Executive Director, School of Computer and Data Sciences

University of Oregon

Search for the Executive Director of the School of Computer and Data Sciences
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon

The University of Oregon (UO), Oregon’s flagship public research institution, seeks a strategic, visionary, and highly collaborative leader and builder to serve as the Executive Director of the new School of Computer and Data Sciences (SCDS). Combining the university’s growing strength in computer science with its ongoing investment in data science, the new School of Computer and Data Sciences opened in fall 2023. Housed within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), SCDS is an innovative hub in the Pacific Northwest for advancing education and research in computer and data sciences, engaging with the wider world to tackle interdisciplinary challenges, and building a training pipeline for a diverse group of practitioners and leaders.

The Executive Director will join the UO community at a pivotal time. Since 2017, data science has been identified as one of UO’s Presidential Initiatives with a goal of national prominence. In recent years, the university completed an impressive fundraising campaign of over $3 billion that included a billion-dollar gift to launch the Knight Campus, a new transformational science campus, and a $425 million gift to establish the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health. Other key institutional priorities focus on the environment, innovation, diversity, and sports and wellness. Under the leadership of President John Karl Scholz, and with the support of CAS Dean Chris Poulsen, the Executive Director of SCDS will play an instrumental role in bringing together diverse faculty, students, and staff across campus to promote and advance a cohesive vision for computer and data sciences, identify opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships, and further enhance the university’s commitment to positive social impact through accessible public education and engagement for social good.

Founded in 1876, the University of Oregon is a member of the 71-member Association of American Universities (AAU), the state’s flagship institution, and an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with over 15% Latinx student enrollment. It enrolls more than 19,000 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students representing all 50 states and 94 countries. It is an integral economic driver for the state, with an estimated $2.6 billion annual economic return to Oregon. Since 2014, UO has operated under an independent governing structure that supports its ability to chart new directions, improve entrepreneurial activity, and invent creative programming. The main campus of UO is located in Eugene, on Kalapuya Ilihi in the southern Willamette Valley, a picturesque region known for its mild four-season climate, excellent wines, abundant recreational opportunities, and progressive, collaborative culture.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the intellectual hub of UO, shaping its identity as a comprehensive research university rooted in liberal arts and sciences education. The School of Computing and Data Sciences plays a critical role both within the college and through collaboration with other academic units in advancing this mission. Building upon the existing strength of the computer and data science programs, SCDS already serves 1,750 students across campus, including 220 data science and 650 computer science majors, and a new cybersecurity major, along with 21 masters and 41 PhD students. In further establishing and building SCDS, the successful Executive Director will address the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Develop, communicate, and strengthen the strategic directions and interdisciplinary identity of the School as a distinctive leader in computer and data sciences
  • Build an inclusive environment for innovative research and education
  • Forge ties with external partners to increase funds, resources, student opportunities, and industry collaborations
  • Expand student success, access, and retention
  • Support the continued rapid growth of the data science major and facilitate similar growth for the other undergraduate majors

The University of Oregon 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. For best consideration, please apply by September 15, 2024. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: https://www.imsearch.com/open-searches/university-oregon/executive-director-school-computer-and-data-sciences. Electronic submission of materials is required.

Cati Mitchell-Crossley, Silvia Cheng, and Thea Kosmack
Isaacson, Miller
1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111
The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


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