Augusta University (AU) is seeking a dynamic academic leader to serve as its next Dean of The Graduate School (TGS). This position reports directly to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and is a key member of the academic leadership team.

THE UNIVERSITY AND GRADUATE SCHOOL

Founded in 1828 and located in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University is a public research university and medical center dedicated to training the next generation of innovators, leaders and health care providers. Home to four campuses in Augusta and various satellite locations across Georgia, Augusta University is at the forefront of groundbreaking research focused on improving and enriching the human experience.

Offering undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business and education as well as a full range of graduate programs and hands-on clinical research opportunities, Augusta University is Georgia’s innovation center for education and health care. The combination of nationally ranked business and nursing schools as well as the state’s flagship public medical school and only dental school makes Augusta University a destination of choice for the students of today and the leaders of tomorrow.

Home to the Medical College of Georgia, the nation’s ninth-largest and 13th-oldest medical school, the University’s Health Sciences Campus is at the forefront of health care innovation. Located in beautiful downtown Augusta and housing the state’s largest College of Nursing, the comprehensive College of Allied Health Sciences, The Graduate School, The Dental College of Georgia, and the Health Sciences Campus is also home to the state’s only public academic medical center.

Built in and around a former United States arsenal, the historic Summerville Campus is home to the university’s liberal arts curriculum. In the shade of ancient trees, professors from the Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the nationally ranked James M. Hull College of Business; the College of Education; and the College of Science and Mathematics prepare students for a lifetime of critical thinking, creativity and entrepreneurial success.

Nestled along the Savannah River, the Riverfront Campus is located in Augusta's growing cybersecurity corridor and houses the state-owned Georgia Cyber Center, a state-of-the-art cyber center comprised of the university's School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, a cutting-edge cyber range, a 340-seat auditorium, secure briefing space, incubator space for innovation and entrepreneurship, and classrooms; as well as proximity to industry professionals and innovative start-ups.

Currently, The Graduate School offers over 45 graduate degree and advanced certificate programs. The wide range of doctoral, specialist and master’s degree programs as well as graduate certificate programs offered provide outstanding training, research, clinical and educational opportunities. By offering online or hybrid degrees, students can balance and apply their real-world experience to their education.

Opened in 1991, Christenberry Fieldhouse (CFH) houses 11 of the Augusta Jaguars’ 13 competition sports. In addition to housing all administrative and support staff for the Augusta University Department of Athletics, CFH also houses the College of Education’s Kinesiology Department. The Forest Hills Campus, on which CFH is located, also houses a full-size golf course, baseball, softball and soccer fields and serves as the home of the Jaguars’ nationally recognized NCAA Division I golf team.

Our campus libraries, the Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library on the Health Sciences Campus and the Reese Library on the Summerville Campus, provide comprehensive information resources and services in support of the teaching, discovery, and clinical care mission of our student-centered research university and academic medical center.

Georgia’s second-oldest and second-largest city, Augusta, is situated on the southern banks of the storied Savannah River. Serving as a halfway point between the Appalachian Mountains to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Augusta is a thriving community built on a solid foundation of local pride and artistic eccentricity.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Dean of TGS is responsible for providing visionary leadership in building and sustaining graduate programs in alignment with the institution’s mission statement and strategic plan. As a member of the Provost's leadership team, the Dean will be acquainted with all aspects of the campus' growth and will represent and advocate all issues of graduate education in strategic planning associated with TGS students, faculty and academic programs. The Dean works closely and collaboratively with the Deans of the nine other colleges (Allied Health Sciences, Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Business, Computer and Cyber Sciences, Education, Dentistry, Nursing, Medicine, and Science and Mathematics) at Augusta University in fulfilling its overall mission, while being particularly focused on TGS mission of providing a rich intellectual, academic and research environment for educating students to become leaders in the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and in its application to human health and disease. In addition to collaborative responsibilities for graduate programs across the colleges, The Graduate School has primary responsibility for leadership and coordination of the institution’s biomedical sciences Ph.D. programs.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

