Job Openings >> Columbia College - Dean, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences
Columbia College - Dean, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences
Title:Columbia College - Dean, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

Columbia College 
Dean for the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences 
Columbia College seeks a dynamic leader and innovator to serve as their Dean for the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Columbia College in their search for Dean for the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. 

For best consideration, please apply by October 10.  
The School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences 
The School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences at Columbia College is home to approximately 40 academic programs housed in 5 departments and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  The School is also largely responsible for the courses offered as part of their general education curriculum. Programs are offered on the home campus in Columbia, Missouri, online, and at our more than 30 extended locations nationwide. 
The position: Dean for the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences 
Reporting directly to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean provides leadership to the school's academic programs and directs initiatives that ensure growth and quality in the school across all venues serving traditional and non-traditional students.  The next Dean will work with faculty and administration to identify and develop new programs; increase enrollment in existing programs; monitor quality of existing programs; create partnerships with internal and external constituencies; oversee accreditation, assessment, and evaluation efforts within the school; contribute to the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students; and manage daily operations within the school. 

The incoming Dean will find Columbia College to be a strong and stable environment in which to grow the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Science. Thanks to strong stewardship and entrepreneurial thinking, Columbia College is in strong financial health. It has maintained balanced or surplus budgets for more than 30 consecutive years and has taken on no long-term institutional debt. Its endowment is at an all-time high of $200 million, with most of the funds unrestricted. Approximately ninety percent of the college’s revenue comes from programs serving its non-traditional student base.   
Key Priorities for the next Dean for the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

Identify and develop new liberal arts programs 
The Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences will work with administration and faculty to be the driver of developing and implementing new liberal arts programs for the College. As an advocate for the liberal arts, the Dean will be a strong champion for the value of these programs and will be able to connect these programs to career outcomes. As part of this important role, the Dean will develop a strategic new academic program plan that serves traditional and non-traditional students and work with various stakeholders to ensure a collaborative process.  
Increase enrollment in existing programs 
In addition to developing new academic programs, the Dean will also be responsible for reinvigorating and increasing enrollment in existing programs within the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences across all venues at Columbia College. Doing so will require forward-thinking, diplomacy, and developing collaborations with faculty, department chairs, and key leaders across the College including those in Enrollment Management & Marketing and Columbia College Global.  The Dean will need to work with these key stakeholders to evaluate existing programs, identify opportunities for improvement, and implement enrollment increasing initiatives and strategies.    
Create partnerships with internal and external constituencies 
The Dean will foster a culture of collaboration and build and maintain relationships with important partners inside and outside of the College. Effective communication and change management skills are essential tools for the next Dean in working on important initiatives.  
Oversee accreditation, assessment, and evaluation efforts within the school 
The Dean will be responsible for ensuring that the standards and operations within the School are in-line with our accreditation requirements, including managing effective assessment plans in coordination with the College’s assessment office. Columbia College is scheduled for a reaccreditation visit in Spring of 2023 and the Dean will be essential in the preparation of this. The Dean will also lead any needed specialized accreditation opportunities for programs within the School. 
Contribute to the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and students 
The Dean will create an environment in which professional development, team work, and collegiality are valued. The Dean will seek ways to not only attract, but retain a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students across all venues. 
Manage daily operations within the School 
While the Dean will be responsible for the “big picture” for the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, the next Dean will also oversee the required daily administrative tasks of the school including faculty approvals, grade appeals, and Day Campus course scheduling. The next Dean will need to thrive in an environment that is a balance of these two types of work. 
Minimum Qualifications & Characteristics 
  • Terminal degree in the humanities, arts, or social sciences
  • Earned tenure at the rank of associate or full professor from a regionally accredited institution
  • Proven management skills, including significant experience in the role of chair or dean or the equivalent
  • Proven track record of working with and supporting traditional and non-traditional student populations including military, first generation, and adult learners as well as a variety of teaching and delivery approaches
  • Passionate leader for the humanities, arts, and social sciences and able to effectively advocate for the importance of these programs
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching and scholarship
  • Strong leadership skills, including an appropriate balance of nurturing and making tough decisions
  • Significant experience in the traditional academic world and in the adult and online education arenas
  • Proven ability to advocate for faculty and students
  • Substantial teaching experience
  • Demonstrated engagement in research and creative endeavors
  • A collaborative, insightful, analytical, responsive, and energetic style
  • A passion for the liberal arts
  • Excellent change management and communication skills
  • Experience with assessment of student learning
  • Experience with accreditation
  • Experience in development and fundraising​​​​​​​

Preferred Qualifications & Characteristics 
  • Rank of full professor  
About Columbia College 
Founded in 1851, Columbia College is dedicated to improving lives through higher education. As a private, nonprofit, coeducational liberal arts and sciences college, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty, and quality educational programs. Since its modest beginning, Columbia College has flourished in size and has become a nationally recognized educational institution.  

A truly unique institution, Columbia College is a private, non-profit liberal arts and sciences college has a traditional campus and active evening program in Columbia, Missouri, more than 30 additional venues in 14 states and Cuba, and a robust online presence. The college serves more than 10,000 students and is unique in its ability to provide multiple access points to high-quality education at a nationally recognized and respected institution. The college offers associate and bachelor's degrees as well as master's degrees at the main campus, selected venues, and online. Columbia College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. 

