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The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas
Closing date
Sep 13, 2021
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The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) invites applications and nominations for the next Dean of the College of Natural Sciences. In partnership with University leadership, the Dean will play a major leadership role in advancing the mission and enhancing the resources and reputation of UT Austin’s largest college and will thereby contribute measurably to the success of one of the nation’s finest public research universities.

The College of Natural Sciences (CNS) comprises 12 departments (astronomy; chemistry; computer science; human development and family science; integrative biology; marine science; mathematics; molecular biosciences; neuroscience; nutritional sciences; physics; statistics and data sciences) and the School of Human Ecology, making the disciplinary scope of the College considerably larger than its counterparts at peer institutions. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks 11 of the College’s degree programs among the top 10 in the country. The College’s annual operating budget is $258 million, and it generates more than $110 million in extramural funding each year. With an endowment of $566 million, CNS has 62 endowed chairs, 78 endowed professorships, and 216 endowed excellence funds. The CNS community is comprised of approximately 11,200 undergrad and 1,700 graduate students, respectively; 700 tenured, tenure-track, and instructional faculty; and 1,200 administrative staff. Additional information is available at

Reporting to the University’s Executive Vice President and Provost, the Dean is responsible for advancing the mission, operations, and services of the College through strategic decisions regarding personnel, general administration and management, budget, academic programs, and development functions. The next Dean will guide a robust scholarship and research agenda and promote excellence and inclusiveness in undergraduate and graduate education. Examples of current research and educational priorities include:

• Empowering future leaders for Texas, the nation, and humanity

• Equipping students for success in the “big data era”

• Sidestepping the next pandemic

• Harnessing the power of data to tackle society’s greatest challenges

• Driving diversity in science

• Charting a sustainable course for Texas and the planet

• Illuminating the origin of the universe

• Leading the AI revolution

• Unlocking the cures for Alzheimer’s and addiction

With sustained research energy across its faculty and four-year graduation rates for undergraduate students at record levels – with largest improvements seen among students who are the first in their families to attend college, Pell-Grant eligible, and/or from populations underrepresented in the sciences – CNS is in a fundamentally strong position. The talented leadership team in the dean’s office and collaborative cadre of department chairs are committed to working with the new dean to sustain and build on current strengths and capacities and to pursue longer-term initiatives.

CNS benefits from its location in Austin, which has a vibrant economy, growing population, and booming tech industry.  Austin serves as the corporate and regional headquarters for many Fortune 500 companies and successful tech start-ups, including major technology-oriented companies such as Amazon, AMD, Apple, Dell, and Google. These companies have established operations in Austin in part to draw from the highly skilled talent the University produces.  Opportunities for strategic partnerships and workforce development innovation are seemingly limitless.   


The College’s new dean should be an inclusive, transparent, and empathetic leader who commits to the full scope of the role, to the community of the College, the University, and the State, and to the sustained effort that success in such a multi-dimensional leadership position requires. They will demonstrate a deep commitment to excellence in research and education with equity centered at the core. Candidates for the position should demonstrate a mix of skills, qualifications, experiences, and aptitudes that will include some measure of each of the following:

  • An established record of effective, strong, and collaborative leadership and demonstrated administrative experience.
  • Credentials for appointment at the Full Professor level, including Ph.D. or recognized equivalent and sustained record of research excellence, academic mentorship, and effective teaching in one of CNS’s constituent disciplines.
  • Genuine understanding of the teaching mission and the importance of providing undergraduate and graduate students with the highest-quality educational experience. Must understand and value the importance of a diverse student body.
  • Commitment to increasing philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, and corporations. A track record of increasing external support in gifts, contracts, and grants and of developing industry partnerships, preferred.
  • Record of operational leadership and fiscal management demonstrating excellence, growth, and financial effectiveness.
  • Personal and academic integrity and excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.

Opus Partners is assisting the University with this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Interested candidates should submit in electronic form (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred) a curriculum vitae and letter of interest to the Opus consultants leading the engagement –Craig Smith, Partner, Jeffrey Stafford, Senior Associate, and Sudeshna Chatterjee, Associate:


The University of Texas is fully committed to equal opportunity and fairness and welcomes applicants from under-represented groups as well as applicants who demonstrate a commitment to diversity. There is additional information about the search at  The search process is confidential.

The University of Texas at Austin is committed to providing an inclusive educational environment in which all students, faculty, and staff can learn, research, create, work, and thrive free from all forms of harassment, discrimination, and misconduct. As an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, UT Austin complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

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