  • Guiding Principle 1: The Graduate School (TGS) will play a key and active role in helping Augusta University (AU) continue its targets and goals of: (1) increased enrollment growth in graduate programs, (2) increased research growth, and (3) a commitment to advancing inclusive excellence, aligned with student success, are paramount. In short, a strong, comprehensive Graduate School is essential in order for AU to continue its assent toward being a leading and growing public, research-intensive university.
  • Guiding Principle 2: TGS will set academic quality standards and expectations that apply to all graduate programs under its oversight. This work includes maintaining, developing, and implementing procedures, guidelines, and policies related to graduate education. These will be developed in partnership with the colleges and schools, and the Division of Instruction and the Office of Faculty Affairs, who also have broad oversight of institutional academic standards, student academic appeals and grievances, and student professionalism codes.
  • Guiding Principle 3: TGS will play an active role in the recruitment and admissions processes for all programs under its oversight, including the development of strategic recruitment plans, and admissions standards and processes, in partnership with the colleges and schools and the Office of Admissions. It is recommended that admissions staff, with a sole focus on graduate school admissions, lead this process. The admissions process should be streamlined; nimble to adapt to new programs, mid-term starts, and expectations of online students; student-centric; and, contribute to the 16x30 enrollment goal.
  • Guiding Principle 4: TGS will play an active role in the administration/oversight/recruitment of the biomedical science PhD program. As long as the program is housed in TGS, the primary day-to-day responsibility for the biomedical PhD program should not fall to the Dean of TGS, but rather to a newly created administrative/leadership position in TGS. At some point after a new Dean is appointed, AU leadership may wish to explore the eventual return of this program to the Medical College of Georgia (MCG)
  • Guiding Principle 5: TGS will develop and create new interdisciplinary graduate programs to be housed within TGS as well as within the colleges/schools to develop new programs and course offerings.
  • Guiding Principle 6: TGS will play a leading role in the oversight of awarding graduate assistantships (GAs) and providing orientation and professional development for graduate assistants, for all programs under its oversight. This oversight will occur, in partnership with the colleges and schools, and the Office of Faculty Affairs (who has oversight of faculty/instructor credentialing and faculty/instructor development). The Divisions of Instruction and Research will also be key partners in orientation and professional development. This work includes developing the policies and procedures on the creation and awarding of graduate assistantships, tuition waivers, and salary support levels. It is recommended that additional resources be provided to TGS by AU over a period of several years to support this work, and that one of the primary efforts of the Dean of TGS be on development/fundraising for new scholarships to support GAs.
  • Guiding Principle 7: Post-doctoral fellows play a key role in the continued research growth of the university. The relationship between Masters and PhD students and post-doctoral fellows is critical in research labs and teams. The number of post-doctoral fellows will be significantly increased in the coming years and the recruitment of competitive post-doctoral fellows will be supported through training and education programs. TGS will assume responsibility for administrative oversight of, and educational programming for, all post- doctoral fellows at AU. The Office of Faculty Affairs and the Divisions of Research and Instruction will be key partners as appropriate in credentialing and programming. The programming will follow best practices for post-doctoral fellows, include career development and other services, and will invite a sense of community among the fellows.
  • Guiding Principle 8: TGS will play a leading, active, and engaged role in graduate program review. In partnership with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, this work includes the development of the institutional academic review schedule, engagement in the creation of the reviews, and responsibility on follow-up from action items contained in the reviews.
  • Guiding Principle 9: TGS will partner with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and other appropriate offices and departments at AU to offer graduate student support initiatives with the goal of creating and sustaining a supportive culture, with a focus on student wellness and success, as well as enhancing the diversity of the graduate student body. This work also includes strengthening partnerships with offices and centers directly tied to student success such as Career Services and the Writing Center. TGS-Graduate Student Council will play a role in providing input on the programming needs of graduate students.
  • Guiding Principle 10: TGS will partner with AU’s colleges and schools in a spirit of collegiality. Structurally, each college/school dean should have representation on TGS Council or similar administrative body that provides input on a regular basis to the policies and procedures of TGS. TGS may wish to re-examine the purpose and structure of its Graduate Council to ensure that communication and collegiality are optimized. The TGS Dean should participate in the Deans’ Council and should meet at least on an annual basis with each college/school dean to discuss matters related to TGS and determine how TGS can best serve the needs of the individual colleges/schools.
  • Guiding Principle 11: TGS will play a key role in AU’s new strategic international partnership strategy, especially in forging graduate education partnerships including increasing the number of international graduate students and post-doctoral fellows and creating new joint graduate degrees with AU’s emerging strategic international partners.
  • Guiding Principle 12: The Dean of the TGS will be a tenured, full professor and an active researcher who enjoys mentoring graduate students. With these attributes, the TGS Dean will serve as a role model to the faculty. The primary responsibility of this individual should be an administrative role as Dean of TGS, with the realization that this role requires a significant commitment. The academic home of the Dean can be in any of AU’s colleges and schools. As with the other AU college/school deans, TGS dean should play an active role in development/fundraising for new scholarships and GA positions, and AU should provide staffing support in this area to enable the dean to be successful. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness will develop a performance scorecard for TGS that will be reviewed on a regular basis between the Provost and TGS Dean.
  • Guiding Principle 13: All research-based graduate programs with a discipline that aligns with an AU college/school will be housed in TGS for administrative oversight, but the specific college/school will retain academic oversight and be the lead on program delivery. While there are many professional Masters and Doctoral degree programs at AU, most notably in the health professions, due to the inherent differences in the purpose of these programs versus research- based graduate programs, and oftentimes national or regional accreditation oversight, TGS should not provide oversight of these programs. Professional graduate programs should not be housed in TGS. A process for qualification as a professional graduate program should be developed for current and future programs.
  • Guiding Principle 14: TGS will develop branding and marketing materials in conjunction with AU’s Department of Communications and Marketing. This work should include the development of recognizable and consistent branding for TGS and its programs and strengthening the content on AU’s website pertaining to graduate education.
  • Guiding Principle 15: TGS will be an active partner in AU’s efforts to expand its online education enterprise, including following Quality Matters and best practices such as alternative delivery formats (such as eight-week course blocks).
  • Guiding Principle 16: TGS will play an active role in post-graduation tracking, in collaboration with the Office of Career Services, of AU graduate alumni, including job/career placement and continued engagement with alumni.
  • Guiding Principle 17: TGS will be a second “home” for AU’s various graduate program directors, providing them with a sense of community and professional development, as well as setting expectations and providing professional development for this unique administrative role.
  • Guiding Principle 18: TGS will play an active role in building and strengthening a culture of research at AU, in partnership with the Office of Research and other key stakeholders.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Dean of TGS serves as the chief administrative officer of the school, whose major responsibilities include:

