The University of Iowa invites applications for the position of dean of the College of Engineering.


Official University Seal

The University of Iowa seeks a transformational, experienced, and engaged leader with a deep commitment to collaboration and an interdisciplinary focus to serve as its next dean of the College of Engineering. 

This crucial leadership position is responsible for leading this college of 350 faculty and staff in fulfilling its mission to educate its 2,000 students and to engage in collaborative, cutting-edge engineering to positively impact our society.

Opportunities and Expectations for Leadership

The dean is the chief academic, executive, and fiscal officer for the College of Engineering and reports to the executive vice president and provost. The dean provides leadership and oversight for the strategic, academic, intellectual, and administrative affairs of the college, and will be a visible and familiar presence within the college and across campus.

The dean will be expected to focus on the following priorities, among others. 

Articulate a strategic vision for the college

  • Work in a collaborative and transparent fashion across the college to engage and unite the faculty, staff, and students around a clear and compelling vision for the future.
  • Provide direction to the next phase of the college’s evolution and guide decision making around resource allocation and new programmatic initiatives.
  • Inspire, challenge and motivate faculty, students and staff as they work together to enhance the College's national reputation and rankings in pursuit of teaching and scholarly excellence.
  • Present a vision that represents forward thinking, innovative approaches to address some of the state's, the nation's, and the world's most pressing problems and best practices in engineering education.
  • Clearly articulate the value proposition for the college to attract prospective students, faculty, and staff.
  • Support and elevate the university's Strategic Plan for 2022-2027.

Build collaborative relationships internally and externally 

  • Be highly visible and accessible, forging strong and productive relationships with students, faculty and staff within the college and with fellow leaders across the university.
  • Reach out across the institution—to the medical center, liberal arts and sciences and all academic units—to strengthen and stimulate new collaborations that will benefit faculty and students and leverage the many talents and expertise of its faculty through collaborative, multi-disciplinary research.
  • Exploit the synergistic ties across the departments and centers and continue to cultivate collaborations and connections among the faculty.
  • Collaborate with fellow deans and campus leaders to help conceptualize and develop ideas for interdisciplinary programs, joint faculty appointments, new academic degree programs and research initiatives that leverage the strengths of engineering, contributing to advancing the university’s leadership and putting UI at the forefront of research and education.
  • Forge strong relationships and engagement with alumni, donors and industry leaders to grow partnerships, visibility and resources to enable the college to thrive. 

Build research and academic strength capitalizing on the college's interdisciplinary approach 

  • Work with faculty and staff to envision the ongoing growth and development of academic and research programs and initiatives that advance engineering and ensure UI's continued leadership in addressing the grand challenges of the 21st century. 
  • Ensure that effective strategies are in place to enhance the breadth, depth and impact of engineering research activities with a focus on key areas where the College can capitalize on its strengths and to build its leadership position.
  • Support and demonstrate a strong respect for the entire spectrum of fundamentals to applied research.
  • Foster both single-investigator projects and large, multi-investigator trans-disciplinary initiatives that contribute to the college's and university’s larger research strategy, mission and impact.
  • Work to ensure that each of the six departments and nine centers is known for their collective excellence, positioning them as among the nation's leading programs within their respective areas across engineering. 

Strengthen and grow the graduate program

  • Partner with other units to grow and develop the graduate program within the college.
  • Develop a clearly articulated, comprehensive and transformative strategy for attracting graduate students. 
  • Secure new funding sources for graduate students, improve recruitment practices across the college, strengthen the graduate student experience, and ensure professional development and mentoring opportunities for graduate students.
  • Collaborate with and empower leadership at the departmental level.

Build a strong sense of community and advance diversity, equity and inclusion across the college

  • Set the tone and provide leadership to build upon the college's strong sense of community and achieve an environment where departments interact more, students from various programs know each other and they feel an even greater sense of commitment to a common cause.
  • Inspire and motivate the college around a vision for a more equitable and inclusive community while also recruiting and retaining a diverse and talented faculty, staff and student body.
  • Ensure appropriate infrastructure and resources are in place to create an environment where staff can thrive and are empowered at all levels.

