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Position Description

Dean of the College/Dean of the Faculty
Colorado College

Colorado College is searching for a new dean of the college/dean of the faculty. This is an important time for the college, as faculty and student creativity combine with institutional resources to create great strengths and even greater opportunities for highly selective liberal arts education and our intensely personal educational and residential environment. The disciplines are strong; multi-disciplinary connections are growing; and scholarly collaboration is vigorous and productive.

The dean will support and advance the academic program, excellent teaching, and our distinctive curriculum. She/he will also nurture scholarship among faculty and students and help create and sustain a climate of intellectual vitality and enthusiasm in the community. Working with the president and other leaders, the dean will take special responsibility for helping faculty work collaboratively and anticipating the multidisciplinary questions and themes that will influence liberal arts education over the next decade.

The Dean's Authority

Appointed to a five-year term that is potentially renewable, the dean is the second-ranking officer with responsibilities that span the entire institution. She/he reports directly to the president, serves on the president’s cabinet, takes a leadership role on the annual budget process, and recommends decisions on tenure and promotion of faculty to the president. The dean has primary responsibility for developing and sustaining strong support for the faculty in all its roles; evaluating and improving existing academic programs, and at times, establishing new ones; allocating resources to departments and programs; and approving faculty searches and selection. The dean oversees a budget of approximately $38 million.

Some Emerging Issues

To advance Colorado College’s distinctive forms of liberal arts teaching and residential education, and its strong tradition of faculty scholarship and undergraduate research, the dean will need to address the following issues:

  • How can the academic administration, and especially the Office of the Dean, increase and sustain mutual trust and improve support all across the campus? What policies, practices, and habits will ensure that these values are more completely embedded in our community?
  • How should the college encourage fairness and equity across departments and units, and at the same time attend to the unique needs of each? What policies and practices will strengthen each part of the academic program as the entire program evolves?
  • How can the college use each opportunity to hire a faculty colleague to strengthen the departments, increase diversity, and improve the academic community as a whole? What practices and policies will ensure that we add to the breadth, depth, and distinctiveness of our academic profile each time we add to the faculty body?
  • How should the college continue and deepen current conversations about our most effective and efficient form of shared governance between the faculty and the academic administration?  For example, how can the college improve practices that determine committee work for faculty members?  In addition, how can the dean’s office reorganize to best support faculty and the academic program? What are best practices among peers?
  • What are our best forms of academic collaboration now, and how do we anticipate our patterns of collaboration changing in the future? As more and more scholars and students depend on robust collaboration as a foundation for their academic careers, what can we do to support and encourage their interaction and their work? How can the Dean’s Office model effective collaboration and teamwork for other units?
  • What are the very best forms of mentoring, advising, and academic support for the college? Are there stronger ways to support and advise students, junior faculty, and staff than those we are using now? If so, how can we strengthen these for the best effect?
  • The infrastructure should advance excellence in teaching, scholarship, and outreach. How can the college do more to develop faculty and meet their academic needs? For example, over the next five years, what improvements to technology, global learning, and grant writing support are needed?
  • How should Colorado College lead conversations on the campus and beyond about the value of a liberal arts education and its critical contribution to higher education in America?  How should we adapt these values to meet the needs of our students now and in the future?


The ideal candidate will combine a passion for liberal arts teaching, residential education, and scholarship with strong administrative and leadership skills. As well as being a gifted intellectual leader, the dean must be skilled in using administrative tools, such as meetings, budgets, and grants; convening faculty groups to provide advice and make judgments; and creating channels and venues for the expression of faculty voice. The dean will work with faculty to strengthen the disciplines, advance scholarship, and offer excellent instruction within and across the disciplines.

The successful candidate will be an accomplished, tenured scholar and educator.  She/he will demonstrate achievement in creating distinguished and distinctive academic programs in collaboration with colleagues both within disciplines and across disciplinary lines; a collegial, consultative management style allied with the ability to be strong and decisive; exceptional interpersonal and communication skills; and advocacy for teaching, scholarship, and collaborative inquiry.  Experience in developing external sources of funding and an appreciation for and understanding of the role of information technology in education and research are also required.

In addition to the professional experience outlined, the successful candidate is likely to bring important personal characteristics to the position. The dean must demonstrate the highest degree of personal integrity, be an excellent listener as well as speaker, be innovative and creative, and have a disposition that is upbeat, positive and optimistic. A sense of humor is a must.

Procedure for Nomination

President Jill Tiefenthaler is inviting nominations for this internal search.  To make a nomination, please contact President Tiefenthaler in writing at or at the President’s Office on campus.  Nominations should be received by February 15.  All communications will be treated confidentially. Colorado College is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

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