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Western Michigan University seeks an experienced and accomplished leader to serve as Dean of the Graduate College. The dean serves as a senior administrative officer who reports directly to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and is responsible for the academic, programmatic, administrative, and fiscal leadership of the College. The dean works closely with deans of the other academic colleges to advance graduate education.

Western Michigan University (WMU), located in Southwest Michigan, is a vibrant, nationally recognized student-centered research institution with an enrollment of over 21,000. WMU delivers high-quality undergraduate instruction, has a strong graduate division, and fosters significant research activities. WMU students represent over 100 countries. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has placed WMU among the 76 public institutions in the nation designated as research universities with high research activities. Western Michigan University is a globally engaged university that promotes success for learners at all levels and stands out among America’s more than 4,600 public and private degree-granting colleges and universities. WMU offers 264 academic programs to students pursuing degrees through the doctoral level, with more than 25 percent of students enrolled in graduate work. WMU has offered graduate education since 1951. More than 90% of WMU graduates from 2017-18 were actively engaged in employment, military service or further education within a few months of graduation. Ninety-four percent of graduate degree recipients are employed in a job related to their degree. For more information on the University’s vision and strategic plan, please visit

Recent recognition includes:

  • INSIGHT into Diversity consistently honors WMU for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion;
  • Military Times ranks WMU among the best institutions for veterans, and WMU is the only Michigan school to appear on all nine years of its annual Best for Vets list;
  • U.S. Department of State data shows that WMU was No. 6 among producers of American Fulbright Scholars in 2016-17;
  • WMU operates the nation’s largest and most comprehensive collegiate support program for former foster-care youth and is an international model for teaching, research, learning, and public service related to foster care and higher education;
  • Washington Monthly ranked WMU first in the state of Michigan on its impact on alumni earnings 10 years after graduation;

Kalamazoo is located only two and a half hours by car from Chicago and Detroit and only 45 minutes from the beaches of Lake Michigan. It is located in one of Michigan’s designated research corridors, maintaining a strong life sciences/biotech presence and supporting two leading medical centers. With over 260,000 people in the greater Kalamazoo area, the community offers an array of cultural events, entertainment, and all-season recreation. The city supports a nationally recognized symphony and has earned a reputation for a vibrant community theatre and visual arts scene. Kalamazoo is committed to social justice, community development and the elimination of generational poverty through its Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo initiative, with structural budgetary support provided by the City of Kalamazoo’s Foundation for Excellence program. Kalamazoo also is the home of the Kalamazoo Promise, a scholarship program offered to all Kalamazoo Public School students that covers up to 100% of tuition and mandatory fees to any Michigan public (and many private) institution of higher learning.

The Graduate College, as the institution’s primary advocate for graduate study, promotes academic excellence by taking the lead in shaping graduate policy, assisting faculty in guiding and mentoring graduate students, and integrating services that support students in becoming accomplished and ethical scholars, researchers and professionals. For more information on the Graduate College including the action plan, view our website at

The Dean of the Graduate College advances the mission of the College. In addition, the Dean will have responsibility for leadership in graduate education, advancing strategic growth in graduate enrollment, coordinating graduate admissions, assessing graduate programs, promoting diversity in graduate education, providing consistent and effective communication of policies and practices, advocating for external and internal funding for graduate education and research, monitoring and insuring graduate student progress, making available academic and professional support services to all WMU graduate students, recognizing excellence in graduate student performance and engaging in alumni relations and development.

The Graduate College is responsible for the integrity and quality of all WMU graduate programs, as governed by the Graduate Catalog and related Faculty Senate policies and procedures, in collaboration with Western’s Graduate Faculty. The Graduate College provides effective service and support to all students, faculty and staff involved in graduate education at WMU. The Graduate College advocates at all levels for strong graduate programs at WMU, for the central role of graduate education and research within the institution, and for resources allocated in alignment with that role. The Graduate College houses two doctoral degree programs: the Interdisciplinary Studies Doctorate and the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation.  The Interdisciplinary Studies Doctorate offers flexibility to students with interests outside existing boundaries and established programs by allowing them to combine coursework and research in two or more disciplines/programs from across the university. This is a self-designed program that is developed by the student with input from faculty champions from the chosen disciplines. This option is only for students whose needs cannot be met by one of our existing graduate programs. The interdisciplinary Ph.D. in evaluation program, provides doctoral education and state-of-the-art research and evaluation opportunities for the next generation of evaluation scholars and practitioners.

In addition, The Graduate Student Association is the authorized student government that represents Western Michigan University's graduate student body. The Association provides a variety of funding opportunities, interdisciplinary events, and social activities to promote academic excellence and the well-being of all WMU graduate students.

Required Qualifications:

  • Earned doctorate degree;
  • Record of successful qualifications that warrant rank of tenured full professor;
  • Record of excellence in leadership, graduate education, scholarship, and research;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Demonstrated commitment to faculty and staff engagement and success;
  • Record of administrative experiences in a university or college setting, including management of budgets, personnel, and curriculum;
  • Demonstrated ability to attract and foster human resources and garner student engagement and success;
  • Demonstrated ability to form collaborative relationships with faculty in an atmosphere of shared governance;
  • Demonstrated ability to foster interdisciplinary, intercollegiate, and community partnerships and programs to advance college and university goals; and
  • Excellent analytical, written, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills that are adaptable to a diverse range of audiences;
  • Demonstrated ability to promote transparency within the college and across the university; and
  • Professional career activities demonstrating the highest ethical standards.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated fund-raising ability and success in securing external funding and resources;
  • Demonstrated record of enhancing the domestic and global image and reputation of an entity;
  • Strong commitment to incorporating research and scholarly activity into graduate education;
  • Strong record of grant funding and financial support of graduate students; and
  • Familiarity with graduate and professional student needs and experience in working with these students.


Confidential applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled. Candidate screening will begin immediately. An application should include a letter describing relevant experiences and interest in the position; a curriculum vitae and the names of five references with titles, addresses, business telephone numbers and e-mail addresses included. Applications should be submitted through via posting #0605289 prior to March 2, 2020.  Please direct any confidential inquiries, nominations or questions to the search firm assisting the University:

Porsha Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Principal
Parker Executive Search
770-804-1996 ext. 109 ||

WMU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer consistent with applicable federal and state law.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

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