Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.

Dean Portland, OR

Willamette University, a nationally renowned private liberal arts university, seeks an inspiring and seasoned leader for its newest college, the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). The Dean will join the University at a critical time of opportunity as the newly merged institution brings a broad range of intellectual and academic resources to the united mission of providing high-quality education that emphasizes the values of critical inquiry and cross-disciplinary exchange. Reporting to the Provost and the President as a member of the University’s leadership team, the Dean will shape strategic initiatives to deepen the connection between art, design, and the liberal arts and sciences as they lead the Northwest's oldest school of art and design in its new chapter as a college of Willamette University.

Founded in 1842, Willamette was the first university in the West to offer arts education of any kind and is ranked 72nd among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.  Originally founded in 1909 as the Museum Art School, PNCA was the first school to offer professional arts education in the Pacific Northwest. Together, the four schools of the University enroll approximately 2500 undergraduate and graduate students and employ more than 360 faculty. The College of Arts and Sciences offers bachelor's degrees in over 30 fields and has combined degrees with the MBA in the Atkinson School and the JD in the College of Law as well as a combined BS/MS in Data Science. PNCA offers 11 Bachelor of Fine Art programs, 8 graduate programs including Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, a Post-Baccalaureate program, and Community Education courses for artists and designers of all ages.

Willamette's beautiful, historic campus in Salem, Oregon, with its unique proximity to the state capital, the Salem Health regional health care facility, and the University's 300-acre forest at Zena, offers matchless opportunities for civic engagement and study in politics and policy, health sciences, and environmental sciences. At the creative heart of downtown Portland, Oregon, PNCA is a center for communities of artists, designers, and scholars who shape the region's cultural landscape. Near many of the city's art galleries and a concentration of design studios, it serves a crucial role in educating innovators and culture-makers who extend their creative problem-solving skills beyond the traditional horizons of art, business, and design.

Willamette and PNCA's merger, successfully completed in June, 2021, is supported by a $2 million gift from the Arlene Schnitzer Estate. This incredible gift will create the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer PNCA Dean’s Initiative Fund, providing the incoming Dean with resources to drive innovation within the College, and to lead the continuation and growth of PNCA's signature programs, as well as the creation of new programs that integrate curricular and faculty expertise from Willamette's three other colleges. As part of Willamette, PNCA is positioned to redefine the future of the arts, build a foundation for creative thought and expression in subjects such as racial and social justice, climate change, and health, and prepare students to be globally engaged and socially responsible citizens leading lives of achievement, contribution, and meaning.

As the leader of the newest college within Willamette, the Dean will engage possibilities to position PNCA as the premier art and design college in the region, strengthen Willamette’s presence in Portland, and work with the other Willamette Deans to promote connectivity across the University and beyond. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of organically developing and executing a strategic vision and must be a persuasive, authentic communicator who can represent Willamette and PNCA to a broad range of stakeholders and partners regionally, nationally, and globally. They will be a collaborative leader with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, a history of sound financial decision-making and leadership success, and a personal passion for art and design education.

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see below. Electronic submission of materials is required.

Regan Hirano Gough is leading this search with Phuong Ta.

Willamette University is a diverse community that provides equal opportunity in employment, activities, and its academic programs. The University shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, veteran status, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or status with regard to pregnancy, disability or age.

To apply or nominate a candidate, please return to our site on a laptop/desktop for full functionality.
If you are viewing this on a laptop/desktop, enlarge the window to enable these buttons.
If you are viewing this on a laptop/desktop, enlarge the window to enable these buttons.