Website Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University (WKU) seeks a visionary, creative, and effective leader to serve as Dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business (GFCB). The Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College and reports to the Provost. The Dean will be responsible for finding innovative ways to build and nurture market-responsive academic programs that yield highly-competitive and capable graduates. The Dean must be mindful of the student-focused mission and as such be able to attract and retain well-qualified students, world-class faculty, and dedicated staff committed to students’ success in the classroom and beyond. Additionally, the Dean must ensure that GFCB secures the resources to achieve the mission of WKU and GFCB. Part and parcel is a keen ability to forge strong relationships with the business community.
Join a team of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners in recruiting, retaining, and graduating the next generation of business leaders. The next Dean joins the college at an exciting time of increasing enrollment and retention, a state of the art business building set to open Fall 2025, cutting-edge curricula and internship opportunities, and a local community growing in economy, population, and new business and industry. We seek a visionary leader ready to leverage the strengths of the college to engage faculty, staff, and students in partnerships with the business and industry community at local, regional, national, and international levels. The Dean will fully engage with students through active presence in the college’s living learning community, Center for Financial Success, and student advisory council among others.
Gordon Ford College of Business
The GFCB was named for Gordon B. Ford, a 1934 graduate of the Bowling Green College of Commerce and founding partner of a very successful Louisville firm that was acquired by the firm now known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the four largest accounting firms in the world. The mission of the GFCB is to be a leader in providing high-quality and applied business academic programs to enhance the economic well-being of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond. This is achieved through dedicated student-focused teaching, relevant and high-impact research, and value-adding outreach activity.
The College has been accredited by AACSB since 1982, and the accounting program was awarded separate AACSB accounting accreditation in 2017. The College’s total endowment is over $20 million. With 70 faculty members, including 7 endowed professorships and fellowships, it has approximately 2,586 undergraduate majors and about 141 students in its graduate programs. The GFCB experienced 15.7% growth in student credit hour production over the past four years. The College has professional, traditional, and online MBA options as well as an MA in Applied Economics and a Masters of Accountancy. The College has six departments with undergraduate programs in accounting, business economics, economics, mathematical economics, data analytics, finance, business administration, entrepreneurship, human resources, international business, and marketing. The College houses seven centers of excellence.
Align college-wide goals, initiatives and activities with the 2018-2028 WKU Strategic Plan;
Enhance GFCB’s position in the marketplace of higher education;
Develop and lead innovative capital campaign and other fund-raising efforts to secure needed resources for infrastructure improvements, cutting edge programs and scholarship; and develop strategies that increase grant proposals and awards of extramural funding;
Possess a commanding understanding of all stakeholders and their needs;
Recognize opportunities, develop strategies, and implement enhancements that contribute to WKU’s mission and goal achievement;
Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration across departments and colleges;
Build strong relationships with alumni and the local, national, and international business community that motivates financial and other support and results in benefits to students and faculty;
Demonstrate commitment to building a strong learning environment for students that stresses academic quality, student engagement, innovative teaching, global perspectives, professionalization and internships;
Ensure that GFCB thrives under a performance-based budgeting model, and work with the College leadership, WKU leadership, and state legislature on strategic budgeting;
Possess a thorough knowledge of AACSB standards of accreditation, and maintain accreditations;
Build GFCB’s reputation and attain external validation such as improvements in reputable college rankings;
Build a portfolio of academic programs that offers value to customers and, therefore, increases enrollment and revenue;
Lead the team of scholars and staff of a complex educational enterprise in support of the mission of GFCB in a collaborative, collegial manner with excellence and integrity;
Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion;
Represent GFCB professionally and transparently to its stakeholders, communicating exceptionally well and often;
Be politically adept, and inspire and influence action benefiting GFCB and the region
Forge partnerships with other organizations to attain mutual goals supporting the missions of WKU and GFCB;
Understand and value our Centers of Excellence as an important part of our college and support Center Directors in their efforts to carry out the mission of GFCB through those Centers;
Support the economic development of the region;
Undertakes other duties as assigned by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The successful candidate will possess an earned doctorate in business or a related field of study from an accredited institution and a documented record of scholarly achievement that merits a tenured appointment as a full professor in the Gordon Ford College of Business;
Three or more years of administrative experience as a successful dean, associate dean, department chair, or comparable position with experience in strategic planning, budget development and execution, policy setting, and leadership and supervision of faculty and staff;
Demonstrated ability to:
successfully lead change initiatives;
recruit and retain quality faculty, staff, and students;
fairly and consistently lead a complex organization with substantive results;
solve complex curricular, fiscal, personnel, and political challenges;
collaborate with faculty across departments and with leaders and staff across the university, and ability to build relationships;
secure external resources;
inspire internal and external stakeholders and prospective stakeholders to contribute to the university’s and college’s mission and goals and to attain excellence;
develop an appropriate, compelling vision and conduct strategic planning to bring it to fruition.
