Inaugural Dean (New School for Environment and Sustainability)

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI, US

The University of Michigan, one of the world’s premier research universities with tremendous breadth and depth of academic excellence across its nineteen schools and colleges, invites nominations and applications for the inaugural dean of a new interdisciplinary school for the environment and sustainability. This is an unprecedented opportunity for an innovative, creative and entrepreneurial leader with a passion for research and education.

The University of Michigan is pursuing major changes to its current environment and sustainability structure to strengthen U-M’s position as a leader in interdisciplinary research and education that addresses global challenges in this area. Central to this new structure is a new school, to be named later this year, that addresses global sustainability challenges at the intersection of the environment and society through research, teaching and civic engagement.

U-M’s expansive breadth and depth of expertise uniquely position the University to be at the forefront of an integrated, collaborative, innovative and dynamic set of programs that will magnify the impact of faculty, staff and student work in the environment and sustainability areas. While significant planning is being done over the coming year, the inaugural dean will be empowered to bring his or her vision to this transition process and will be charged with leading and shaping the new school over the coming years.

The new school will replace the current School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), build on its strengths, have a broader mission, and be structured to engage faculty from across the university. It will have porous boundaries so it can provide leadership and work collaboratively with other schools, institutes and programs at the university to develop solutions to the most challenging global sustainability issues.

The new school will bring together faculty from a wide variety of disciplines that will pursue collaborative and highly interdisciplinary approaches to issues that impact our environment, sustainable development and societal linkages. As a new type of school, it will be organized around disciplinary clusters and interdisciplinary sustainability themes. The school will educate and train students on environmental and sustainability concerns at all levels; and the University is committed to ensuring that the new school has sufficient resources to achieve its bold vision of interdisciplinary education, research and service.

The Dean is the chief academic and executive officer of the School and reports directly to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Dean provides leadership and is responsible for all matters relating to the administration of the School, including academic programs, personnel, budgets, alumni engagement, government and industry relations, and fundraising. Working collaboratively with faculty and staff to advance the School’s mission, the Dean represents the School within the University and provides leadership for a wide range of external constituencies.

The Dean of the new school will also be responsible for jointly overseeing the undergraduate Program in the Environment with the Dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, supporting the Program’s mission of providing students with a liberal arts education in sustainability and the environment.

Qualifications include:

  • a distinguished research and teaching record commensurate with an appointment as a full professor in the School,
  • demonstrated ability to work collegially and cooperatively by reaching across school/college/unit boundaries to form positive, productive relationships,
  • experience in and a commitment to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion,
  • the ability to lead and manage via influence and collaboration,
  • the ability to consider issues and perspectives of multiple stakeholders and a wide range of disciplines,
  • demonstrated leadership and administrative experience,
  • excellent communication skills,
  • an understanding of budgeting processes and financial acumen,
  • an aptitude for fundraising,
  • and entrepreneurial skills.

Jane Gruenebaum and Jackie Mildner are leading this search with Kahn Lee and Carmen Delehanty.

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.