Dean Search Opportunity at the University of Kansas

School of Architecture & Design, University of Kansas

The University of Kansas (KU) seeks candidates for the position of Dean for the School of Architecture and Design.  As an entrepreneurial leader with a creative vision, the Dean must articulate a mission for the School within both disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts that integrates with the vision, mission, and goals of the University. In response to the dynamic landscape of higher education, the successful candidate must advance the goals and reputation of the School at the regional, national and international levels, continue to foster a commitment to research and discovery in the school, create and continue partnerships with industry for experiential student learning, and actively pursue fundraising efforts with donors and alumni. The Dean must also demonstrate commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging among students, staff, faculty, parents, and external constituents/community partners.

The approximately 800 undergraduates, 200 graduate students and 40 faculty who comprise the School of Architecture and Design share a commitment to excellence. The Dean will strategically and collaboratively lead the School in its scholarly and educational contributions to high-quality built and visual environments, while maintaining the sense of community, supportive interactions, and exceptional teaching standards.

The Department of Architecture emphasizes design education through diverse experiences which include learning through fabrication, collaborative research, and community engagement. Its mission is to provide graduates with an educational foundation for exemplary professional practice and personal career fulfillment as well as to prepare them to be critical design-thinkers and problem solvers who will serve, enrich, and sustain their professions and communities. Established in 1912, the Department of Architecture has evolved to create opportunities for a comprehensive professional education that focuses on design that strengthens the bridge between academic and the professional worlds. The excellence of the KU Architecture Program is internationally known for its high-impact programs in design/build, health and wellness, historic preservation, participatory design, urban design, and experiential learning in immersive global study abroad and professional internship programs.  The department is recognized for its development of multidisciplinary collaborations and demonstrated impact in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our M. Arch program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and meets the certification requirements of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Since its inception in 2007, the department’s PhD program has attracted talent from around the world and provides students with rich research experience that leads to professional and academic success. Launched in 2017, the Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture program provides a professional interior design education that is reinforced by evidence-based pedagogical approaches and human-centered design solutions. Currently a candidate for CIDA accreditation, the Interior Architecture program plans to be fully CIDA accredited by 2024.

The Department of Design has a rich history of educating leaders in professional practice in the areas of Visual Communication, Industrial Design, Illustration, and Photography, with a strong emphasis on professional practice and application of design thinking, making and visualization. Since its founding in 1921, the Department has prepared students to create meaningful, beautiful, and innovative human-centered solutions that enhance the quality of everyday life. Our nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate programs, versatile studios and Center for Design Research collaborate with industry leaders such as Garmin International, Ford Motor Company, National Park Service, GoogleUX, Microsoft PowerBI, Adidas, Newell Rubbermaid, and Stanley Black & Decker, as well as non-profit, community and cultural institutions. The engaged research and professional expertise of the department’s award-winning faculty extends the mission of the University across our local, national and global design communities, while creating a dynamic academic environment with a focus on learning by doing. The Department offers a rich culture of interdisciplinary sponsored studios that enhance student learning by means of collaborative project-based experiences. These include community and professional partnerships, design charettes, sponsored internships, immersive study abroad opportunities, and a robust Hallmark Lecture series that connects students to a diverse cohort of international art and design practitioners.

Situated in the picturesque, historic, and culturally vibrant city of Lawrence, and located approximately 40 miles from downtown Kansas City, the School of Architecture and Design plays a central role in the life of the University of Kansas. Founded in 1865, KU is a designated Carnegie comprehensive doctoral / Research I University and one of only 36 public members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). The University enrolls more than 27,000 students and offers students and faculty opportunities to collaborate in its graduate and professional programs which include education, public health, medicine, law, and a number of allied social science disciplines. The University of Kansas is the largest of six public universities governed by the Kansas Board of Regents. KU is committed to excellence and fosters a multicultural environment in which the dignity and rights of every individual are respected.

