EXECUTIVE SEARCH PROFILE
DEAN, SCHOOL OF BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas
Through collaborative, transparent, and visionary leadership, the next Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences will guide a strong, progressive academic school to new heights of excellence. Leveraging existing and developing new connections with a vibrant business and social services community in Austin and throughout the world, the Dean will identify and pursue additional fund-raising opportunities, secure experiential learning and job placements for students and graduates, and serve as a leader of the school for the city and region.
Established in 1885 by the Congregation of Holy Cross, St. Edward’s is a private liberal arts university based in Austin, Texas, with a network of partner universities around the world. The university’s founders believed that the mind must not be cultivated at the expense of the heart, a belief that is still embraced by the university today. Critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and multicultural understanding are emphasized in the university’s innovative core curriculum. Small classes allow students to form close mentor-mentee relationships with faculty and enjoy a personalized approach to education. Because of its location in the vibrant and progressive city of Austin, students have access to rewarding internship placements and service-learning opportunities.
St. Edward’s offers nearly 60 undergraduate and advanced degrees to approximately 4,300 students from 45 states and 57 countries. The St. Edward’s community celebrates strong diversity with enrollment of under-represented student populations accounting for 55% and of international students accounting for 7% of the student body. There are 57 languages spoken and 49 faith traditions represented on campus. Among incoming freshman, 58% rank in the top quarter of their class, with that population having an average SAT score of 1175.
The University regularly receives national recognition, including the following recent examples:
- Ranking among the top 25 schools in the West 17 years in a row by U.S. News and World Report (current ranking of #8)
- Listing among “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes and “Best Colleges” by The Princeton Review
- Identification as a “#1 Producer of Fulbright Students” ten years in a row
- Recognition for the nation’s longest, continuously running College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which began in 1972
St. Edward’s University is an independent Catholic university that welcomes qualified students of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and serves a culturally diverse student body.
The university’s undergraduate programs achieve a balance among the humanities, the sciences and the professions. These programs seek to make graduates competent in a chosen discipline, help them understand and appreciate the contributions of other disciplines and prepare them to further their life goals. Graduate and professional development programs enhance students’ knowledge and skills in order to prepare them to take advantage of more challenging employment opportunities.
Graduates in all programs should be prepared, through training in critical and creative thinking as well as moral reasoning, to analyze problems, propose solutions and make responsible decisions. They should be able to express themselves articulately in both oral and written form. They are encouraged to develop an understanding of the human person that is derived from reason and open to faith.
The university promotes excellence in teaching and learning in an environment that encompasses innovative pedagogy in the curriculum and co-curriculum as well as engagement with the broader community. A caring faculty and staff, recognizing that learning is a lifelong process, teach the skills needed to be independent and productive. They encourage individuals to confront critical issues of society and to seek justice and peace. Students are helped to understand themselves, clarify their personal values and recognize their responsibility to the world community. The university gives the example of its own commitment to service.
St. Edward’s was founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross, from which it acquired distinguishing characteristics: the courage to take risks, an international perspective, and the commitment to provide educational opportunities for students of varied cultural, religious, educational and economic backgrounds.
St. Edward’s expresses its Catholic identity by communicating the dignity of the human person as created in the image of God, by stressing the obligation of all people to pursue a more just world and by providing opportunities for religious studies and participation in campus ministry. St. Edward’s seeks to provide an environment in which freely chosen beliefs can be deepened and expressed.
Vision and Strategic Goals
At St. Edward’s University, every student will explore transformational pathways to knowledge, experience, understanding and achievement.
To this end, the University has identified four goals in its Strategic Plan 2022:
- Anchored in Holy Cross, Catholic values, we cultivate student experiences that educate both the mind and the heart.
- We challenge all students to pursue educational pathways that foster their success.
- We enrich the student educational experience by deepening the relationship between the university and the Austin community.
- We stimulate innovation, collaboration, and informed risk-taking throughout the institution.
Strengths and Points of Pride
- Edward’s is a financially stable institution that is progressive, open to change, and growing. A recent assessment by S&P noted: the university’s history of consistent operational surpluses on a full-accrual basis; strong fundraising momentum on a capital campaign that exceeded its stated goal of $100 million; and a capable management team, reflecting its ability to work through a challenging environment and produce positive operating results.
- The institution enjoys strong leadership.
