Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Oregon State University

Oregon State University
Search for the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University (OSU) invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the role of Dean of its College of Liberal Arts. This is an excellent opportunity for a forward-thinking leader to join a dynamic community of faculty, staff, and students at one of the nation’s leading research universities. OSU seeks a creative leader who is comfortable operating beyond functional silos and is excited by interdisciplinary opportunities that engage a liberal arts education in addressing current global and societal challenges. The Dean will help develop and implement academic and research strategies across the social sciences, humanities, and the arts, and will also be a collaborative and inspiring leader who will cultivate strong and supportive relationships with other colleges across OSU.

OSU is Oregon’s land grant university and the state’s only institution to hold both a Carnegie R1 (very research-intensive) designation and Carnegie Community Engagement classification. In addition to its main campus in Corvallis, the university consists of OSU-Cascades in Bend, the nation’s 4th ranked online education program (Ecampus), the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, the OSU Portland Center, and joint programming with Eastern Oregon University. Through its two campuses, centers in Newport and Portland, agricultural research experiment stations, Extension offices, and research forests, OSU has a presence in all 36 Oregon counties.

Since OSU’s establishment in 1865, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) has been a cornerstone of the University and brings critical methods and crucial insights of the arts, humanities and social sciences to the enduring and contemporary issues facing the world. The College holds the second largest student population at OSU, with over 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and has over 300 faculty members, across four campuses, including Ecampus. Additionally, CLA is the only college at OSU that offers undergraduate students a four-year graduation guarantee. The College prepares students for challenging careers and empowers them to lead lives of achievement, courage, contribution and meaning. With the seven schools and 13 departments, students enjoy access to over 66 academic programs, centers, and interdisciplinary initiatives that prompt them to pursue the liberal arts through academic study, research, and experiential learning.

The next Dean of the College of Liberal Arts will join Oregon State at an exciting time as the University welcomed Dr. Jayathi Murthy as its 16th president in 2022, completed its fourth university strategic plan, and launched a new strategic plan – Prosperity Widely Shared: The Oregon State Plan – in January, 2023. In April 2024, the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts will be fully open, providing an incredible forum to activate the power of the arts and humanities across disciplines and in multiple settings, from the concert hall and theater to research labs and field sites. The University also recently announced the creation of a new $213 million Jen-Hsun and Lori Huang Collaborative Innovation Complex (CIC) which will open in 2025 and be a hub for using computation, artificial intelligence and other technologies and tools to advance team-based, transdisciplinary research tackling grand challenges in climate science, sustainability, and health. The Dean will bring an innovative vision for the College of Liberal Arts that intersects with the goals of the university’s strategic plan and embraces the opportunities for working across the University and will work with an outstanding leadership team in the college to execute on that vision.

The College recently completed a strategic plan and is working to refine actions and tactics. The leadership of the new dean will be critical to this process. As the college undertakes this work, it faces several opportunities and challenges:

  • An opportunity to capitalize on the university’s 2024-2030 strategic plan, Prosperity Widely Shared, which articulates actions and investments to achieve ambitious goals for research, student success, public engagement, and deeply interdisciplinary work in a focused set of fields;
  • A challenge of achieving—within the programs under the college’s control—the university’s mandate to affect a significant trend shift in undergraduate retention and graduation, including a six-year graduation rate of 80 percent by 2030 (up from 70 percent in 2023) and elimination of achievement gaps by income, race, and gender;
  • An opportunity to fully leverage and maximize the impact of PRAx—the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts (opening in 2024)—to support the success of the visual and performing arts at OSU and advance OSU’s distinctive vision to be a national leader in the integration of the arts, humanities, sciences, and engineering;
  • A challenge to diversify and increase the financial resources necessary to achieve the college’s high aspirations, through existing program renovation and new program development that boosts enrollment, and through philanthropy;
  • An opportunity to extend the college’s longstanding leadership, creativity, and innovation in online education, as OSU seeks to more than double online-only enrollment to 30,000 by 2030, and as OSU’s new Division of Educational Ventures helps the university innovate in the increasingly blurred space between on-site and online education and traditional and alternative credentials;
  • An opportunity to deepen the college’s interdisciplinary research and teaching in ways that capitalize on the Huang Collaborative Innovation Complex (opening in 2025) as a university-wide asset, as well as the university’s goal to invest in science, engineering, humanities, social sciences and arts scholarship and teaching in the target fields of climate science, clean energy, integrated health and biotechnology, robotics, data science, and artificial intelligence.

Oregon State University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process/until the position is filled. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.

Julie Filizetti, Joe Kralick, Drew Nichols, and Katie Pusecker Kilcawley
Isaacson, Miller
1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.655.4900

OSU commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.


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