Dean, College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts (COLA) at Norfolk State University seeks an outstanding, enthusiastic, visionary, strategic and collaborative leader to serve as Dean. The Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College and reports directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The College of Liberal Arts is the second largest college consisting of seven academic departments: English and Foreign Languages, Mass Communications and Journalism, History and Interdisciplinary Studies, Psychology, Political Science, Sociology, and Visual and Performing Arts. The College operates auxiliary units that include NSU’s radio station WNSB, Television Studio, the James Wise Art Gallery, the Center for African American Public Policy and the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies. With a deep commitment to liberal education, over 70 full time faculty members offer more than 20 academic (15 undergraduate and 7 graduate) programs. The faculty also provide majority support to the general education of undergraduate students across the University. COLA faculty engage in meaningful research, scholarship, community outreach, public dialogue and dynamic learning to teach, mentor, coach and guide our students as active change agents and global citizens. Norfolk State University aspires to increase their Carnegie Classification to High Research (R-2) status and the College of Liberal Arts is integral to this success by developing new doctoral programs that increase doctoral graduates. The College of Liberal Arts offers the first Cyberpsychology master's program (online) in the nation. The Dean will be essential in advocacy and promotion of this program and other innovative programs across the College.


The Dean provides visionary leadership for the College that advances its mission aligned with the University’s pillars and priorities. The Dean engages in strategic planning, fiscal decision-making, resource allocation, and objective review of all academic programs, working directly with department chairs, directors, program coordinators, faculty, and students. Additionally, the Dean champions and inspires collaboration across the College as an advocate across all disciplines and stakeholders (faculty, staff, and students). The Dean serves on a wide-range of committees and taskforces to improve and advance NSU. The Dean works in partnership with the other academic colleges and schools and all units across the University.

The Dean will be responsible for providing leadership in all aspects of curriculum planning and development, faculty and staff hiring/evaluation, budget preparation, faculty development and evaluation—including tenure and promotion. As a collaborator, the Dean must be able to build consensus, serve as an advocate for the College and effectively contribute to fundraising and advancement that support student scholarships and experiential learning, faculty research and creative activities, and programmatic endeavors. Operating with integrity, transparency, drive, innovation, and creativity the Dean will lead with a clear vision in a supportive environment that values and fosters high quality teaching and learning, inclusive academic research and a sustainable model for the successful future of the liberal arts that ultimately supports students’ persistence, retention and graduation. The Dean is supported by an Associate Dean, Assistant to the Dean, Office manager and various administrative staff.


A successful candidate for this position will possess the following:

  • Terminal degree (Ph.D. preferred) and distinguished record appropriate for appointment to the rank of professor in one of the College's academic departments;
  • Demonstrated ability to articulate, implement and innovate a clear vision for the College;
  • Experience in data-informed decision making to guide program development, implementation, evaluation, resource allocation and quality improvement;
  • Exhibit a passion for the Liberal Arts with the ability to articulate the value of a Liberal Arts Education to internal and external constituencies;
  • Experience in the supervision, evaluation, and professional development of faculty and staff;
  • Sensitivity to the needs and concerns of people from diverse backgrounds with a demonstrated commitment to and respect for cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, gender and sexual orientation;
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully navigate within a highly decentralized organizational structure;
  • Leadership skills and practice rooted in integrity and transparency that appreciate and embody shared governance in effective decision making that follows policy;
  • Excellent written and oral communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Proven commitment to the mission of Historically Black Colleges and Universities or similar institutions and willingness to appreciate NSU’s historical and continuing commitment to its founding principles.

Required Experience:

  • Record of excellence in teaching, research, creative activities, service, and administration;
  • Record of securing and managing grants and fund-raising;
  • Minimum of five years of leadership experience in academia, with increasing; responsibilities at or above the level of director or department head;
  • Supervision and personnel management experience;
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, and experience working in a diverse higher education environment with students, faculty and staff from multiple identities/groups.

Preferred Experience:

  • Develop imaginative approaches to achieve individual, departmental and institutional strategic initiatives;
  • Knowledge of issues and trends in higher education; issues related to diverse learners and a large multicultural constituency;
  • Experience developing and/or teaching online academic programs;
  • Experience in and/or deep commitment to the mission of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Norfolk State University:

Norfolk State University (NSU) is a comprehensive urban public school, doctoral granting institution committed to transforming students’ lives through exemplary teaching, research, and service. A top ranked Historically Black University (HBCU) with nationally recognized and accredited programs, NSU enrolls 6,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs both on campus and online. Norfolk State garners over $20M in annual grant expenditures, has an NCAA Division I athletic program, and a coveted marching band that recently performed in the 2023 Rose Parade.

The City of Norfolk is home of one of the largest Naval bases in the world, Norfolk is one of seven cities that make up the Hampton Roads/Tidewater region including Virginia Beach. Norfolk has big-city amenities and attractions of arts and culture, and cuisines of the Eastern seaboard along with parks, riverfronts, the beach, and festivals.

Inquiries, Applications, and Nominations:

Norfolk State University is an affirmative action, equal-opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Parker Executive Search is assisting the University in the search process. The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, diversity statement that details experience with diversity and inclusion initiatives and/or with students from underrepresented groups, and contact information of at least three references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to January 19, 2024. For additional information, please contact:

Porsha Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Senior Principal
Delando Crooks, Associate
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
770-804-1996 ext.: 117 || ||

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application process should call the Office of Human Resources (757) 823-8160 (Voice)/(757) 823-2876 (TDD).

Similar searches: Administrator, Full-time, 4-year college or university, English, Generalist, Humanities, Other languages, Virginia