  • Sustaining and enhancing, in collaboration with the other colleges, the post-baccalaureate and certificate programs, in concert with the current graduate majors and programs;
  • Collaborating with the other colleges to expand strategically the graduate program offerings to other degrees and disciplines;
  • Assisting in developing graduate curriculum and courses in consultation with college and/or university faculty and the Graduate Council;
  • Ensuring the effectiveness of the educational programs by incorporating regular program assessment and university-wide measures of institutional effectiveness;
  • Providing final approval of student admission to the college as well as graduation requirements;
  • Establishing and implementing the academic and admissions policies and procedures of the college;
  • Supporting the recruitment of outstanding faculty, providing oversight to the Appointment process for Graduate Faculty, and providing input to the Promotion & Tenure process of Graduate Faculty;
  • Developing the Graduate School budget for approval and implementation;
  • Assisting with the recruitment of students, student admissions and retention;
  • Providing career development, resources, and foster a sense of community for postdoctoral fellows at AU;
  • Supporting graduate assistantships by developing policies on creating and awarding assistantships, tuition waivers, and developing fundraising to support graduate assistantships;
  • Advocating for a supportive culture focused on student wellness and enhancing the diversity of the student body;
  • Promoting a culture of philanthropy and developing a plan within the college, including working closely with the SVP, Advancement & Community Relations to leverage the contributions of faculty members and health professionals and lead by example in fundraising;
  • Overseeing and providing direction and leadership to The Graduate School while strengthening relationships with the AU Alumni Associations;
    • Collaborate with the appropriate offices of the Alumni Association to share the vision, goals and accomplishments of The Graduate School with external audiences
    • Assist with planning/coordinating TGS alumni affairs events, reunions and other programs to enhance connections of alumni and friends with the university and TGS
    • Actively participate in Alumni programs, on civic and charitable boards, and with other organizations that advance the community image and the visibility of university and the AU Health System
  • Actively participating in speaking engagements to convey The Graduate School programs, initiatives, student accomplishments and benefits to the community and state;
  • Identifying opportunities to connect college resources to student needs;
  • Developing and fostering synergies among the colleges to promote cross collaborations between faculty and students.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

It is preferred that candidates for the Dean of TGS position bring professional maturity and documentation of the following skills and characteristics:

  • An earned doctoral degree;
  • Seven to ten years’ minimum full time experience with a substantial personal record in research and education commensurate with the appointment to the rank of full professor;
  • Documented leadership skills;
  • Track record of successfully mentoring trainees at different career levels (graduate and postdoctoral fellow);
  • Successful experience with the supervision of staff in a complex organization and the management of multiple programs in a higher education setting;
  • Highly developed human relations skills, leading to the ability to work well with staff and volunteers at all levels in the organization;
  • Strong communication skills: written, oral, public speaking and listening;
  • Strong planning and organizational skills, including ability to manage multiple relationships in a highly matrixed organization;
  • Budget and financial management experience;
  • Desire and ability to enact change, strong task orientation and high level of energy;
  • Personal characteristics associated with successful academic professionals, including a vigorous work ethic, sound judgment, impeccable integrity, demonstrated initiative, appropriate professional appearance, attitude and personality to work effectively with colleagues, senior leadership of the University and the AU Health System, volunteers and constituents;
  • Affinity with the overall mission of the University and the AU Health System;
  • An active program of scholarly activity in his/her field of expertise, the successful candidate will be academically homed in one of AU’s departments and is expected to establish an active program of research or other scholarly activity.  

APPLICATION PROCESS                   

The Search Committee invites applications, inquiries, and nominations for this position. Applications should be accompanied by a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact details of at least five professional references. Applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled and review of applications will begin immediately. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit materials electronically to the search firm assisting Augusta University by September 1, 2021.

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Jacob C. Anderson, Principal
Parker Executive Search
pwilliams@parkersearch.com || janderson@parkersearch.com
(770) 804-1996 x 111

Augusta University, a unit of the University System of Georgia, is an equal opportunity educational institution and is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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