Dean, College of Engineering

THE DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

Reporting directly to the Provost, the Dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the College of Engineering. The Dean’s direct reports include the College’s six department chairs; the Director of Business and Financial Operations; the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Finance and Administration; and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Research, and Faculty Success. The Dean oversees an annual operating budget of $17.7M. Forty-one percent of the College budget comes from tuition, 20 percent from student fees, 19 percent from research grants and sponsored programs and 20 percent from a State of Kansas grant.  

OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES

To ensure the College of Engineering’s sustainable growth, innovation and increase academic distinction, the next Dean will address the following key opportunities and specific challenges:

Provide visionary academic leadership, advance newly developed programs and continue the trajectory of programmatic growth

The College of Engineering is a premier engineering training ground in the state and in the country. The next Dean will endeavor to maintain this trajectory by creating a clear vision that will propel the College in the areas of applied and technical research, academic programs, applied learning, student academic success and industry collaborations. With the newly established School of Computing and the creation of the master’s degree in materials engineering.  Exciting opportunities exist to drive efforts forward in faculty research and teaching. In concert with the College community and external stakeholders, the dean will craft and communicate a new vision for the College and work collaboratively with University and College leadership to define strategic goals and measures that align with the strategic plan and goals of the university.

Significantly grow and promote pioneering research endeavors and world-class interdisciplinary scholarship

The new Dean will be an active promoter and advocate for the College and will leverage the strength of faculty to further elevate the College’s visibility, encouraging intellectual leadership on the national stage. The Dean will facilitate strategic endeavors and will grow research. The Dean will work across the College and with Deans across the University to increase interdisciplinary endeavors and foster a culture of external funded research. Further, the dean will allocate resources and space appropriately, leading a community of top scholars with an eye on continuous advancement across multiple metrics, including various national rankings and industry collaborations.

Expand applied learning opportunities by growing industry partnerships

Industry partnerships with the College are paramount to workforce development in Wichita, as the University is one of the major economic drivers in the city and the state. Building on the momentum of successfully established industry partnerships, the new Dean will concentrate on expanding opportunities for applied learning experiences, including co-ops, internships, and research activities. The Dean’s physical location on the Innovation Campus provides ample opportunities to preserve and grow existing relationships and to generate new connections that are vital to the University, the College and the community. The Dean will continue to collaborate with the Senior Vice President for Industry and Defense Programs to discover new pathways of engagement through NIAR.

Strengthen faculty recruitment, retention and career advancement

Bringing an established track record of research and teaching, the new Dean will be a strong champion of faculty recruitment and success.  By relying on the strength of the University’s shared-governance, state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, and unwavering commitment to excellence, the Dean will fortify the College’s recruiting position and ensure the continued ability to attract and retain diverse, talented academic and industry talent. The Dean will reinforce a positive, inclusive culture and nurture collaborative initiatives to foster a strong community.

Position the College of Engineering to grow enrollments and support diversity, equity, and inclusion across programs

WSU has implemented a comprehensive strategic enrollment management plan to drive enrollment across all programs, engaging faculty, students and staff in this universal effort. In the last decade, the College has seen significant growth with a 140 percent increase in women and 180 percent in LatinX students, but more strategic efforts are needed to accelerate the College’s successful trajectory. The Dean will have a history of skillfully managing enrollment and developing diverse and distinctive academic programs to attract a high quality and diverse student body and will continue to closely support student success and retention programs provided by the Engineering Student Success Center.

The Dean will be a compelling and passionate advocate for justice and equity and will promote a culture of belonging throughout the College community, ensuring that the research and educational experiences are broadly inclusive and welcoming. The next Dean will build upon this commitment to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion, actively addressing issues in the recruitment, retention and degree completion of underrepresented student populations. The Dean will also work across the University and College to promote and drive innovative programs that attract and retain diverse faculty and staff to the College.

Bolster the College’s financial standing through fiscal stewardship, philanthropy and thoughtful resource management

In collaboration with the WSU Foundation development team, the new Dean will cultivate and diversify advancement opportunities to strengthen the financial base of the college. On the heels of an incredibly successful seven-year University fundraising campaign, the Dean will continue to play a critical role in meeting the College’s philanthropic goals. This will include increased engagement with major donors and alumni, as well as seeking new industry and corporate partners to provide additional resources. The Dean will also seek out alternative sources of funds such as revenue-generating programs and grants from a range of federal and state funding sources and will also be an effective advocate for necessary resources and support from University leadership. The Dean will be a creative and resilient problem-solver able to identify opportunities for operational and administrative efficiencies and thoughtfully manage limited resources.  An astute understanding of finances, resource allocation and the relationship between academic priorities and budget will be important for the next Dean to be successful.

THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE

While no one person will embody all of them, the successful candidate will exemplify many of the following qualifications and attributes:

  • A distinguished track record of teaching, research and service commensurate with appointment at the level of tenured full professor.
  • A strong administrative background with significant successful experience at the rank of program director, department chair or above. Prior success in leading and expanding a major program, department, college, or business, including the recruitment and mentoring of researchers, practitioners, and educators who embody high caliber professionalism and diversity.
  • Experience with specialty accreditation process such as ABET.
  • Demonstrated experience in advancing and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion with faculty, students, and staff.
  • A proven track record in securing and managing external grant funding, as well as demonstrated experience with fundraising.
  • Highly effective interpersonal skills and an adept oral and written communicator who can inspire, cultivate key external constituencies, attract partners, raise funds, generate excitement among alumni, and obtain commitments to support the College.
  • A strong ability to clearly articulate the nature of the University and College missions within an urban setting and the ability to clearly articulate College goals and alignment with, and in support of, the University mission.
  • Ability to develop effective strategies to increase undergraduate and graduate enrollment in line with the University’s strategic enrollment management plan.
  • Demonstrated strong entrepreneurial spirit and an ability to leverage the expertise of faculty in order to enhance the economic capacity of business and industry of the greater Wichita metropolitan area and the state of Kansas.
  • Highly capable of working within a culture of shared governance, academic freedom and due process.
  • Demonstrate understanding of and a commitment to working with the senior university and academic leadership consisting of the President’s Executive Team, Provost, the associate vice presidents for academic affairs, and the Council of Deans.
  • An open and consultative leader; an excellent collaborator who can partner with and inspire faculty, staff, and students to elevate the College to heightened levels of success. 
  • Experience garnering student feedback to inform program development and a commitment to student engagement.
  • Track record of effectively building trust and developing people to work collaboratively.
  • Success fostering a culture of external funded research.
  • Success fostering creative avenues for student engagement.
  • Experience supporting technology transfer, public/private partnerships, and university engagement in the external community. 

Search Committee

Andrew Hippisley Search Committee Chair
Gary Brooking Engineering Technology
Gamal Weheba Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
Charles Yang Aerospace Engineering
Bin Li Mechanical Engineering
Nils Hakansson Biomedical Engineering
Vinod Naboodiri School of Computing
Visvakumar Aravinthan Electrical Engineering
Julie Ellen Acosta Dean's advisory Committee Member
Tom Aldag NIAR Staff Representative
Jason Bosch College of Engineering Staff Representative
Jennifer Alfaro Undergraduate Student Representative
Charlotte "Charlie" Rippy Graduate Student Representative
Magnus Assarsson WSU Foundation Representative
Moriah Beck Non-Engineering Faculty Representative
Marche Fleming-Randle Chief Diversity Officer

Wichita State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.