The University of Kansas’ Jayhawks Rising strategic plan guides our faculty, staff and students in achieving our vision is to create an exceptional learning community that lifts each other and advances society. Our mission is to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world. With annual research expenditures exceeding $275 million and an endowment of more than $1 billion, the University’s mission to build healthier communities is particularly embraced by the faculty, staff, and students in the School of Architecture and Design. Buoyed by the reputation and productivity of faculty and staff, and by the enduring support of its alumni and agency partners in Kansas and beyond, the School of Architecture and Design offers an exciting and attractive environment in which to work.

The ideal candidate for the next Dean of the School of Architecture and Design is someone who values innovation and discovery, understands the foundations of both design and architecture, is a consensus-builder and collaborator, demonstrates competencies in successful budget planning and fundraising, and will advocate on behalf of the school with alumni and industry.

Duties of the Dean

  • Provides leadership, strategy, and vision to the School of Architecture and Design that aligns with the University’s mission and strategic plan.
  • Advocates the distinctive nature of the School and its disciplinary foci to the university and wider community.
  • Establishes and strengthens collaborations with the professions, alumni, and the broader community.
  • Works to expand and maintain networks and strategic partnerships with industry and key constituents.
  • Leads the fundraising efforts and secures financial support in partnership with KU Endowment.
  • Develops, balances, and administers a viable budgetary strategy for the School to maintain various program accreditation requirements, strategic research initiatives, and experiential learning experiences.
  • Develops and implements a sustainable, student-focused strategy in meeting the School’s resources, personnel, facilities, accreditation, programming, and other needs.
  • Fosters a climate of collaboration in the School community and supports a positive scholarly environment that focuses upon excellence in research, teaching, and service that values and continually enhances a climate of diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging.
  • Creates, designs, and utilizes data to make strategic leadership decisions for the School and its future growth.
  • Models stewardship in providing direction and oversight of School’s personnel and resources.
  • Develops a talent strategy to recruit, retain, develop, and promote excellence and productivity in faculty and staff.
  • Promotes the visibility and impact of the School and its community within national and international contexts.

Required Qualifications

  1. An advanced/post-professional degree or earned doctoral degree in Architecture, design or related field.
  2. Scholarly credentials and/or professional achievement that meet the standards for tenure in the School of Architecture and Design.
  3. A record of success in competitively funded scholarly/professional activities.
  4. A successful record of administrative leadership.
  5. Demonstrated experience in strategic planning, budget planning and management, and personnel management.
  6. Experience and knowledge of issues relevant to higher education.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Holds professional credentials, license, and/or recognition in architecture, design, or a related field in a national and/or international professional jurisdiction.
  • Administrative leadership in a comprehensive institution of higher education.
  • Experience in developing and implementing a successful fundraising, marketing, endowment, acquisition, global expansion or comparable initiative to showcase and/or expand growth opportunities within an organization.
  • Involvement in professional associations at national and/or international levels.
  • Experience with, and knowledge of, accreditation standards in architecture, interior architecture, and design.

Terms of Appointment
This is a 100% FTE, 12-month appointment which reports to the Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor.  All major administrators at KU serve at the pleasure of the administrator to whom they report.  The expectation is that the Dean will serve an initial term of five years with the possibility of continued appointment after that time.  In addition to annual evaluations, the Dean’s performance will be reviewed in depth every five years.  The selected incumbent must meet all employment, background check, and U.S. work authorization requirements at the time of hire.

Contact Information to Applicants
For information concerning this position or to make a nomination, please contact: Rick Ginsberg  >
Search Committee Chair/Dean of the School of Education & Human Sciences

Additional Candidate Instruction
The position is available with a start date of July 1, 2022. Review of applications will begin October 11, 2021 and will continue as needed until a pool of qualified applicants is identified.  For a complete announcement and to apply online, go to

Evaluation of requirements will be based upon a letter of application describing your work and experience as it relates to the position (including but not limited to strategic planning expertise, leadership roles, fiscal management, and planning oversight) and qualification requirements, a current CV or resume and contact information (email and phone) for three professional references. Only complete applications will be accepted.

In addition to the materials above, learning about each applicant’s contribution and engagement in areas of diversity is an important part of KU’s mission. As a result, applicants will be presented the following question at the time of application. The response must be within 4,000 characters or less:

  • Describe your experiences working with people from diverse backgrounds, and explain how those experiences reflect your commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.