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Dean, College of Social Sciences

California State University, Fresno
Fresno County, California
Closing date
Oct 19, 2021

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Position Type
Dean / Department Head
Full Time
Science and Technology Studies
Organization Type
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Dean, College of Social Sciences

Job No: 501613
Work Type: Management (MPP)
Location: Fresno
Categories: MPP, At-Will, Full Time, Student Services

Dean, College of Social Sciences
(Administrator IV)

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is competitive and negotiable depending on the strength of qualifications. This is a CSU Management Personnel Plan (MPP) position.

The CSU system provides a comprehensive benefit package that includes medical, dental and vision plans, membership in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), sick and vacation time, and 14 paid holidays a year. Eligible employees are also able to participate in the fee waiver education program. A summary of benefit information can be found here.

Position Summary

The Dean of the College of Social Sciences is a member of the Provost's Leadership Team and reports to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and is the chief academic and administrative officer for the College. Additionally, the Dean serves as the intellectual leader of the College, facilitating a positive environment for teaching, scholarship, creative activity, and service to the University and the community. The Dean is responsible for the quality and integrity of academic programs; managing the human and fiscal resources and academic programs; and is an advocate for student and faculty learning and teaching opportunities, as well as supporting the professional development of staff.

The Dean is the primary spokesperson for the College on campus and in the community; and serves as a chief advocate for the College and its faculty, staff, and students. The Dean works in collaboration with other Deans and the senior administration to promote and support the best interest of the College. In addition, the Dean partners with University Advancement in continuing efforts to foster and maintain relationships with alumni and donors.

As a minority-serving institution, Fresno State embraces diversity and inclusion, and is highly focused on student success. The Dean is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that enhance the learning environment and address the needs of first-generation students. In addition, the Dean will create an environment that welcomes transfer, DACA, veteran, and international students. The Dean will also lead the College in advancing academic excellence through the use of innovative instructional technology and striking the appropriate balance between in person and online learning. The Dean is expected to embrace and seize this unparalleled opportunity.

Opportunities and Challenges

The successful candidate will be expected to address the following opportunities and challenges:
  • Reimagining a unified vision for the College of Social Sciences responsive to current challenges facing higher education, while continuing to embrace creative thinking, academic excellence, and student success;
  • Continue to identify new relationships and enhance existing collaborations with key external stakeholders within the region through partnership and active engagement;
  • Further cultivating a culture of collegial teamwork across the College;
  • Expand existing and identify new revenue streams for the College to fund new programs, promote faculty development, and student support;
  • Continue to advance a teaching and learning environment that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration across the College and University;
  • Leading the College in exploring opportunities to promote student access, scholarship and creative activity, and engagement with faculty;
  • Fostering and strengthening academic programs that will prepare students to be successful in achieving their career aspirations.

Qualities and Attributes

The successful candidate will possess a distinguished record of leadership and academic service, experience building relationships external to the University and College, and a dynamic vision for the future of the College. In addition, the candidate must value shared governance, transparency, and a high level of engagement with faculty, staff and students. The successful candidate will be a strategic and energetic leader who embraces the mission of the College and a student-centered education philosophy. The candidate will also possess:
  • The ability to serve as a visible, approachable and inspirational leader who welcomes collaboration with all internal and external stakeholders;
  • An intellectual curiosity about all academic disciplines represented in the College;
  • Strong advocacy skills;
  • The commitment to fostering a culture that is welcoming and accepting of individuals from diverse socioeconomic, gender, and ethnic backgrounds; a dedication to supporting and strengthening the University's commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Exceptional listening and communication skills;
  • A willingness to actively engage with undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and the greater Central Valley community;
  • Experience in fundraising and engaging faculty in these endeavors;
  • Proven experience managing during times of crises and navigating complex institutional priorities during times of fiscal constraint.
  • The ability to articulate the importance of social sciences as a social good to the University and the broader community.
  • Disposition to lead and unite the College's faculty, staff, and students at a time of social and political polarization.
  • A strong sense of cultural awareness and emotional intelligence.

