As a key member of the Dean’s leadership team, the Associate Dean will represent the College and the Dean to University senior and financial leadership. The Associate Dean will serve as a resource, consultant, and strategic problem solver for department chairs and other leaders within Weinberg College and a proactive partner and connector to a range of stakeholders across Northwestern. To do this work, the Associate Dean will maintain a high level of coordination and collaboration with key groups of faculty, staff, and students across the College, with administrative leaders from Northwestern’s other 11 schools, and with central administration.
The Associate Dean will directly oversee administrative processes, financial management, and business operations for Weinberg College and will oversee a team of 22 staff with three of those being direct reports: Director of Financial Analysis, Director of Administration, and Senior Director of Information Technology.
All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications (including resume and letters of interest responding to the requirements outlined in the position profile) should be submitted via Isaacson, Miller’s website:
Partner with the Dean to advance Weinberg College’s mission through strategic financial planning and management
The Associate Dean will serve as a strategic and intentional partner to the Dean, offering a sophisticated financial skillset to discussions and planning. They will provide creative and forward-thinking insights about the College’s administrative, financial, and operational needs to the Dean and members of senior leadership. They will harness analytical thinking and data to support decision-making, laying out alternatives, options, and comparisons, while also anticipating potential issues. They will serve as the content expert for the administration and faculty concerning financial, operational, strategy, and management issues.
Additionally, the Associate Dean will continuously evaluate current financial and administrative operations, and as needed, update systems, procedures, and processes that reflect best practices, and are equitable, coherent, accessible, and support all reporting units. They will anticipate and articulate the impact of major programmatic, operational, and hiring decisions on the College’s financial future and create business plans for new and existing initiatives as needed.
Oversee Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology
The Associate Dean will have direct oversight over Weinberg College’s administrative operations including Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology. They will bring expert knowledge of, and best practices in, budget planning and management to smartly steward the College’s annual budget appropriation from central administration and to advance the academic mission and fiscal health of Weinberg. As the leader of Human Resources, the Associate Dean must possess a familiarity surrounding faculty and staff recruitment; anticipate, assess, and plan for impacts of the COVID pandemic on the world of work; and strive to be a source of support and positive morale for Weinberg staff. Lastly, the Associate Dean will be involved in strategic conversations regarding the role and potential of Information Technology within Weinberg College, assessing the ways that systems development and adoption can support and further academic projects.
Navigate and engage within the Weinberg College Arts & Sciences community
Weinberg College houses a diverse and complex academic community, consisting of 62 academic departments and programs spanning the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. These programs consist of a rich assemblage of faculty, students, and staff who all participate in and contribute to the intellectual project of the College. The Associate Dean must possess a strong sense of curiosity and a sophisticated understanding of the liberal arts curriculum, taking the time to ask questions and learn about the wide-ranging needs and goals of disparate departments and programs.
The Associate Dean must create strong, collaborative working relationships with stakeholders across the College, including faculty, department chairs, and program administrators, serving as a thought partner and collaborator to develop new and creative strategies around spending, revenue generation, faculty recruitment and retention, research support, programmatic changes, and emerging initiatives. As the key representative of the Dean’s Office within the College, the Associate Dean must be a clear communicator and active listener, taking the time to present complex financial information to a wide variety of audiences. The hands-on nature of the role presents the next Associate Dean with a stimulating opportunity to be highly engaged with students, faculty, and staff and to make a lasting impact upon all elements of Weinberg’s mission.
Deepen the sense of community and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Weinberg College and across the University
Weinberg College is committed to a safe, equitable, and accessible environment for all faculty, students, and staff. The diversity represented in the Weinberg community strengthens the fabric of the College and contributes to a dynamic learning and research environment. The next Associate Dean must be aligned with these values and bring an understanding of and commitment to the ways in which diversity enriches Northwestern’s educational experience and improves the climate for all members of the institution. They will work in partnership with the Dean and other leaders within the College to increase and support diversity and inclusion efforts benefiting faculty, students, and staff. In particular, the Associate Dean will be proactive and intentional about improving accessibility, ensuring transparency around resource availability and allocation, and strengthening inclusive hiring practices.
Lead and support a strong team within finance and business operations across Weinberg College
Operations units across the Dean’s Office are administratively excellent, performing collaboratively and at a high level. The Associate Dean will inherit a talented, dedicated staff who possess deep institutional knowledge. They will be expected to mentor and support this team, utilizing the expertise of seasoned members while also helping them grow through professional development opportunities. The Associate Dean will also cultivate a culture of creativity, flexibility, mutual respect, integrity, and shared accountability, motivating strong teams to continue to provide a high level of service to units across the College. Given the impact of the COVID pandemic on the world of work, The Associate Dean will be thoughtful about leadership in a remote or hybrid context and will intentionally put into place best management practices to cultivate community, camaraderie, and collaboration across a potentially dispersed staff.
Liaise between Weinberg College and Northwestern University to build relationships and advocate for the school
The Associate Dean will work to build meaningful relationships and advance communication with College and University partners, particularly peers at Northwestern’s 11 other schools, the Office of Research, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Business and finance, and many senior members of the University. As the Associate Dean will regularly work between Weinberg College and central administration, they will require a nuanced understanding of the College within the context of the larger University and the political acumen to represent and advocate for Weinberg College in University-wide discussions. The Associate Dean for Finance and Business Operations will also need to partner closely with the Associate Dean for Facilities and Planning on College-specific projects as well as capital planning projects overseen by central administration.
An MBA, MS, or PhD or other advanced degree, or equivalent experience.
At least five years of management-level experience in higher education administration or a related field.
Strong understanding of universities, including administration of teaching, research, faculty/student services.
Substantial experiences in financial management and budget planning.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills, including ability to gather a wide variety of input from diverse constituencies and to communicate difficult decisions in ways that contribute to a strong community.
Experience effectively articulating the business needs of the unit in development and implementation of enterprise systems.
Highly developed analytical and data analysis skills, strong computer software skills, and ability to drive effective use of data throughout the Dean’s Office and departments/ programs.
Proven experience developing and communicating a strategic vision for an Operations team.
Superior management and leadership skills, with the ability to positively influence direct and indirect reports.
Substantial experience with change management, organizational structuring, and position design.
Understanding of trends in higher education information technology and experience guiding investments within the context of an organization’s overall strategic mission and goals.
Proven experience in enhancing the quality of customer service and the efficiency of operations.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Outstanding reasoning and judgment on complex issues.
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