College of Fine Arts Position Announcement: Dean

The University of Arizona

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona – the state’s “super” land-grant University – has over a dozen colleges and two medical schools. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, making it one of the leading public and private research universities in the United States. The University of Arizona graduates individuals who are real-world ready through its 100% Student Engagement initiative, and our faculty members include Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, McArthur Grant recipients, and more. The UA is ranked by the NSF in the top 25 among public universities in research activity, expending more than $606 million in FY15. The UA is advancing the frontiers of inter- and transdisciplinary scholarship, entrepreneurship and external partnerships. The UA delivers an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually to the State of Arizona, serving approximately 43,000 students and employing over 12,000 faculty and staff.

The UA has experienced extraordinary growth in admissions, research activity, campus life, and reputation. Less measurable, but even more important for the future, is the collective sense of momentum that energizes the UA’s students, faculty, and administration.

The University of Arizona has been recognized on Forbes 2015 list of America’s Best Employers in the United States and has been awarded the 2015 Work-Life Seal of Distinction by the Alliance for Work-Life Progress!

For more on working at the University of Arizona, visit WhyUA?

The College of Fine Arts

The College of Fine Arts encompasses four schools (School of Art, School of Dance, Fred Fox School of Music, and the School of Theatre, Film and Television) as well as the Hanson Film Institute and UA Presents. Home to 1,400 student majors, 160 faculty members, and over twenty degree programs, the college contains a range of top-ranked programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. CFA encompasses a broad range of faculty members, including scholars, artists, performers, and practitioners. The University of Arizona is committed to creating a campus where the arts transform the academic and social experience for students, faculty, and the Tucson community.  It offers world-class museums (including the University of Arizona Museum of Art, Arizona State Museum, and the Center for Creative Photography), excellent performance venues, and extensive opportunities for community engagement around the arts in collaboration with other campus units. These on-campus resources are matched by a thriving local community in the fine and performing arts.

Position Summary

The University of Arizona invites nominations and applicants for the position of Dean of the College of Fine Arts (CFA). We seek a candidate who will work collaboratively with the campus, local, and national communities to deliver inspired leadership that enables the college to achieve new levels of visibility and success in its creative, scholarly, and educational endeavors. The new Dean will further develop the strengths of the individual schools and programs while cultivating a shared CFA culture and identity. The ideal candidate will also demonstrate a capacity to explore opportunities in developing partnerships and interdisciplinary programming at an institution with a significant number of world-class programs and resources.

The Dean is expected to advocate for CFA on regional, national, and global levels as fitting for a land-grant university, and support the aspirations of each school while broadening the overall vision and global reputation of the college. The successful candidate will demonstrate strong fundraising abilities and budgetary acumen, combined with shared leadership in collaboration with the school directors, a robust faculty, and dedicated staff. The Dean will also fulfill an essential part of CFA’s mission through extensive engagement with the local community and arts organizations.

With an increasingly diverse student, faculty and staff population, applicants are expected to contribute to an inclusive environment through recruitment, mentorship and an adherence to the university’s philosophy of Inclusive Excellence. We especially encourage applicants from underrepresented communities.

The new Dean is anticipated to begin duties in the summer of 2018.                                                                                                             

Duties & Responsibilities

The Dean provides leadership and administrative oversight for CFA, with direct supervision of the directors of the four CFA schools as well as administrators, development officers, and other staff. The Dean is expected to optimize CFA instructional programs and seek interdisciplinary, campus-wide opportunities to meet emerging needs. The Dean will support and elevate CFA scholarly and creative activities, ensuring junior faculty have the necessary mentoring and support to assume positions of leadership in their respective fields. Given the UA’s land-grant mission, it is also critical for the Dean to prioritize and promote service, outreach, and community activities. Across all of these responsibilities, a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential.

Fundraising and development are of critical importance to further building capacity in CFA. The Dean leads fundraising efforts, fosters relationships with external constituencies, and works closely with CFA’s development team as well as the UA Foundation to connect donors with philanthropic opportunities. The University recently moved to a Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) budget model that will permit unparalleled opportunities for financing growth. Exceptional resource management and budgeting skills are required, as is continual environmental scanning in service to strategic positioning.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

The successful candidate will have a distinguished record of administrative accomplishments, and achievement in scholarship, research, and/or professional practice commensurate with an appointment at the rank of Professor with tenure. The candidate should also demonstrate effective managerial leadership, clear communication, the ability to recruit and retain high-quality faculty, and a commitment to diversity, shared governance, and community engagement.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A terminal degree appropriate to the field of study, or equivalent professional experience.
  • A proven track record of administrative experience in a large, complex organization.
  • The skills necessary to perform as an effective communicator to internal and external constituencies.
  • The ability to navigate the political landscape of higher education and its various statewide stakeholders.
  • A commitment to shared governance and participatory decision-making.
  • A proven track record of fundraising and development.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience as an Administrator in a Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) environment.


University of Arizona, main campus, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona is home to The University of Arizona.  Many people are drawn to the area due to the sunny weather and the surrounding beauty of the Arizona Sonoran Desert and multiple mountain ranges.  The area is one of the earliest inhabited areas of the country, making it one of the most culturally rich cities of the West with numerous museums and art galleries throughout the city!

Some facts about Tucson:

  • Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix.
  • Tucson is the 33rd largest city in the United States and the 52nd largest metropolitan area with an estimated population of 530,000.
  • Tucson has 350 days of sunshine a year, making it a location that draws outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking and biking.
  • Tucson is close proximity to many popular areas to visit including Mexico (1.5 hour drive), Phoenix (2 hour drive), Flagstaff (4 hour drive), The Grand Canyon (5 hour drive), San Diego (6 hour drive), and Las Vegas (6.5 hour drive).
  • Tucson is an affordable place to live with the cost of living 9% below the national average.

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

Salary & Benefits

  • Salary is dependent upon experience
  • Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans
  • Life insurance and disability programs
  • Paid vacation, sick time and holidays
  • UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members
  • State and optional retirement plans
  • Access to UA recreation and cultural activities


Colleen Neese
Practice Leader/ Executive Search Consultant
Duffy Group
Phone: (602) 802-8329

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