- The student body composition reflects an institutional commitment to diversity of race/ethnicity and socio-economic status.
- The Holy Cross charism and mission permeates the institution and undergirds all campus activities.
- The working environment is collegial, mutually supportive, and spirited.
- Edward’s, while serving as Austin’s premiere private university, also enjoys a broad global presence.
- The campus is beautiful and well-maintained, and it has grown under the guidance of a master plan that complements historic structures with stunning new architecture.
- Edward’s has a strong record of fund-raising, just completing a $100.6 million comprehensive campaign that augments the $105.3 million endowment. A particular note of pride is that over 70% of the faculty and staff give back to the University.
Austin’s Premiere Private University
St. Edward’s University is located in Austin, Texas, fourth largest city in the state and the third fastest growing city in the nation. Part of the Texas Hill Country, U.S. News and World Report named Austin the #1 place to live in the U.S. for 2017 and 2018. In 2016, Forbes ranked Austin #1 on its “Cities of the Future” list. Austin is home to Fortune 500 companies including Amazon, Apple, Cisco, eBay, General Motors, IBM, Intel, Oracle Corporation, Paypal, Texas Instruments, 3M, Whole Foods Market, and Dell.
In close proximity to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways that afford many opportunities for outdoor recreation, Austin presents a welcoming environment with 300+ days of sunshine, 200+ parks, and an average annual temperature of 690F (low of 590F and high of 800F). The city also features a bustling culinary scene that includes internationally acclaimed restaurants, an endless array of food trucks, and some of the best barbecue and Tex-Mex in the country. The community is culturally progressive and is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” For more information, visit www.austintexas.org.
St. Edward’s is located on a 160 acre hilltop site with excellent views of the Austin skyline. Shaded by heritage trees along pedestrian-friendly pathways and green spaces, the campus is comprised of 19 academic and administrative buildings, 10 residence facilities, six student life buildings, and six athletic fields. The Munday Library houses an extensive collection, global digital classrooms, student study rooms, the Writing Center, and a digital media center. Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel and Brother Stephen Walsh, CSC ’62 Campus Ministry Building serve as the center of campus ministry.
Additionally, less than 10 miles from the well-groomed campus green at St. Edward’s sits Wild Basin Creative Research Center. Co-managed by St. Edward’s and Travis County, Wild Basin includes 227 acres of Central Texas Hill Country habitat. In addition to serving the university community, the center is open to the public for hiking along ~3 miles of well-marked trails and frequently welcomes students and classes from St. Edward’s and numerous elementary and middle schools across Austin.
Academic programs are housed in five different schools:
- Arts and Humanities
- Behavioral and Social Sciences
- Human Development and Education
- Natural Sciences, and
- The Bill Munday School of Business.
Approximately 500 full-time and part-time faculty serve the institution. The average class size is 19, with a 15:1 student/faculty ratio. The average SAT/ACT combined for incoming students is 1124. Four notable centers/institutes enrich the academic environment: the Kozmetsky Center of Excellence, the Wild Basin Creative Research Center, the Center for Ethics and Leadership, and the Center for Teaching Excellence. The University has partner universities on five continents.
St. Edward’s is proud of its record of student success, including:
- 66 Fulbright winners since 2008
- 150 prestigious national and international academic awards since 2008
- 70,000+ volunteer hours given to service each year
- 89% of the students complete internships and other hands-on learning prior to graduation
- 90% of students are employed, volunteering, or in graduate school within 6-12 months post-graduation.
St. Edward’s Hilltopper Athletics participates in 7 men’s sports, 8 women’s sports, and one co-ed sport as part of the Heartland Conference (NCAA, Division II). The university recently transitioned to the Lone Star Conference. The program has enjoyed considerable success over the past five years including 14 Heartland Conference regular season titles, 18 Heartland tournament titles, and 38 NCAA appearances. Forty-one student athletes have been named All Americans and 47 have been named Academic All-Americans.
Dr. George E. Martin has served as President of St. Edward’s since 1999. Previously, he was a faculty member in Political Science and chief academic officer at St. Peter’s University. Under his leadership enrollment and fundraising (more than $181M) have grown dramatically. He established numerous global partnerships and recently was honored for his many accomplishments by the Board of Trustees with the establishment of the Dr. George E. Martin Presidential Scholarship Endowment.
