The University of Washington invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. The College of Arts & Sciences is one of 16 schools and colleges that make up the Seattle campus of the University of Washington (UW).


The Dean, who reports directly to the Provost, is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College of Arts & Sciences. As such, the Dean oversees all matters related to the educational, budgetary, and administrative affairs of the College. The Dean provides the leadership and vision needed for the College to excel and advance the larger University’s teaching, research, and service missions.

The Dean leads an experienced executive team including four Divisional Deans (Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences), a Director of Finance and Administration, a Senior Associate Dean for Research and Infrastructure, an Associate Dean for Advancement, an Associate Dean for Educational Programs, and a Senior Director of Marketing and Communications.

The Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences will:

  • Provide visionary leadership for a liberal arts education at the University of Washington, emphasizing excellence in teaching and research, and providing perspective on important trends, innovations, and opportunities in higher education in the 21st Century;
  • Harness, steward and strategically manage financial resources including diversifying revenue and generating new funding;
  • Ensure a high quality student experience through a variety of avenues including innovative student support services;
  • Support and empower the faculty through a culture of inclusion, transparency, and shared governance;
  • Foster student success and encourage student leadership across a large and deeply diverse student population; and
  • Collaborate with the Chancellors, Deans, and faculty across the UW to support and strengthen its vision and values.

It is required that the Dean have a passion and deep appreciation for a liberal arts education, including for the range of disciplines and specializations represented in a large college of arts and sciences. The Dean will have a Ph.D. or other terminal doctoral degree, will be a distinguished and internationally-recognized scholar, and will possess a strong record of academic research, teaching, and service that merits appointment at the rank of full professor. The Dean will have significant academic leadership experience and also must clearly demonstrate an unwavering commitment to diversity and equity, and support a culture that creates welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promotes access, opportunity, and justice for all.

In addition, it is preferred the Dean possess:

  • Demonstrated success as an effective manager across many levels, including past successes refining and achieving strategic initiatives;
  • The ability to solve problems and lead in a complex environment like the UW, including the ability to navigate across boundaries and forge bonds for the common good;
  • Proven capacity to foster a collaborative and collegial environment where faculty, staff, and students are positioned for development and success;
  • A firm grasp of information technology-driven innovations in higher education and digital learning;
  • A presence that serves the College well when working with and influencing University, legislative, community, and advancement constituencies; and
  • Strong budgeting and financial management skills coupled with the understanding of current and future trends related to higher education.

University of Washington

The UW’s three campuses (Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell) offer more than 636 degree options across 312 programs to nearly 60,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Recognized as one of the world’s preeminent public universities, the UW receives more federal research dollars than any other U.S. public university and in FY19 it received $1.58 billion in total research awards. With an annual budget of $8.25 billion, the UW employs more than 4,300 faculty and nearly 27,000 staff.

Located a few miles from downtown, the UW is at the heart of Seattle’s vitality. On this residential campus, thousands of students call the UW home — 72 percent of students live in campus housing or in nearby residences. Adjacent to campus, the U-District is an eclectic mix of historic sites, funky charm and a rapidly developing tech sector that the University is fostering through support of startups and a strong partnership with the city and neighborhood.

College of Arts & Sciences

The UW College of Arts & Sciences provides a liberal arts education of tremendous breadth and depth to more than 22,000 students while advancing research and serving as a resource for the community. With more than 5,500 undergraduate courses offered in the College of Arts & Sciences annually, students can study everything from art to economics to physics. The College is home to more than 30 interdisciplinary centers and has ties to many others, enabling scholars in diverse fields to collaborate on complex research questions. Arts & Sciences faculty generated more than $124 million in research funds during the most recent fiscal year.

Recognized for its outstanding teaching, leading-edge research, and interdisciplinary programs and Centers, the College of Arts & Science offers a substantial opportunity for impact. As we reckon with and confront racism, legacies of settler colonialism, and systemic inequities, and as we deal with health, environmental, and economic crises, we face a future that is challenging but also ready to be changed by those who are able to imagine and bring into existence a better one. The next leader will have a chance to significantly shape 21st century liberal arts education at a crucial time in our nation’s and region’s history.

Four Divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences

Division of Arts

The Arts division is comprised of five academic units (School of Art + Art History + Design, Department of Dance, Department of Digital Arts and Experimental Media, School of Drama, and School of Music) that are home to a faculty that includes internationally renowned artists and scholars. These units offer diverse degree programs from undergraduate to doctoral, and reflect the dual nature of the arts as both creative of the new and curatorial of past and present cultural experience. The Arts Division also includes the Burke Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, the Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, and the UW World Series. Together, the Arts units offer more than 300 performances, 60 exhibits, and 100 public programs annually which also serve as an important arts resource for the region. The Arts division houses 94 full-time faculty members and nearly 1,000 students.

Division of Humanities

The Humanities division consists of 12 departments (Asian Languages and Literature, Classics, Comparative History of Ideas, Cinema and Media Studies, English, French and Italian Studies, Germanics, Linguistics, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, Scandinavian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Spanish and Portuguese Studies) and is supported by the Language Learning Center and the internationally recognized Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities. The nearly 200 faculty members – 22 percent of the tenure-track faculty for the college – and more than 4,000 students in the division have achieved extraordinary distinction in many areas of research, including environmental humanities, computational linguistics, religious literatures and traditions, textual studies, endangered language documentation and preservation, creative writing, pre-modern literatures and civilizations, and cultural studies.

Division of Natural Sciences

The Natural Sciences division is home to nine departments (Applied Mathematics, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Speech and Hearing Sciences, and Statistics) and more than 20 centers and programs, including Institute for Nuclear Theory, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS), Clean Energy Institute, and Molecular Engineering Materials Center. Researchers in the Natural Sciences are at the forefront of such diverse fields as ecology and climate change; renewable energy; computational neuroscience; big data; quantum materials and information science; survey astronomy; nuclear physics; treatment of mental illnesses; speech and hearing disorders; and early childhood development. This research is supported by grants and contracts—totalling over $123 million for fiscal year 2019—mostly from federal sources such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.

Division of Social Sciences 

The Division of Social Sciences includes thirteen departments (American Ethnic Studies; American Indian Studies; Anthropology; Communication; Economics; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; Geography; History, the Jackson School of International Studies; Law, Societies, and Justice; Philosophy, Political Science; and Sociology). It also includes several interdisciplinary programs and centers that address critical social science issues. The University of Washington’s Data Science initiative embeds the social sciences in its vision and curricular and hiring approaches. Faculty and students in the social sciences draw on diverse disciplines and use both qualitative and quantitative methods to create, disseminate, and apply knowledge to address significant social problems in local, national, and global contexts. The Social Sciences faculty of over 250 members teach nearly 7,000 students. The Social Sciences generate 33 percent of UW undergraduate degrees. The division also offers a fully online degree completion program, and therefore has a significant number of faculty who are skilled in teaching in a virtual environment.

Application Process

The Search Advisory Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, diversity statement, comprehensive curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of five or more references) to be submitted to the search firm assisting the UW. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The Search Advisory Committee prefers that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm prior to December 31, 2020.

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Jacob C. Anderson, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: (770) 804-1996 X 111 || ||

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

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

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

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