Dean of Graduate Programs and Strategic Partnerships


Nebraska Wesleyan University invites applications and nominations for its next Dean of Graduate Programs and Strategic Partnerships. The Dean will report to the provost and will lead the administration and expansion of NWU’s graduate programs, strategic partnerships, and the Wesleyan Honors Academy. NWU is a thriving comprehensive, liberal arts institution with 1,600 students. Its academic programs are rooted in an enduring commitment to excellence, a belief in the power of personal attention, outstanding teaching and learning, and a strong tradition of shared governance. The university holds the potential to scale its current graduate offerings more broadly and to explore new programs and credentials that meet local and regional workforce needs. The selected candidate will demonstrate the ability to successfully navigate the dynamic higher education landscape while serving as a thought leader and change agent who works with the faculty and administration, community leaders, and business partners to expand NWU’s educational offerings.

Academic Affairs

In collaboration with the faculty and leaders across the University, the dean will oversee all current graduate programs. The dean will develop and implement an entrepreneurial vision for expanding and executing the university’s goal of growing its graduate programs, dual enrollment program, and partnerships to meet the workforce needs of the local and regional community. The Dean’s portfolio will include the following responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership and vision for graduate programs, including the expansion of both on-ground and online programs.
  • Develop and execute a strategy to establish and meet enrollment and retention goals for graduate programs.
  • Support data-informed management of graduate program economics and allocation of instructional resources in collaboration/concert with Academic Affairs
  • Oversee all graduate programs, and collaborate with the Graduate Curriculum and Standards Committee on graduate curriculum, policies, and procedures.
  • Oversee course scheduling, enrollment, and faculty load for graduate programs in collaboration with program directors, department chairs, Registrar, and Academic Affairs team.
  • Conduct formal reviews of graduate programs and support accreditation efforts.
  • Support graduate admissions.
  • Oversee graduate student advising.
  • Support graduate student success and persistence.
  • Foster a graduate culture on campus.
  • Oversee graduate part-time faculty hiring in collaboration with department chairs and program directors.
  • Oversee the Wesleyan Honors Academy, NWU’s dual-credit program for students in high school, and provide leadership alongside the program director. 
  • Execute a relevant strategic plan for each partnership, including their launch, maintenance, project timelines, student impact, and positive results.
  • Lead efforts to promote NWU’s educational programs to businesses and community organizations in order to drive enrollment through sustainable, relationship-oriented partnerships.
  • Oversee/conduct market research to assess the feasibility of new program offerings, as well as the possible expansion of existing programs.
  • Prepare financial models and projections to evaluate return on investment on new programs and partnerships.
  • Ensure the quality of graduate programs and other partnership programs by engaging in curriculum development and assessment of student learning, and by evaluating requests for exceptions to academic requirements. 
  • Work with the Marketing and Communication Office to ensure quality and accuracy of internal and external communications for graduate program and partnerships.
  • Administer new faculty orientation and mentoring in partnership with other members of the Academic Affairs team.
  • Collaborate with the Associate Provost and Provost on faculty development.
  • Foster transparent and consistent communication with faculty, staff, students, and community partners.

The selected Dean of Graduates Programs and Strategic Partnerships will be an accomplished educational professional with a track record of success as a faculty member and academic leader. The position requires a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in an academic area offered by the University, and a record of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service commensurate with appointment at the rank of associate professor.

Beyond these foundational requirements, the experiences and attributes that will be used in evaluating applications for this position include the following:

  • An experienced academic leader who has held faculty status and has served for a minimum of four years as department chair, program director, or assistant/associate dean.
  • A collaborative leadership style evidenced by a track record of successful work with the campus community to develop and accomplish major projects. including the strengthening of community partnerships.
  • Community partner development experience in different sectors (business, education, non-profit) leading to the establishment of community partnerships that enhance enrollment in graduate programs, certificates, and other credentials.
  • Graduate program experience, including both the administration of existing and the development of new programs.
  • Online program experience, including a track record of administration, as well as the development and successful implementation of new programs.
  • Program development abilities that include high energy, creativity and innovative thinking, as well as a broad knowledge of academic programs.
  • Market research experience with the development of financial models and projection to assess the viability of new and existing academic programs.
  • Management and leadership acumen demonstrated by exceptional organization, administration, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strategic thinking skills to develop and execute ideas that enhance partnership results, to assess the feasibility of goals, and to focus on what is important for the future of the university.
  • Interpersonal skills to lead and work with others in a considerate, respectful, and inclusive manner; to approach conflict proactively; to solicit and share feedback proactively; and to listen with empathy.
Commitment to Diversity

Diversity is a core value of Nebraska Wesleyan University’s mission and we embrace it as a source of strength. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate how they are able to enhance and embrace this University core value in a diversity statement submitted as part of their application materials. 

Nebraska Wesleyan University provides equal educational and employment opportunities to qualified persons in all areas of university operation without regard to religion or creed, age, genetic information, gender identity and expression, sexual identity and orientation, veteran status, disability, marital status, race, or national or ethnic origin, in compliance with state and federal laws, including but not limited to Title XII, Title IX, and the ADA. E-Verify, EOE.  

How to Apply

To apply, please submit the following materials to  (1) a letter of interest that directly addresses the leadership opportunities outlined in the profile above, (2) a CV, 3) a Diversity Statement, and (4) the names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of five references, including supervisor(s). References will not be contacted without first securing the permission of the candidate. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.