Dr. Andrew Prall joined St. Edward’s in July 2018 after serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There he worked with the deans and other administrators to develop a number of innovative academic programs. He holds a Ph.D. in English and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and he is a former Peace Corps volunteer.
SCHOOL OF BEHAVORIAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
The School of Behavioral and Social Sciences seeks to accomplish the university’s mission by educating students to understand and think critically about human behavior, social institutions, world cultures, and social justice, enabling them to better relate to and serve their community and the world.
The School of Behavioral and Social Sciences is the largest academic division on campus, with 1,023 students across nine majors. Beyond traditional classroom instruction, faculty incorporate experiential learning opportunities, active learning pedagogy, and a culminating experience in every major. In support of developing pedagogy, the University has sponsored faculty professional development with summer support for Innovations Fellows and annually sponsors the Teaching Symposium at the start of the school year to highlight innovative classroom practices.
In line with the global education mission, the School houses a unique Global Studies-Asia Pacific Studies dual degree program with the Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Japan, and supports a long-standing study abroad partnership with the Université Catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France. From 2009 – 2018, the number of majors in the School has increased by 16%, and the School’s FTE faculty has grown by nearly 33%.
The Dean works with a robust and established chair system in the faculty evaluation process and academic program review in pursuit of excellence and enhanced relevance in a rapidly changing world. There is an established and supportive process in place for faculty development. A strong tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration is bolstered by support for research in the form of school-level, competitive grants. The School maintains close relationships with the Kozmetsky Center of Excellence and the Wild Basin Creative Research Center for faculty development and student-faculty research.
The Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences reports to the Provost and serves as a member of the Dean’s Council and of the University Budget Council. The Dean provides vision and leadership to all areas of the School’s operation: academic and curricular affairs, student success, promotion/tenure, budget management, fund-raising, external partnerships, and community service, among others. The Dean supports ongoing accreditation of the BA in Social Work program (reaffirmed for accreditation in 2019) through the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Those reporting directly to the Dean include an administrative assistant, two associate deans, the Director of the Kozmetsky Center, and the department chairs.
- Contribute to the career growth and progression of an experienced, committed faculty and staff.
- Support the teaching mission through the development and review of new and existing graduate and undergraduate programs (including online instruction) to meet student and employer needs.
- Identify additional opportunities that support interdisciplinary work and overseas partnerships to assist graduates as they enter a global, interconnected world.
- Identify and enhance resources to support student-faculty research.
- Support a School with an active role in the University’s general education curriculum.
- Enhance student success (retention and post-graduation outcomes).
- Lead a School into the future terrain of higher education that includes competing with a number of online programs.
- Leverage Austin’s vibrant business and social science community.
- Manage school resources and fuel growth as part of a financially strong institution.
- Further enhance the relationship of the School to the rest of the University to the benefit of its students, faculty, and staff.
- An earned doctorate in a discipline relevant to the school and a scholarly/service record that positions the successful candidate for appointment to the position of Associate Professor or Professor with tenure.
- A record of successful and progressive academic administrative experience. Previous experience as dean is preferred, but not required.
- A thorough understanding of the process of conducting research and a record of strong scholarly accomplishments.
- A record of success in external relations, particularly in fund-raising, networking, and the development of student opportunities.
- A desire to embrace and actualize the Holy Cross charism and mission in all professional activities.
- A record of open, transparent leadership buttressed by strong oral and written communication skills.
- An understanding of and active participation in shared governance.
- A record that demonstrates strategic leadership, innovation, and a willingness to take well-reasoned risks.
- A record of persistence in completing strategic initiatives.
- A demonstrated history of leadership in enhancing diversity and the inclusion of underrepresented groups among students, faculty and staff.
- A charismatic leader who connects and interacts well with students, faculty, and staff in a professional yet personal manner.
For full consideration, please submit all application materials by December 18th, 2019: 1) a current resume or CV; 2) a cover letter addressing the position; and 3) the contact information for three professional references. Additional details on the application procedure can be found here.
It is the policy of St. Edward’s University to ensure equal employment opportunity to all individuals in a positive program of non-discrimination. The Director of Human Resources is responsible for implementing this institution’s policies on Equal Employment Opportunity and any questions on this subject should be addressed to him/her.
The University is committed to adhering to the principles and guidelines outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. All employment-related activities and decisions, including recruitment, hiring, assignment, promotion, training, benefits, use of facilities, and other privileges are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or disability (if otherwise qualified), or veteran status.