On its main campus, Columbia College offers 17 varsity sports as a member of NAIA Division I, as well as one of the top eSports programs in the country. The Cougars will also field Cheer and Dance programs beginning in 2021-22. 


The College has a rich and varied history and a record of innovation in higher education. Columbia College was one of the country’s first institutions to educate women, beginning at the time of its founding as Christian College in 1851. It was also a trailblazer in partnering with the military, beginning in 1973, when it extended venues to military bases to educate enlisted personnel. Columbia College was an early adopter of online education in 2000 and continues to be a leader in non-profit online education. 


Columbia College improves lives by providing quality education to both traditional and non-traditional students, helping them achieve their true potential. 


Our vision is to be a highly innovative institution of higher education, dedicated to excellence in both its traditional and non-traditional programs nationwide. 


We believe all students deserve access to affordable, quality education. We believe higher learning should be individualized, innovative, and flexible. We believe a liberal arts core curriculum produces globally engaged citizens who are creative, curious, and ethical. We believe people of all beliefs and backgrounds should engage in civil discourse and discovery. 

Points of Pride 
  • In 2019, Columbia College was ranked the third-most-secure campus in the country, according to The company analyzed 10 years’ worth of crime data from colleges in the U.S. to compile its Top 10 list. 
  • Columbia College is a perennial member of Military Times’ “Best for Vets: Colleges” list. These annual rankings are based on accreditation, graduation rates, staff, transfer credit policies, academic support, and participation in the Yellow Ribbon program. 
  • Columbia College’s online bachelor’s degree programs were recognized among the nation’s 2018 Best Online Bachelor's Programs. The college was also named among the 2019 Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report. Recognition was based on teaching practices and student engagement, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. 
  •, a respected clearinghouse of accredited online programs, designated Columbia College as a "Best Buy" for several online degrees. 
  • Columbia College is named a "College of Distinction" by Student Horizons, Inc. It is one of 250 higher educational institutions in the U.S. and six in Missouri to receive this honor. Student Horizons seeks to go beyond commercially-driven rankings and focus on the quality of education students receive. Colleges are recognized for their commitment and performance of the “Four Distinctions:” engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes. The selection process involves reviewing faculty/student ratios, average class size, the first-year experience, and general education curriculum. It also includes experiential elements in the curriculum, residential and extra-curricular activities, and the school’s strategic plan. 
Campus in Columbia, Missouri 

The main campus is located in Columbia, Missouri. It features a mix of 37 historic and cutting-edge facilities with approximately 600,000 square feet of space. The oldest building on campus is Williams Hall, which was built in 1849. It is the oldest building in continuous academic use west of the Mississippi River. The newest building, New Hall, was completed in 2019. This beautiful, 60,000 square-foot structure features three floors of residential living space and is the home of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business on the ground floor. 

The well-maintained campus grounds extend over about 45 acres, including the college’s newly upgraded Quad, which features the Alumni Fountain, a favorite for the entire campus community. Visitors are drawn to campus each spring to enjoy more than 12,000 tulips in full bloom and colorful planting areas throughout the summer. 
College Diversity – Many Voices, One Columbia College 

The college serves a diverse community of students at locations throughout the country and is committed to ensuring that each and every student, faculty, and staff member feels safe and valued. Columbia College maintains a safe place for open discourse, supports activities that promote diversity and inclusion, and overall, fosters a strong sense of community. 

Columbia College reflects the growing diversity of the United States, with nearly 46 percent of its undergraduates self-identifying as members of historically underrepresented groups. More than 25 percent identify as Black/African-American and nearly nine percent as Hispanic/Latinx. The college strives to have students taught by a diverse faculty, and nearly 27 percent of faculty members self-identify as members of historically underrepresented groups. Since its inception, Columbia College has been a welcoming place. 
Living in the Area  

The area offers a trifecta of benefits – vibrant college town; rising high tech sector and strong economy. These factors along with numerous others are why Columbia, MO has been on Livability’s Best Places to Live for four consecutive years.  Columbia is Missouri's fourth-most-populous and fastest-growing city. It is also a vibrant college town. Columbia College, the University of Missouri, and Stephens College, which surround the city's downtown, have made the city a center of learning.  
Columbia, Missouri is located approximately 120 miles from both Kansas City and St. Louis. Known as “CoMo” to locals, the city has many hospitals, well-maintained parks, popular nightspots and good restaurant and shopping choices. The economy in Columbia features strong sectors in healthcare, insurance, technology, and higher education and a dynamic downtown and many hiking and biking trails add to the city’s overall livability.  
Application Instructions 

For best consideration, please apply by October 10. 

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and CV. You may apply directly. 

To be considered, applications must be made through the application link and not emailed. 

Review will begin upon receipt. Inquiries, referrals, and nominations are treated confidentially and can be sent to Jennifer Muller, Academic Career & Executive Search at 
Columbia College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For further information refer to their Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy here.
This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications
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