The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the School of Education.

About the University

UAB is a research university and academic health center that discovers, teaches and applies knowledge for the intellectual, cultural, social and economic benefit of Birmingham, the state and beyond. UAB is internationally renowned for its intensely collaborative culture that has—for nearly five decades—produced continual breakthroughs in education, healthcare, research and service. With more than 20,000 students, UAB provides a student-centered, collaborative learning experience to prepare diverse students for rewarding careers and lives that benefit society and our regional and global economy. In fall 2017, UAB had record-high enrollment (19,535) and its largest freshman class ever (2,021), with enrollment growth in every school and the Honors College. More than 25 percent of undergraduates are African-American and more than 39 percent are minorities; nearly 60 percent are female. In addition, UAB offers exceptional graduate and professional programs that prepare diverse students to lead, teach, conduct research, provide professional services, become the prominent scholars and societal leaders of the future, and contribute to our region's and our nation’s prosperity. UAB is home to schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Optometry, Public Health, Health Professions, Engineering, Business, Education and the College of Arts & Sciences. The faculty and students of The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have generated unique ideas and groundbreaking solutions to address the issues and challenges of a changing society.

UAB’s innovations impact business, education, engineering, healthcare, the arts and sciences, and many other aspects of life worldwide. Since its inception, this young, dynamic university has thrived with boldness and innovation that have pushed the frontiers in science, medicine, business, education, the arts and the humanities – and has garnered national and international respect. UAB had research expenditures of more than $510 million last year, ranking 18th among public universities and 34th overall in federally financed research. In funding from the National Institutes of Health, UAB ranks 10th among public universities with $243 million. Many of its 2,000 faculty conduct research in university-wide interdisciplinary research centers that span across academic and administrative units at UAB. UAB’s interdisciplinary culture presents its faculty with an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from other schools, departments and disciplines who have comparable or complementary research interests. At the same time, UAB has consistently partnered with its community and state, spurring phenomenal progress over a half century. UAB’s growth as a world-renowned research university and medical center has driven the social, cultural, and economic revival of Birmingham. UAB is Alabama’s largest single employer, with an annual economic impact exceeding $5 billion, and continues to pursue partnership and collaborations to improve education, health care and quality of life throughout the community and state.

Every individual school is engaged in important service programs- locally and globally- and service-learning is deeply engrained across the curricula. UAB has been named for ten consecutive years to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a university can achieve for its commitment to civic engagement and service-learning. The University continues to strengthen the historic partnership with Birmingham through shared strategic planning and collaboration on the development of “Innovate Birmingham” aimed at growing a robust, technology-based economy for the region.

The University of Alabama System

The University of Alabama System consists of three doctoral research universities: The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. The System is governed by The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama as stipulated by the Alabama Constitution. The Board of Trustees created the present multi-campus structure in 1969, and each of the component institutions has a unique mission that is consistent with the broader mission of the System.

The School of Education

The mission of the School of Education is to create knowledge and support education, health and wellness professionals to serve in a diverse world. The School of Education has more than 1,000 undergraduates and approximately 780 graduate students. Degree programs in the School of Education vary in their delivery format and range in scope from undergraduate minors to doctoral degrees. The School of Education’s current two-year strategic plan consists of five pillars: Transformative Educational Programming, Scholarly Activity, Communications and Engagement, Financial Stability, and Organizational Health and Culture. The mission is accomplished through two academic departments with 55 faculty members and numerous student support services that blend educator preparation with health and wellness disciplines. 

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction houses programs in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Instructional Design and Development, Reading Education, Special Education, School Psychometry, and English as a Second Language. With primary focus on teacher preparation, department faculty engage in the profession through research, and service in the community, schools, and professional organizations. Through a hallmark of innovative teaching such as UABTeach programs for STEM related fields the department has developed six of the last eight Alabama State Teachers of the Year. 

The Department of Human Studies houses a diverse set of programs and offers degrees in Community Health and Human Services, Kinesiology, Educational Leadership, and Counselor Education and non-degree programs in Educational Foundations and Educational Psychology and Research. The work of the department provides support for educator preparation, and health and wellness programs in a multitude of venues, including schools, agencies, and clinics. Faculty in the department are highly engaged in research that seeks to address disparities in education, health, and wellness to maximize human potential. Graduates are employed at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Veteran’s Administration, a multitude of non-profit agencies, diverse clinical settings, and tier one research institutions across the country. 

The School of Education’s mission is also accomplished through its vibrant Centers. The Center for Educational Accountability involves the study and evaluation of reform initiatives in areas such as Pre-K-12 education, higher education, assessment, public health, and community revitalization. The Center for Urban Education prepares high-quality teachers and administrators to work in urban school districts. The Maryann Manning Family Literacy Center supports and disseminates research in literacy, provides professional development for teachers and students, and creates innovative literacy projects, both locally and globally. The Community Counseling Clinic provides affordable mental health counseling services to residents of Jefferson County, while providing an innovative training experience for graduate counselor education students. 

