation, arts, and culture. Seattle combines unparalleled natural beauty with small-town friendliness, a Pacific Rim outlook, and cosmopolitan amenities. For more information about the UW, please see www.washington.edu. 

The University of Washington has retained Suzanne Teer, Bree Liddell, and Jenna Brumleve of the global executive search firm WittKieffer to assist with the search. All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. 

Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile which can be found at www.wittkieffer.com. 

Application materials should be received by January 3, 2023 for fullest consideration and should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to UWDeanSocialWork@wittkieffer.com.

The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a protected veteran. This policy applies to all programs and facilities, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs, employment, and patient and hospital services. Any discriminatory action can be a cause for disciplinary action. Discrimination is prohibited by Presidential Executive Order 11246 as amended, Washington State Gubernatorial Executive Orders 89-01 and 93-07, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Washington State Law Against Discrimination RCW 49.60, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, State of Washington Gender Equity in Higher Education Act of 1989, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1972 as amended, other federal and state statutes, regulations, and University policy. Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action compliance efforts at the University of Washington are coordinated by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, University of Washington, 442A Gerberding Hall, Box 351240, Seattle, Washington, 98195-1240, telephone 206.543.1830 or email eoaa@uw.edu.

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or dso@uw.edu.

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