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Dean of Engineering Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering (VUSE). In this endowed position, the dean will assume leadership of a deeply talented and engaged community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni at a time of tremendous opportunity to build on the ambitious momentum across the University and lead the School of Engineering to even greater distinction.

Founded in 1886, the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering is internationally recognized for the superior quality of its research and education programs in selected fields of engineering. VUSE fosters strong partnerships inside the university and with its research peers. The combination of innovative and interdisciplinary research, commitment to undergraduate and graduate education, and active collaboration with the distinguished Vanderbilt University Medical Center creates an invigorating atmosphere for faculty members, research staff, and graduate and undergraduate students. VUSE has experienced significant and strategic faculty growth in recent years, expanding the tenure-stream faculty from 89 in 2015 to 115 in 2021 and non tenure-track faculty from 52 to 78 during the same period. Notably, there will be opportunity for continued growth among the faculty ranks, building on the institution-wide strategic priority, Destination Vanderbilt, to recruit new faculty who are leaders and rising stars in their fields across the university. The school currently enrolls over 1,473 undergraduate and 830 graduate and professional students across all degree programs. VUSE’s talented staff, which numbers 150 in total, deftly support and manage the myriad operations and complex research and administrative processes across the school.

The dean will join a university with a steadfast commitment to its students and to addressing the defining issues of our time, and a school dedicated to training and mentoring the next generation of outstanding engineers, scholars, and innovators. Through bold and inspired leadership, the dean will strengthen community within VUSE, communicate the school’s exceptional story to key external stakeholders to raise its profile and visibility, and position VUSE as a leader in international conversations about the future of engineering education. The dean will be a natural collaborator and coalition builder, partnering with other schools and leaders across campus to cultivate new or strengthen existing degree programs and initiatives and develop and support an outstanding and increasingly diverse faculty. In tandem with the university’s sizable investments to support capital projects and improve campus infrastructure, the dean will partner creatively with university leadership to address VUSE’s infrastructural opportunities. Externally, the dean will engage with donors, alumni, government leaders, and industry partners to increase the school’s reach and impact and to generate enthusiasm and support for Vanderbilt Engineering.

The Vanderbilt University School of Engineering seeks a leader with a record of outstanding scholarship and a collegial, transparent, decisive, and empowering leader to propel the school forward. The dean must be an exceptional communicator and astute manager who is skillful at building relationships, fostering a strong and inclusive sense of community, and operating within a complex university system. The next dean will bring a considerable record of administrative leadership and must possess the ability to represent the school compellingly with a variety of audiences, including alumni, donors, and industry partners. The dean will hold a steadfast commitment to and track record of success with diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. 

All inquiries, nominations and applications should be directed electronically below and will be held in the strictest confidence.

Katie Rockman is leading this search with Karen McPhedran, Afi Tettey-Fio, and Maria Connor.


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