Assistant Dean, Finance & Administration

Austin, TX

Posted: 10/29/19
Deadline: 12/9/19

About This Organization

The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin

The College of Liberal Arts, known as CoLA, is at the heart of academic learning at The University of Texas at Austin. More than 10,000 students and 120,000 alumni call the College home. Through the University’s core curriculum requirements, all undergraduate students regardless of major take liberal arts classes at UT Austin. The College offers more than 50 majors located in 22 academic departments and sustains more than 30 inter-disciplinary centers and institutes. Its departments rank among the world’s best in many fields, and its more than 500 tenured and tenure-track faculty include Guggenheim and MacArthur fellows and members of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest and most distinguished public universities in the United States. As the flagship school of the University of Texas System, UT Austin is the largest of its nine academic universities and six health institutions statewide. Recognized as one of the country’s top 20 public universities according to U.S. News & World Report, the University has a 431-acre main campus with 18 colleges and schools, more than 51,000 students, and 3,000 teaching faculty.

Named “Best Place to Live” by U.S. News & World Report in 2019 – for the third year in a row – Austin’s top spot was supported by recurring top-five place on the Milken Institute’s “Best Performing Cities” list. Austinites are a diverse mix of government employees, college students, musicians, high-tech workers, blue-collar workers, and a vibrant LGBT community.

Job Duties

Reporting to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and serving as a member of the College’s leadership team, the Assistant Dean provides leadership and support of financial and administrative planning and operations across the College. The Assistant Dean provides strategic counsel on initiatives, resources, opportunities, and challenges while ensuring that daily operations advance the mission of the College and that resources are deployed wisely and efficiently.

The Assistant Dean will apply a sophisticated understanding of the economic forces shaping higher education in decision-making and strategic planning for growth, revenue enhancement, and grant procurement. They will ensure that College stakeholders have visibility into financial reporting and analyses so as to act as knowledgeable participants in decisions, while aligning the operations of the College with the fiscal and productivity guidelines of the University and institutional and departmental policies.

In addition to the core responsibility for financial planning and management, the Assistant Dean will lead and oversee human-resource operations and professional-development activities for administrative personnel to ensure that staff experience CoLA as an inclusive and rewarding environment.

Required Qualifications

The successful candidate will have a record of leadership and of establishing and maintaining productive, collaborative relationships in a complex, distributed organization. Broad administrative experience across a range of functions, including finance, human resources, facilities, and planning, is essential. A strong foundation in finance and budgeting coupled with effective communication and a customer-service orientation is necessary for success in this role, while a passion for the role of liberal-arts education will add to the Assistant Dean’s credibility.

The Assistant Dean will have an undergraduate degree and a minimum of 10 years of relevant administrative experience, including financial and operational leadership responsibilities in a college or university or comparably complex environment. They will bring excellent written and oral communication skills and exceptional organizational, problem-solving, and team-building skills, and will demonstrate a commitment to personal and professional growth as well as a commitment to the mentorship of staff.

Valued but not required qualifications include an advanced degree, especially an MBA and/or CPA, familiarity with both federal and state statutes and regulations related to finances and accounting, and knowledge of GAAP. A track record of increasing the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of teams and organizations will distinguish the strongest candidates.

Other Info

The College of Liberal Arts has engaged Opus Partners ( to support the recruitment of this position. Craig Smith, Partner, and Sarah Gaines, Senior Associate, are managing the search. Applicants are invited to email a PDF containing their resume and a brief letter describing their interest and qualifications to Sarah Gaines via Nominations, recommendations, expressions of interest, and inquiries should be sent to the same address. All possible discretion will be exercised to maintain the privacy of applicants through the search process. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position has been filled. Proof of conferred degree and a background check will be conducted at the time of hire.

The College of Liberal Arts is committed to achieving diversity in its faculty, students, and curriculum and it welcomes applicants who can help achieve these objectives.

The University of Texas at Austin, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.