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The University of Georgia
School of Social Work
Website URL:
Posted: 07/30/2021
Dean of the School of Social Work

Dean of the School of Social Work

The University of Georgia (UGA), the flagship public, land-grant and sea-grant university of the state of Georgia, seeks an experienced and energetic leader to serve as the Dean of the School of Social Work. The Dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the School, reporting to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. The University seeks candidates who are innovative and accomplished leaders in their field, forward-thinking professionals who have a strong commitment to academic excellence and with a demonstrated commitment to enhancing diversity in all forms, dedicated to furthering an accessible and inclusive campus environment. The Dean will provide visionary leadership as well as principled administrative guidance and advocacy for the tripartite mission of the School in teaching, research, and public service/outreach.

The University of Georgia is one of the leading public research universities in the nation and the world. Founded in 1785 as the first public university in the country, UGA’s 3,119 faculty excel in fundamental and applied research, innovation and technology transfer; and deliver outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and professional education; and support communities in Georgia and around the globe through public service and engagement. Total annual research expenditures at the University have increased 41% since fiscal year 2013, and research expenditures now stand at $495 million for fiscal year 2020. UGA’s main campus is in Athens, GA, 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, with extended campuses located in Griffin, Tifton, Buckhead, and Gwinnett as well as residential campuses in Washington, DC; Cortona, Italy; and Oxford, England. The University has numerous regional, national, and international partnerships for research, education, and service, and an extensive and dedicated network of more than 330,000 living alumni across the globe.

The University of Georgia’s excellence in education and research rests on the scholarly and creative contributions of its talented faculty and staff and on the intellectual quality, vitality, and passion of its students. UGA maintains outstanding academic programs in the arts and humanities, agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences, health and life sciences, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, engineering, journalism and communication, public and international affairs, education, and professional programs that include business, law, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. Its research and academic strengths are matched by an enduring commitment to technology transfer, as evidenced by UGA’s national leadership in intellectual property creation and licensing revenue. Recently, major investments in research have led UGA to international leadership in areas such as infectious diseases, vaccine development, precision health, glycoscience, plant and food science, human trafficking, risk and resilience in African-American families, artificial intelligence, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, and many others.

The University of Georgia has goals to advance its national and international standing in research and scholarship by leveraging the excellence of all its faculty and the comprehensive nature of its public, land- and sea-grant missions. Additional information about the University of Georgia is available at

The School of Social Work prepares culturally responsive social work practitioners, organizational leaders and scholars to address social problems and promote social justice through teaching, research and service. U.S. News & World Report places the School No. 12 among social work graduate programs in U.S. public universities. There are approximately 35 total faculty members in the School, which offers four degree programs: Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Work, Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership and Doctor of Philosophy. The School also offers master’s level dual degrees in law and public health at UGA, and a dual degree program in social work and divinity with the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. The School’s funded research and study opportunities address emerging and persistent social problems, across a variety of practice arenas, and inform public policy regionally, nationally, and globally. The doctoral program prepares social work professionals for careers in academic research settings and for best practice in other forms of scientific research in the public and private sectors.

The School counts among its recent successes a stellar reaccreditation by the Council on Social Work Education for the BSW and MSW programs through 2027, a new online MSW program, a large number of PhD students who graduate with awards/honors, BSW graduates who complete their degrees with Latin honors, and the enrollment in MA and Nonprofit Certificate courses doubling in the past five years. The School has five named professorships as well as an endowment that has doubled over the last decade. Several centers and institutes support faculty interdisciplinary research and scholarship, including Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil Rights, the Institute for Nonprofit Organizations, and a new Center for Human Trafficking Research & Outreach. The School has an international student body and offers opportunity for global engagement. The School is deeply committed to interdisciplinary teaching and research consistent with its mission in preparing social work leaders and supporting local community organizations. Please see:

The Dean will promote excellence and work effectively with faculty, staff, students, University of Georgia administrators, and alumni to promote the mission of the School. As the chief administrative officer for the instruction, research, and service programs of the School of Social Work, the Dean is assisted by the associate deans and a number of directors of programs and services. The position is responsible for growing funded research, programmatic planning, implementation and assessment, budget development and management, and fundraising from private sources.