The School of Education’s mission is also established through the productivity of nationally recognized faculty scholars. Many faculty have strong publication records and are experienced in the pursuit of external funding. The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant award is intent on increasing the number of low-income students in Alabama’s Black Belt who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction currently has $5.5 million dollars in funding from the Office of English Language Acquisition in the Department of Education that supports preparation of English as Second Language Teachers. The Special Education program has two grants, one in Early Childhood Special Education and the other for Positive Behavior Support Research. In addition, the Department of Human Studies faculty have awards pending with the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Alabama Department of Public Health to examine diabetes prevention, nutrition behavioural interventions, and prevention of the Human Papilloma Virus. 

Partnerships are key to accomplishing the mission of the School of Education. Among key partnerships are the Alabama Learning Exchange, the Collaboration for Excellence in Science and Math Education, and the Regional In-Service Center. The Alabama Learning Exchange is the state educational Web portal directed by Technology Initiatives, Alabama State Department of Education and collaborates with UAB. It provides over 65,000 links to games, interactives, videos, lesson plans, learning strategies, and includes CCRS teaching/learning resources. The Collaboration for Excellence in Science and Math Education provides scholarships to future math and science teachers who are pursuing teacher certification through the alternative Master’s Program. The scholarship program is administered through UAB’s Center for Community Outreach Development. The UAB Regional In-Service Center is one of 11regional in-service centers established by the Alabama legislature in 1984 to enhance training opportunities for public school personnel in critical need areas. It provides free training, resources, and services for teacher and administrator training in eight school districts in Jefferson County. Faculty have established strong community-based partnerships with the Lakeshore Foundation, the Alabama Department of Public Health, Jefferson County Health Department, the United Way of Central Alabama, American Red Cross, the YWCA of Greater Birmingham, AIDS Alabama, Alethia House, Girls Inc., local hospitals, local school systems, and many other agencies to build capacity for maximizing human potential. 

The School of Education’s strengths center on the unique position of the School within UAB, Birmingham, and Alabama; the diversity of faculty, staff and students; the variety and uniqueness of courses; and the opportunities for collaboration and partnerships. A critical strength is the opportunity to leverage the School’s expertise to partner and impact educational and health disparities in Birmingham and Alabama.

About the Position

The Dean of the School of Education is the chief executive and academic officer of the school, sharing governance with the faculty in overseeing the quality of its academic programs and scholarly agenda; transparently stewarding and enhancing the school’s fiscal, capital and human resources; and playing a prominent role in fund raising and building partnerships. The Dean reports to the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost. The successful candidate should at have at least three years of successful administrative leadership experience. Candidates must have an earned doctorate from an accredited institution with a distinguished academic record appropriate for appointment at the rank of Professor with tenure in one of the academic disciplines represented within the School of Education. Other preferred qualifications include: 

  • A strong record of research and scholarship in the field of education, health, or wellness with the stature and ability to cultivate and extend the school’s research agenda; 
  • A record of successful academic administrative leadership in higher education that demonstrates strong evidence of his/her capacity to advance the School of Education; 
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the quality of undergraduate and graduate education, health, and wellness; 
  • An understanding and clear commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence at all levels and an equitable working and learning environment; 
  • Ability to bring an innovative, open-minded and transformational set of ideas and leadership skills to enhance the School profile amongst the changing landscape in the field of education; 
  • Experience in guiding, School-wide or discipline specific accreditation activities; 
  • An ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial environment and thrive within Responsibility Centered Management; 
  • Leading and assisting in securing resources necessary for the growth and improvement of the School; 
  • Provide innovative leadership in advancing the School’s academic and research excellence within the University and relative to national and international peers; 
  • Connect educational programs within the School to the broader University culture and mission particularly in relation to the preparation of education, health, and wellness researchers and professionals; 
  • The ability to work effectively with faculty, students, staff, education and community leaders, and partners to advance the School’s mission; 
  • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate the vision, strengths, and strategic plan effectively; 
  • Ability to develop stakeholder relationships, implement strategic planning initiatives, establish metrics and assess progress, that are in alignment with the larger university strategic plan; 
  • Participate in university wide-efforts to create a more efficient, effective, cohesive and high-quality academic enterprise; 
  • Develop collaborations with other units on campus, external community-based partnerships and relationships with individual donors, foundations, corporations, and continue collaboration amongst human services agencies, community colleges, public K-12 schools and other universities across the state of Alabama; 
  • Insure that the School has effective programs of student recruitment, advising, and student success activities in order to stimulate the growth of enrollment in the School; 
  • Ability to build and sustain a cohesive and institutionally-savvy leadership team within the School to develop a strong sense of community and pride for the School of Education; 
  • Experience with developing and supporting a number of learning environments to include, online, blended and distance education programs; 
  • Increasing public understanding and support for the institution and School as a contributor to the states and nation’s vitality and well-being. .

Applications and Nominations

Nominations and applications (letter of interest, resume/CV, and contact information for at least five references), or expressions of interest can be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred that all nominations and applications be submitted by January 12, 2018 to:

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Parker Executive Search
770-804-1996 ext: 109
pwilliams@parkersearch.com || eraines@parkersearch.com

UAB is committed to equal opportunity in education, and employment, and the maintenance and promotion of nondiscrimination and prevention of discriminatory harassment in all aspects of education, recruitment and employment of individuals throughout the university.