Dean of the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science & Engineering

Southern Utah University
Cedar City, Utah
February 15 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Dean of the Walter Maxwell Gibson

College of Science & Engineering

at Southern Utah University

Southern Utah University, the state’s premier public university of liberal arts and sciences, has launched a national search for the Dean of the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering. The Search Committee invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest.

Complete information is provided in the Search Profile at

The Opportunity

Southern Utah University (SUU) is part of the Utah System of Higher Education governed by the Utah State Board of Regents. Located in proximity to the largest concentration of national parks and monuments in the United States, SUU offers an environment that is rich in culture and one that encourages students to explore, engage, and excel both inside and outside of the classroom.

The University serves more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students through six colleges and schools: Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education and Human Development, College of Humanities and Social Science, College of Performing and Visual Arts, Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering, Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business, and School of Integrative and Engaged Learning. A hallmark of a SUU education is the relevant, hands-on learning opportunities that allow students to gain quality professional experience that gives them a competitive edge when entering the job market.

The University seeks an academician experienced in high-impact and engaged learning practices, who is also a scholar and an experienced leader, to serve as the next Dean of the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering (COSE).

Offering undergraduate and graduate degree, COSE consists of seven academic departments: Agriculture & Nutrition, Biology, Computer Science & Information Systems, Engineering & Technology, Mathematics, Nursing, and Physical Science. 

Highly engaged faculty teach and mentor students. Faculty members bring exceptional educational and experiential backgrounds to the classroom and are active scholars in their respective fields.

COSE is the second largest college within SUU, having grown steadily over the past five years. In Fall 2018, 2,450 students were enrolled, including 1,259 in undergraduate programs and 171 in graduate programs. Of the College’s student enrollment, 50.7 percent is female and 92.2 percent attends full time. 

The College operates or participates in the operation of several special learning environments that include an SUU Center for STEM Teaching and Learning, a Keck Foundation-sponsored undergraduate research lab, an Ashcroft Astronomical observatory, a GIS lab, a certified water lab, the Garth & Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History, the Cedar Mountain Science Center, the Dahle Green House, the 800-acre Valley Farm, a Computer Forensic Lab, a Networking and Security Lab, the James E. Bowns Herbarium, and the 2,800-acre Mountain Ranch.

The Geosciences will have a new home in Fall 2019. It will move into a newly renovated building, which formerly housed the School of Business.

Essential to the College’s educational process is a sense of “community,” wherein collaboration, diversity, respect for all people, civility, and shared governance are cultivated.

The Position

The Dean is the senior administrative officer of COSE and is responsible for all of its functions and matters. The Dean reports to the Provost and plays a key role in the academic administration of the University.

Responsibilities of the Dean:

  • Represents, advocates for, and mediates for the faculty, staff, students, and academic programs of the College.
  • Promotes diversity and inclusion, as well as effective interaction within a multicultural environment.
  • Cultivates a collegial, collaborative, diverse environment with faculty, students, staff, administrators, and the community.
  • Communicates clearly and effectively, orally and in writing, on all issues and processes among the academic departments of the College and the Office of the Provost and other administrative offices.
  • Evidences a leadership style characterized by transparency and professional integrity that inspires cooperation, innovation, creativity, and respect among faculty, students, administrators, and staff.
  • Works to preclude, but if necessary, to facilitate resolution of, conflicts of all types across the College.
  • Participates in community outreach and represents the College and University in national, regional, and state organizations.
  • Represents the College in the Deans Council and in other governance venues of the University.
  • Supports and seeks funding for the teaching and pedagogical research of the faculty in the College, as well as the research and scholarly work of the faculty and students in the College.
  • Directs the performance of professional duties of faculty and staff in the College; supports academic standards and rigor in the College.
  • Participates in faculty evaluation decisions.
  • Works with the academic departments and cross-divisionally with the Student Affairs Division to set and meet goals for student enrollment, retention, and graduation.
  • Works with the academic departments and with the Offices of Institutional Research and Assessment, Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, and the Provost to establish a seamless system of course-, program-, and College-level assessment, using discipline-appropriate student learning outcomes, and then to use the results of that assessment process for the improvement of programs in the College.
  • Works with academic departments and the Office of the Provost on developing and implementing new academic programs, strategic planning goals, objectives, and action plans for the College; oversees reviewing and revising existing programs in the College.
  • Works with the academic departments on accreditation and reaccreditation processes for accrediting agencies.
  • Prepares and oversees the College’s budget.
  • Assists the Office of University Advancement with donor cultivation and fundraising.
  • Works with faculty and the Office of Sponsored Programs, Agreements, Research and Contracts (SPARC) on developing grant proposals.
  • Works with the Office of the Provost and the Department of Information Technology on meeting the needs of faculty and students for technological resources for teaching, learning, research, and scholarship.
  • Promotes and facilitates interdisciplinary programming and collaboration within the College and across the academic divisions.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Provost.