The College

The mission of the College of Social Sciences (COSS) is to seek and impart knowledge of the human social experience in all its diversity in order to educate students and benefit humanity. COSS seeks to instill a concern for human values and civic responsibility and to provide substantial knowledge drawn from the social sciences. Such values and knowledge will help students respond effectively to many challenges and opportunities.

As students advance in their knowledge of societies and cultures, including their own, they learn communication skills and gain valuable understanding of people from different backgrounds. Global awareness, together with an appreciation of relationships between society and nature, is a fundamental aspect of learning in the social sciences. The College teaches students to think clearly, critically, and analytically that will allow students to engage and solve complex social problems. The College also fosters respect for human diversity and a sense of responsibility for preparing students to adapt both wisely and resourcefully in our ever-changing world. As a leader in liberal arts education, COSS provides excellent preparation for a wide range of careers in academia, government, business, and many other venues in the public and private sectors.

The College of Social Sciences offers a broad and exciting range of majors, minors, and certificates to its 3659 undergraduate, 92 graduate, and 21 credential students. The College has an operating budget of approximately $12M and consists of ten departments: Africana Studies, Anthropology, Chicano & Latin American Studies, Child & Family Science, Criminology, Geography, History, Political Science, Sociology and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

The College's degree programs are designed to develop essential skills necessary to adapt to a constantly changing world and to provide leadership for the new millennium. Students majoring in the Social Sciences can learn through practical experience by conducting archeological fieldwork, interning in social science research labs, engaging in sociological and criminological data analysis, and geographic information tracking by working in the student computing labs.

Cultural diversity is learned by projects in the African American and Chicano Research Centers or by participating in performing groups such as the folkloric dance group Los Danzantes de Aztlan. Others observe Fresno city and county board meetings, attend lectures by visiting professors, take field trips to the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank or the Museum of Tolerance, or learn about non-profit organization management while doing community service. Students that graduate with a Social Science background leave with the knowledge needed for their careers and a broader understanding of the world. Students interested in criminology, the largest major at Fresno State, have an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system, victim services, and allied professions.

COSS is home to approximately 84 full-time and 111 part-time faculty. They are experienced and dedicated faculty who hold doctorates from many prestigious universities. Some bring years of experience in professional careers they now teach about. They take pride in providing students with a high-quality education and opportunities to engage in research.

COSS faculty collectively have a considerable publication record, are prolific in grant writing, and engage in collaborative endeavors with many institutions within the Central Valley. Additionally, they teach an extensive array or courses, attend national and international conferences, mentor students for honors programs, perform both solo and collaborative research, and participate in shared governance of the College and University. COSS faculty are known for employing High Impact Practices in their courses, and for engaging in extensive advising of their students.

COSS faculty are actively engaged in conducting research with peers from other disciplines across campus and externally, with private, public, and non-profit organizations. A few examples include the Criminology Department's working with local courts and state prisons; the Political Science Department's Institute for Leadership and Public Policy conducting election surveys of the San Joaquin Valley; and the Sociology Department's collaboration with the city gathering community input data on police reform. University-wide, COSS faculty work closely with faculty from other colleges; including past collaborations with the College of Science & Mathematics and the Jordan School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology conducting research on urban water usage and its impacts on biodiversity in the Fresno/Clovis metropolitan area, and doing statistical analysis for department research projects around campus.

With respect to grant writing, COSS faculty have been awarded numerous grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies. These grants have enabled faculty to increase student achievement, provide study-abroad opportunities, plan site visits to locations across the state for research and education, award scholarships, as well as furthering the research and scholarship goals of the faculty.

It is important to mention that the College of Social Sciences will play a critical role in the recently adopted change to California State University (CSU) system's general education requirement. In August 2020, Governor Newsom signed AB1460 (Weber) into law requiring CSU 23 campuses to add a 3-unit Ethnic Studies course to the graduation requirement for those graduating in Academic Year 2024-2025.

For more information about the College of Social Sciences, please use the following link:

For more information on past activities and collaborations of COSS faculty, staff, and students, please visit:
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