The University of Alabama (UA) seeks a strategic and collaborative leader with a distinguished scholarly profile to serve as the next Dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences (C&IS). The Dean will develop a future-oriented vision for the College and provide leadership on planning, curricular, research, and budgetary decisions. The Dean will also engage with alumni, the world of business, media, information sciences, technology, corporate, civic, and community entities, as well as state and federal government officials to advance the goals of the College and University. The successful candidate must possess a terminal degree and qualify for appointment at the rank of tenured full professor in one of the College’s academic units, which include Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Studies, Journalism and Creative Media, and Library and Information Studies. The candidate must also possess a significant and progressive record of leadership in a professional setting including higher education, government, and/or industry, along with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the ability to advance the university’s philosophy and practice relative to DEI.Preference will be given to candidates who possess leadership experience in higher education and a sustained record of excellence in research, service, and teaching commensurate with a comprehensive research intensive university. Additionally, the ideal candidate will demonstrate a readiness to advance the college by fundraising and building external partnerships.
Located in the heart of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, The University of Alabama serves 38,320 students and is one of the nation’s premier universities, offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in nearly 200 fields of study. With more than 1,000 acres of tree-lined academic core campus and over 300 state-of-the art facilities, UA has been ranked among the most beautiful and most inspiring college campuses in the nation. In fall 2021, the Capstone set 47 new enrollment records, including the largest first-year student class to ever enroll. In addition, enrollment of first-year students from Alabama rose over 8%, the most in a decade, resulting in a first-year class that is 39% in-state and 61% out-of-state. UA is a leader among public universities in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars, with 281 first-year students tallying a 27% increase from the previous year and a new UA record of 940 National Merit Scholars among all undergraduate students. Along with these records, its 6,632 graduate, law, and medical students enrolled this fall are all-time highs for UA. As the state’s flagship university, UA is also designated among the top doctoral research universities in the United States in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Since 2015, UA has invested over $1.1 billion in the physical campus, adding more than 2.55 million gross square feet of space, over 150 new research-intensive faculty, signature research areas (e.g., “The Alabama Research Institutes”), and a growing number of partnerships with industry and with state and federal agencies. UA’s research enterprise has been surging higher for seven consecutive years. For fiscal year 2020, sponsored awards reached more than $168.4 million, an increase of more than 27% over the previous year, which was also record-breaking. Total sponsored awards increased by 70% in the last two fiscal years (2019-2020), strengthening UA’s position as one of the fastest growing research institutions in the nation. The University employs nearly 2,100 faculty and over 4,500 staff, with 52 UA researchers included in the National Academy of Inventors. An additional 36 current faculty have received the NSF CAREER Award, one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions of top performing young scientists in disciplines ranging from nanoscience and engineering to biological sciences.
The College of C&IS is among the most distinguished academic units in Alabama’s flagship university. Its academic programs are highly ranked. For example, the forensics program has won 19 national team championships, and PRWeek has recognized the Public Relations program as one of the nation’s top five programs in each of the last five years. The College has a faculty of eminent teachers and scholars with national and international reputations.
The College comprises diverse academic and professional units. Academic units include the departments of Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Studies, Journalism and Creative Media, and the School of Library and Information Studies. The Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) accredits the mass communication programs, and the American Library Association (ALA) accredits the School of Library and Information Studies. The College’s broadcast assets are extensive and include the 50,000 square foot Digital Media Center, housed in Bryant Denny Stadium and home to the award-winning Center for Public Television, Alabama Public Radio, and WVUA-23 Television, a full powered commercial television station serving a top-50 television market. Unique graduate offerings include master’s programs in each of the four units, an MFA program in Book Arts, and a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. in Communication and Information Sciences.
The College provides superior research opportunities, including affiliation with the Institute for Communication and Information Research (ICIR), which conducts research for government, private sector, and media clients. The ICIR includes research laboratories such as: the biometrics lab, the human communication lab, the health communication doctor/patient lab, the Public Opinion Lab, and the soon to be completed multi-purpose theatre/gaming lab space. In addition to the ICIR, the college is home to The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, The Alabama Program in Sports Communication, and The Speaking Studio. Grants, contracts, and gifts support both students and programs in the College.
The College maintains close ties with and provides leadership for professional and scholarly organizations. Alumni, who include Fortune 500 CEOs, Pulitzer Prize winners, and leaders in communication and information professions, are loyal and generous supporters of the College.
Additional information about UA is available in the opportunity profile. Further information on the Dean search can be found here.
Applications should consist of a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a list of five professional references with full contact information, and a request for confidentiality if desired. No references will be contacted without the explicit permission of the candidate. Applications, nominations, and expressions of interest can be submitted electronically, and in confidence, to: UADeanCIS@academicsearch.org. Applications submitted by Thursday, March 24, 2022, will receive full consideration.
Confidential discussions about this opportunity may be arranged by contacting Ann Die Hasselmo at Ann.Hasselmo@academicsearch.org or Chris Butler at Chris.Butler@academicsearch.org, consultants with Academic Search.
Further information about the University of Alabama is available at https://www.ua.edu/. For more information on the College of Communication and Information Sciences, click here.
The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status, and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants to and employees of this institution are protected under Federal law from discrimination on several bases.