Qualifications & Characteristics

Candidate must have an earned doctorate in a discipline within the College and be eligible for tenure. A demonstrated record of excellence in teaching, scholarly accomplishment, and professional activity is required. Accomplishment commensurate with the rank of full professor is preferred.

The next Dean of COSE will possess the following:

  • A minimum of five years of full-time teaching in higher education and three to five years of higher education management experience, preferably at the level of department chair or equivalent (Leadership experience in industry is a plus, but not required.)
  • Superb interpersonal, leadership, and communication skills
  • Proven experience in fundraising to support strategic initiatives is desired
  • Sensitivity to and an appreciation of faculty governance and evidence of commitment to faculty input in the decision-making process, a collaborative working style, and the ability to work effectively with diverse constituencies
  • Fiscal management experience and familiarity with emerging online technologies
  • Working knowledge of policies and procedures for program accreditation
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse constituencies and a demonstrated understanding of diversity and inclusion

Southern Utah University

Founded in 1897, SUU is a vibrant, caring learning community where students explore their interests, refine their goals, and prepare for meaningful careers and life experiences. The University’s enrollment has steadily increased over the past decade, along with the retention rate of first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree-seeking students.

U.S. News and World Report ranks SUU in the top tier of all universities in the West for its strength at both the undergraduate and graduate levels of education. In the publication’s 2019 edition of Best Colleges, the university ranked 27th in Top Public Schools of Regional Universities West.

The key to SUU’s success is an unwavering dedication to students and a commitment to delivering a personalized education. With a 19:1 student-faculty ratio, SUU classes offer students maximum interaction with faculty, who bring both educational and experiential backgrounds to their classroom. While active scholars and participants in their respective fields, SUU faculty remain focused on providing knowledge and learning experiences that enable their students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

SUU students receive world-class, project-based learning opportunities where they gain professional experience before entering the job market. In addition to offering 138 associate and bachelor’s degrees and certificates, SUU has 28 graduate and certificate programs designed to meet a broad range of career goals and life aspirations. SUU has a graduation rate 10 points higher than the national average, with graduates joining top companies, starting their own businesses, or attending the best graduate schools in the country. SUU graduates report a 94 percent job placement rate, with 87 percent of them working in the field of their choice. SUU has more than 54,000 alumni.

SUU’s 130-acre campus offers a serene and peaceful backdrop to purposeful study and academic exploration. The tree-covered landscape is punctuated by an architectural blend of modern and historic buildings, 1.3 acres of flower beds, and a public art display that weaves campus together in story and metaphor. Home to a vibrant arts community, SUU’s College of Performing and Visual Arts produces more than 300 events annually.   

SUU’s new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts (BTSCA) has enhanced the University’s reputation as the cultural center of the region. Home of the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, the center has the most authentic Shakespearean stage (Engelstad) in the world. BTSCA also boasts the Southern Utah Museum of Art, a student-centered, experiential learning facility that collects, preserves, and exhibits Southern Utah visual arts.

The University’s athletics program offers 17 NCAA Division I sports, including six men’s sports (basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and track & field) and nine women’s sports (basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball). The SUU Thunderbirds have been Big Sky Conference champions in football, cross country, basketball, and softball.

For more information on Southern Utah University, visit

Cedar City, Utah

Southern Utah University is located in Cedar City, a unique small city with world-renowned theatricals, astounding natural beauty, and an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities year around. In 2016, the city was named one of the Top 20 College Towns in America by Along with its college town atmosphere, Cedar City is a safe, family-friendly community of more than 30,000 residents.

The city is neighbors with five national parks and monuments. Hiking and biking trails at Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon are all within reasonable driving distance.

For those seeking the entertainment and amenities of a large city, Las Vegas is only a two-hour drive south from campus, with Salt Lake City just three hours to the north.

Application and Nomination Process

Confidential inquiries are welcomed.

To Apply - Applications must include: 1) Letter of interest, 2) Curriculum vitae, and 3) At least five references with full contact information, including e-mails (References will not be contacted without consent from applicant.)

Submit applications to by March 22, 2019, for best consideration. The search remains open until the position is filled.

Nominations are invited and should include individual’s full contact information, with e-mail address. Submit nominations to

Kenny Daugherty, President of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, is assisting Southern Utah University with this search.

Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting

515 Mulberry Street, Suite 200, Macon, Georgia 31201

(478) 330-6222 |

Southern Utah University does not discriminate against any member of the University community on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability status, veteran status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or other bases protected by applicable law in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services. For more information or assistance, please contact the SUU Office of Ethics and Compliance (Title IX).