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Dean, Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst announces the opening of a search for the next Dean of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC). According to its mission statement, “Commonwealth Honors College offers highly motivated UMass Amherst students an opportunity to pursue broad inquiry and to engage in the creation of new knowledge by working closely with faculty. With a commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community, Commonwealth Honors College encourages students to become leaders in thought and action.” Serving over 3000 students, CHC provides a unique curriculum that emphasizes interdisciplinary study, small classes, and engagement in research or other activities leading to a capstone project. A highlight of CHC is the residential community, consisting of six residence halls located in the heart of campus. Much more information about CHC can be found at its website,

The Dean is the intellectual and administrative leader of CHC. The current Dean, Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, has elected to return to the faculty at the conclusion of her term in May 2020. This search for the next Dean is directed primarily to current faculty members at UMass Amherst, but exceptionally well qualified individuals from the four colleges of the Five College Consortium are also welcome to apply and would be appointed to the University faculty if selected for the deanship.

Minimum qualifications:
Current appointment as a professor with tenure at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, or equivalent rank at one of the four colleges of the Consortium.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience and demonstrated competence in academic administration.
  • Experience and demonstrated competence in managing budgets and personnel.
  • Evidence of impactful commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and enthusiasm for continuing CHC’s arc of improvement in becoming a more inclusive community.          
  • Evidence of impactful commitment to the value of interdisciplinarity and experiential education, combined with a broad appreciation for the various disciplines across the University.
  • A commitment to collaboration across departments, colleges, and other academic units and the ability to work equally effectively with faculty and staff in CHC and across campus.
  • A commitment to collaboration with Student Affairs & Campus Life, and an appreciation for the role of co-curricular activities in students’ college experience and learning.
  • Ability to serve as an advocate for CHC and honors education, to both internal and external audiences, including alumni and other stakeholders.
  • Understanding of how CHC contributes to the University’s stature and the realization of the University’s strategic plan goal of becoming a destination of choice.
  • Ability to actively promote and personally engage in an inclusive scholarly community of students, faculty, and staff.

Nominations and inquiries may be sent to the Chair of the Search Advisory Committee, Farshid Hajir, at Application materials may be sent to Applications should include a cover letter describing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for the position, a CV, and a summary of administrative experience. Priority consideration will be given to applications received by November 18, 2019.

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