Implement the current budget model and address resource issues 

  • Work with the provost and other campus leaders to implement and further refine the university's budget model.
  • Manage the college's annual general education fund budget of over $25 million.
  • Project, manage, and leverage resources in a way that incentivizes innovation, philanthropy, creativity, and entrepreneurism.
  • Advocate for the needs of the college with university leadership in a productive way.
  • Manage resources strategically, fairly and responsibly with the ability and willingness to make difficult and transformative decisions and clearly communicate their decision-making process and rationale for those decisions.
  • Develop and recommend the college's annual budget, managing resource acquisition and allocation, and managing facilities and infrastructure to support the college’s and university’s goals for teaching and research activities.
  • Develop and increase resources to enable growth of the graduate program, research seed funding, startup packages and other key areas for investment. 
  • Work with campus partners to develop and implement a compelling and contemporary marketing strategy and pipeline development plan– one that articulates the college's value proposition to prospective students in a compelling and distinctive way – and work collaboratively with university's central enrollment planning team to grow enrollment.
  • Leverage existing programs to develop new majors, certificates, or minors to enrich the attractiveness and target at the needs of perspective students.


The ideal qualifications and qualities for the next dean of the College of Engineering are as follows:

Required Qualifications:

  • A record of excellence in teaching, scholarly achievement, funded research, and service appropriate for a tenured appointment at the rank of full professor (PhD required) in the College of Engineering;
  • The ability to strategically positon the college to meet contemporary opportunities and challenges while at the same time managing within the financial realities;
  • A record of dynamic, innovative, and visionary academic leadership experience; significant and progressive administrative experiences including experience leading an academic unit such as a department or research center;
  • Ability to formulate and complete transformative initiatives to improve organizational efficiency, resilience, and revenue;
  • Administrative, fiscal, and operations management experience with an astute understanding of university finances and the relationship among academic priorities;  
  • A thorough knowledge and understanding of elements required to sustain and expand top-tier extramural research and entrepreneurial initiatives;
  • Demonstrated experience advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • The ability to clearly communicate the college’s vision and mission to a diverse audience of constituents. 

Desirable Qualifications:

  • A proven track record for leadership in developing and implementing teaching, research, and service activities enhancing the quality of undergraduate and graduate education and research.
  • Demonstrated record of productive interaction with representatives of business and industry, community and state leaders, legislators, and officials at all governmental levels.
  • Experience working with high level donors, alumni communities, and development staff to secure private funds in support of strategic objectives.
  • A record of supporting interdisciplinary research including experience in the formulation of strong research partnerships and supporting faculty in obtaining external funding.
  • Experience with technology transfer and commercialization of academic research.
  • Demonstrated commitment to faculty and staff shared governance and transparency in management.
  • The ability to attract, develop and retain faculty and staff; a strong record of support for staff and faculty development.
  • Change management experience; the willingness and ability to tackle challenging issues, make difficult and actionable decisions; a willingness to take risks.
  • A community builder who can build morale and connect community members to and empower them around a common mission, vision, and purpose.
  • The ability to build high performing teams and to hold them accountable as well as to empower individuals to contribute at their highest levels.
  • Demonstrated ability to serve faculty, staff, and students, and other constituencies in a manner that inspires reciprocal respect.
  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting and maintaining a strong culture of collaboration and innovation across disciplinary areas.
  • Demonstrated success in collaborating with supervisors and other leaders to successfully advocate for the interests of an academic unit and its constituents.

Review and Compensation

Compensation arrangements are competitive and commensurate with the experience, achievement, and responsibilities of this position. 

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the position description. For best consideration, applications and nominations should be received by March 29, 2023.

The search is being assisted by WittKieffer. Please contact Suzanne Teer or Julia Bradley via email at


The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual.

Leadership profile

A PDF version of the leadership profile is available here.

About the College

A center of innovation and discovery driven by talented students, faculty, and staff.

Search partner

UI has partnered with WittKieffer to facilitate and support the search process.