Additionally, the Dean works collaboratively with other deans on campus-wide initiatives.


  • Provide energetic and visionary leadership, as well as principled administrative guidance and advocacy with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to promote the tripartite land-grant mission of the School in teaching, research, and public service/outreach.
  • Promote, maintain, and enhance an inclusive and diverse environment.
  • Work in close collaboration with the associate deans and directors to lead the instruction, research, public service as well as the institutional advancement of the School.
  • Communicate the mission and importance of the programs of the School of Social Work to external audiences so as to enhance, acquire and sustain private and public financial and non-financial support.
  • Recruit, retain, and develop excellent faculty.
  • Lead resource generation and management for the school.
  • Interact positively with constituent groups in business and industry, federal and state agencies, volunteer and professional organizations, and foundations whose goals are consistent with the mission of the School.
  • Represent the School to the University administration and provide leadership in guiding, engaging and building partnerships, including on campus-wide initiatives.

Minimum Qualifications and Requirements:

· One or more degrees in the discipline of social work and a doctorate level terminal degree such as a Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D., or M.D.

· A record of excellence in teaching, student mentoring, scholarship/publications, and grant funding, to qualify for full professor with tenure on appointment. Please see the School guidelines for more information including the requirements for the rank of Professor.

· To be eligible for tenure on appointment, candidates must have been tenured at a prior institution and bring a demonstrably national reputation to UGA.

Relevant Experience:

· Proven ability to manage an academic organization as demonstrated by a background that includes leadership experience as department head, associate dean or the equivalent.

· A demonstrated track record of supporting and expanding high-quality research programs and interdisciplinary research.

· A background in faculty and academic affairs, budget development, and human resources.

· A demonstrated track record of supporting innovative learning and student success at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

· A demonstrated track record of understanding and supporting evidence-based clinical, community, and policy practices, engagement, and outreach.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and/or Competencies:

  • Strong executive leadership with good budgetary skills.
  • Ability to interact positively with constituent groups at the local level, federal and state agencies, volunteer and professional organizations, nongovernmental organizations and foundations whose goals are consistent with the mission of the School of Social Work.
  • Ability to be a successful fundraiser, working with foundations and individual donors as well as encouraging externally supported scholarship.
  • Ability to communicate the mission and importance of the programs in the School of Social Work to internal and external audiences.
  • Administrative and leadership abilities including, promoting a culture of innovation and strategic agility; thoughtful, intelligent, visionary leadership; strong team-building skills; and the ability to deliver results on time and get things done.
  • Ability to demonstrate a commitment to teaching, research, service and outreach in the profession of social work.
  • A bold vision for building the research enterprise of the School.
  • A clear vision for the growth of existing and the development of new instruction and service learning programs.
  • A clear understanding and commitment to the mission of a land-grant university.
  • The highest degree of personal integrity and an ability to gain the confidence of the faculty and staff, both internal and external to the School, through effective communications and transparent decision making.
  • The commitment to be an altruistic leader, including serving as mentor to faculty, department chairs and other leaders.

Applications: Applicant screening will begin immediately. Candidates are encouraged to submit their materials by Sunday, September 26, 2021; however, screening will continue until the position is filled. The application packet should include a cover letter detailing how the applicant’s credentials and experience meet the needs, responsibilities, and qualifications stated above; a current resume; and contact information for three references (who will not be contacted without further correspondence with the applicant).

All applicants must apply online at Please see the job posting at:

To request a descriptive Opportunity Profile for this position, provide a nomination, or seek additional information, please contact Sean Ryder, Primary Consultant with the UGA Search Group, 706-542-6240 or Letters of recommendation or a simple nomination should include the name and contact information for the nominee.

The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, genetic information, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status. As such, the University of Georgia is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community. We not only strongly encourage women, minorities and other diverse candidates to consider applying for this position, but we also maintain that all candidates should share our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Persons needing accommodations or assistance with the accessibility of materials related to this search are encouraged to contact Central HR ( Please do not contact the department or search committee with such requests.