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K-State Today

August 21, 2013



Applications, nominations sought for dean of engineering

By Peter Dorhout

Kansas State University invites applications and nominations for the position of dean of the College of Engineering. The dean, holder of an endowed chair, is responsible for providing academic, research, outreach, and fiscal leadership to the college. The dean reports directly to April Mason, provost.

The College of Engineering has outstanding facilities, excellent faculty, dedicated students, highly supportive alumni and nationally recognized research centers. K-State is seeking a person who understands the impact of engineering and computing on society, sees the dramatic challenges coming in these technology-based areas, and has the 21st century leadership and innovative thinking skills to empower the faculty, staff, students and alumni to meet these challenges.

The successful candidate will be expected to lead the K-State College of Engineering to fulfill the goals of the State of Kansas University Engineering Initiative Act as well as initiatives in support of the university's goal of being recognized as one of the nation's Top 50 public research universities by 2025.

The university: Kansas State University is located in Manhattan, Kan., a progressive community of 50,000, located in the scenic Flint Hills of northeast Kansas. K-State is designated as a Carnegie Doctoral/Research-Extensive Institution and has been ranked among the top state and private institutions of higher education in Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, and Udall scholars for the last 25 years. Moreover, competitive grants and contracts have more than quadrupled since that date.  With an enrollment exceeding 24,000 students — including 4,200 graduate students — K-State is a student-centered research university with the goal of being one of the nation’s top ten land-grant institutions. Learn more at www.k-state.edu.

The college: The ABET-accredited College of Engineering will play an integral role in making K-State one of the Top 50 public research universities. Consequently, the college must be led by a dynamic individual whose intellect and disposition are suited to the wide range of academic and professional missions in the college. The college offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and doctoral degrees in engineering disciplines, construction science and computer science. The college presently has 3,200 undergraduate students in 11 degree programs housed in eight departments, training 450 graduate students with 142 faculty in all ranks. The budget for the College of Engineering for fiscal year 2012 was $56.6 million; the endowment of the college is currently approximately $43 million. Recent years have seen significant increases in competitive research funding and fundraising, and important developments in technology transfer. Learn more at www.engg.ksu.edu.

On May 25, 2011, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law the University Engineering Initiative Act, or UEIA, which creates an unprecedented opportunity for Kansas State University, University of Kansas and Wichita State University to dramatically increase the number of their engineering graduates. K-State's engineering programs are already stretched beyond capacity, so increases in enrollment will require expansion of resources, including personnel as well as infrastructure.

All three institutions will implement plans to maximize the effectiveness of the state investment from the UEIA, which provides each school with $3.5 million per year for 10 years and also requires a dollar-for-dollar match. The K-State College of Engineering will focus on three key components: build a student pipeline to increase the number of engineering graduates; expand faculty and staff to support the growth of the student body and maintain its student-to-faculty ratio; and facility expansion to accommodate the increased number of students and faculty.

The 10 year UEIA goals to be met by 2023 for the College of Engineering are as follows:

  • 3,750 undergraduates
  • 586 engineering graduates per year
  • $2.5 million in scholarships
  • 595 graduate students
  • 145 professors and 10 additional instructors
  • $50 million in research
  • 32 endowed chairs and professorships.

Responsibilities: The dean is the chief administrative officer of the college and is responsible for oversight and direction of teaching, research and outreach, including relations with the external professional community. The dean must be able to articulate a vision for engineering education and exert leadership in the development of both undergraduate and graduate programs. Additionally, the dean must provide leadership in developing collaborative, interdisciplinary research programs within the college, across K-State, and between K-State and other research institutions and industry partners. The dean must lead the effort in fundraising for the college as part of a major campaign, working in partnership with the K-State Foundation. The dean also serves as the college’s representative to central administration and is charged with the development and maintenance of close ties with alumni, benefactors, government and industry.

Qualifications: The successful candidate must have national/international recognition as a research scholar with a doctorate in engineering or closely-related field or applied science and have an academic record that merits appointment as a full professor with tenure. In addition, he/she should provide evidence of dynamic leadership, experience in a university system, exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, an ability to work productively with and promote, faculty and students from diverse backgrounds, a commitment to an open and participatory administrative style, and demonstrated success in financial management, and a demonstrated commitment to promoting access and diversity and an understanding of the issues affecting diverse populations. 

The ideal candidate will, in addition, have administrative and/or management experience and a demonstrated ability to acquire and align resources to achieve strategic goals. This individual will also possess a commitment to working with the provost, the other deans and the department heads within the college and across the broader university leadership, as well as an understanding of professional engineering and industrial job placements.

Application process: Inquiries, nominations and applications will be treated confidentially. The search committee will begin reviewing files on Sept. 16 and continue until an appointment is made.  To apply please include a letter of interest, a narrative of experiences that address the full set of qualifications, curriculum vitae and contact information for five professional references. The candidate must also supply a narrative describing their philosophy of education, research and outreach, and strategies to implement such a philosophy. Nominations or other inquiries should be directed to our search committee via Mr. Baker. Application materials should be sent as a single PDF file in electronic format to:

Mr. Jerry Baker, president
Baker and Associates LLC
jbaker@baasearch.com

Kansas State University is an equal opportunity employer. Kansas State University actively seeks diversity among its employees. Passage of a pre-employment criminal background check will be required of the final candidate.