Senior Associate Dean, Business Affairs & Chief Operating Officer

Austin, TX

Posted: 10/17/19
Deadline: 11/27/19

About This Organization

McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin

The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin is a premier business school at a world-class public research university. McCombs offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees across the full spectrum of business disciplines and sustains a community that fosters lifelong engagement with its students and alumni. The school cultivates principled leaders and develops ideas that will advance the economy, improve lives, strengthen communities, and create new knowledge for future generations. In all its activities, McCombs aims to be “human centered and future focused.” The School enjoys significant positive momentum, and its stated goal is to “establish our place among the top 10 business schools in the country in the minds of our peers and competitors, faculty, staff, students, alumni, recruiters, and business and social leaders.” For more information about the mission, programs, and community of the McCombs School of Business, see

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, the Senior Associate Dean, Business Affairs & Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) is a new, transformational, executive-level leadership position overseeing critical business operations of the School and adding to the strategic capacity of the School’s leadership. The COO reports to and serves as an advisor to the Dean and to colleagues on the Dean’s leadership team on strategy, direction, resources, and risk. They are responsible for leading, managing, and representing the financial and operational components of the School. The role’s responsibilities includes School finance, human resources, facilities planning and operations, and information technology.

Serving as a collaborative partner and advisor to the Dean, the COO plays a broad, multi-faceted role in ensuring McCombs’ success, in the development and stewarding of its resources, and in the maintenance of its position within and beyond the University and its top-tier business-school peer group.

Required Qualifications

McCombs seeks an experienced administrative leader with a track record of success in executive positions within complex, multi-constituent, mission-driven organizations. The COO must be wise, seasoned, judicious, and principled, must be able to make sound decisions about resources, direction, investments, and risks within a strategic view of the School’s opportunities and challenges, and must be able to work collaboratively with a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students and colleagues. The COO will bring broad experience in critical business operations and will be prepared to implement best practices into McCombs, taking cues from both business and academia.

The COO will demonstrate a sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion, will have strong communication and collaboration skills, and the ability to communicate difficult and complex matters effectively to a range of audiences and skill levels. They will also have strong interpersonal skills and will be an effective negotiator able to find ways to balance interests within the School’s mission areas and strategic priorities.

In addition to these skills and attributes, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, or related field is required. An advanced degree in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, Computer Sciences, or another field relevant to business education and business broadly defined is preferred, as is experience in higher education.

Other Info

The McCombs School of Business 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 McCombs School of Business 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.