Strong business acumen enabling the development of entrepreneurial value offerings, budget development and execution, and the formation of appropriate partnerships;
Strong, expansive networker able to understand individuals and businesses’ needs, desires, motives, mutual interests, and capabilities;
Demonstrated commitment to:
academic excellence and student success;
faculty skill and experiential development in teaching, research, and service;
continuous improvements across all aspects of the Dean’s scope;
diversity and inclusion in matters pertaining to students, faculty and staff;
A thorough understanding of the various academic disciplines in a college of business;
Experience in international business and education fostering the identification and implementation of opportunities that contribute to WKU’s and GFCB’s missions;
Demonstrated use of benchmarking comparable and leading institutions to glean best practices and opportunities;
Demonstrated experience with AACSB accreditation; and
Personal accountability and selflessness.
Western Kentucky University
The mission of WKU is to prepare students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society. WKU provides research, service, and lifelong learning opportunities for its students, faculty, and other constituents. WKU enriches the quality of life for those within its reach. WKU is the premier student-centered, applied research university in Kentucky and the region, transforming lives by providing access and opportunity for all students and preparing them for productive careers and meaningful lives and by elevating the communities served in the region, throughout the commonwealth, and across the globe.
WKU’s main campus is located on a hill overlooking the city of Bowling Green (MSA population est. 165,000), and is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the nation. In addition, WKU serves the communities of Elizabethtown/Fort Knox, Glasgow and Owensboro through its regional campuses. The online MBA program is currently ranked #73 nationally by the U.S. News and World Report and #52 Best Online MBA program for Veterans. The institution is ranked 55th overall in the nation and #2 in the state for the best online bachelor’s program. SACSCOC reaffirmed the University’s accreditation for 10 years in 2015. The next scheduled reaffirmation is 2025.
Bowling Green has been the fastest-growing city in the Commonwealth since the 2008 recession. The state projects the population of Bowling Green to double by 2050. Bowling Green has a strong manufacturing sector along with transportation, distribution, and logistics companies. Bowling Green has announced 2,000+ manufacturing/TDL positions annually in the last two years. A 2.5 multiplier effect for each position creates additional jobs in our community – 10,000 (healthcare, education, hospitality, etc.), anticipating 21,000 manufacturing/TDL jobs by the end of this year.
Nomination and Application Process
WKU has retained the services of the executive search firm Parker Executive Search, to conduct this important search. The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (cover letter, full resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm. Inquiries, applications and nominations are strongly encouraged and will be considered in confidence. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. Interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials by January 8th, 2024. For additional information, please contact:
Porsha Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Senior Principal
Delando Crooks, Associate
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
770-804-1996 ext.: 117
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As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, Western Kentucky University encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations. Persons with disabilities, who need reasonable accommodations to participate in the application and/or selection process, should notify the office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services (EEO) at (270) 745-5121, a minimum of five working days in advance.
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