Professor and Director of the School of Education

February 4, 2024

Job Description

  • Anywhere

Professor and Director of the School of Education

Job Description

The College of Human Sciences (CHS) at Iowa State University seeks a Professor and Director of the School of Education (SOE). Applications are sought for a visionary leader with a commitment to excellence and innovation and demonstrated capacity to lead the school in support of the College’s mission of expanding human potential across all mission areas: in the education of undergraduate and graduate students, interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary research, and extension and outreach.

In serving undergraduates, the school houses the elementary education program and is the primary provider for coursework in literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and special education. The school collaborates across three colleges and multiple departments for delivery of secondary educator preparation programs. The SOE’s teacher education program benefits from a sizeable relational network of schools and districts, within and beyond Iowa. Educators and educational leaders prepared by the SOE are highly-regarded across the state and nation.

At the graduate level, the school offers doctoral, master’s and certificate awards in a variety of program areas including educational technology, special education, science, literacy, leadership and administration, social and cultural studies, math, learning sciences, higher education, and student affairs. While some of the school’s graduate programs remain in-person, others are delivered through hybrid or fully online modes to reach distance students and working professionals. SOE research draws on a variety of methodological approaches to address local and national educational concerns and has a strong record of funding from a variety of federal agencies. Many SOE faculty have interdisciplinary areas of expertise that integrate theory with practice.

The Director is the designated executive officer of the school with multiple responsibilities for leadership, including the creation and implementation of a strategic vision and plan, guiding the efforts of tenure-eligible and term faculty and staff, and administration of the Center for Teaching and Learning Technology (CTLT), the Research Institute for Studies of Education (RISE), and Science Bound. Successful candidates are skilled leaders, with demonstrated capacity in strategic decision-making, creative problem-solving, and transparent and timely communication. A record of success in navigating complex systems and articulating and advocating for the role of education from a state and national perspective is expected. Successful candidates will have a record of supporting and embracing a culture that cultivates an environment where students, faculty, and staff flourish. It is anticipated that the new Director will initially focus on building a new shared school identity and hiring and retaining faculty who are poised to address the emergent needs of schools and communities. Ushering in new programs and approaches that reflect a changing local and national educational landscape are also priorities.

Position Responsibilities

The successful applicant for this position will:

· Provide visionary leadership for the school to serve the needs of faculty, staff, students, stakeholders and citizens to fulfill the land-grant mission of the school, college, and university;

· Be a collaborative member of college leadership teams across all missions of the college and school;

· Communicate effectively the mission, vision, and strengths of the school and college within Iowa State University and to external stakeholders and collaborators in the public and private sectors;

· Manage budget, personnel, and other resources on a daily basis to achieve the mission of the school and comply with college and university-level policies and practices;

· Facilitate the professional development of others and provide mentorship;

· Foster an environment in which all faculty and staff work toward the school’s purposes and are evaluated for their contributions;

· Build a collegial transparent culture and environment where students, faculty, and staff flourish;

· Keep faculty and staff informed about policies and expectations that may affect them;

· Facilitate excellence and impact in all aspects of teaching, research, extension/outreach, and service;

· Assist faculty, staff, and graduate students to attain resources through extramural funding by encouraging a culture of collaboration and innovation;

· Recruit and retain the best possible people in all school positions, while promoting a local-to-global outlook;

· Recruit and retain a robust and thriving student body of undergraduate and graduate students;

· Nurture and maintain good alumni relations with the ISU Alumni Association and the ISU Foundation to support the full spectrum of the school’s activities, such as raising funds for endowments to support all missions; and

· Participate in representational activities on behalf of the school and college.

Required Minimum Qualifications:

· Ph.D. or Ed.D. in disciplines or fields of study within the School of Education.

· A record of scholarly accomplishment consistent with an advanced tenured associate professor or professor to qualify for tenure in CHS at the rank of professor and reflective of ongoing engagement with issues related to K-12 and/or higher education

Preferred Qualifications:

· Demonstrated accomplishments in mentoring, facilitating the professional development of others, and team building;

· A commitment to creating and maintaining environments where faculty, staff, and students flourish;

· Demonstrated evidence of collaboration and goal planning;

· Demonstrated evidence of personnel and budget management;

· Demonstrated experience with fundraising and engagement with potential donors;

· Demonstrated experience in working with external stakeholders and building and expanding partnerships and coalitions with public and private organizations;

· Leadership experience with strong skills in interpersonal communication, oral and written communication, budget management and organization;

· A commitment to undergraduate, graduate, and professional student education; and

· Demonstrated capability in curricular planning and development, knowledge of accreditation, and understanding of advancing research and extension and outreach enterprises.

Position details:

Initial Director appointment is for five years with formal review during year four. This appointment serves at the pleasure of the dean, in an at-will position, and will be filled as a 12-month appointment. Proposed Start Date: July 1, 2024 (negotiable)

Iowa State University is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral/Research University-Extensive and is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities in the nation. More than 30,000 students are enrolled and are served by over 6,200 faculty and staff.

Iowa State University is a global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for both learning and employment. We know that diversity in experience and perspective is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and building an inclusive academic community. At Iowa State, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituents. The university has an expectation that all employees will demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion as embodied in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community.

All offers of employment, oral and written, are contingent upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by federal and state law, ISU policies/procedures, and may include the completion of a background check.

Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, 515 294-7612, email For additional information about the University:

The School of Education

School Website: For additional information about the school:

The College of Human Sciences

College website: For additional information about the college:

The City of Ames

Ames, Iowa is a growing community of 66,000, located approximately 30 minutes north of Des Moines, and recently ranked the #1 Best College Town in America in 2018 (24/7 Wall St., 2018), ranked #15 on the Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2020 (, and ranked the healthiest city in the State of Iowa in 2020 (USA Today). Ames has 35 parks, 55 miles of bike and pedestrian trails, golf courses, lakes, and an aquatics center for outdoor recreation. Ames is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. It is also affordable and easy to get around. Additional information about the city of Ames (

The Des Moines metro area is located 30 minutes south of Ames. Des Moines ranked #14 for 150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023 (, #11 for Best City to Live in After the Pandemic in 2020 (, and #16 for Best City for Young Professionals in 2022 ( Des Moines has bike trails, walking trails, parks, and lakes for outdoor recreation. Ledges State Park and Jester Park are great for hiking and camping. Cultural events and festivals draw all ages to Des Moines’s downtown area. Moreover, communities of color make up 39% of the city’s residents according to the decennial census.

Application Instructions

Buffkin / Baker, an executive search firm, is assisting the university in the search. Inquiries of interest, nominations, and applications should be submitted electronically, in confidence, to:

Mr. Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner

Dr. Pelema Ellis, Associate Partner

Buffkin / Baker

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. However, to receive full consideration, applications should be received by August 31, 2023.

Candidates should submit the following materials:

1) Cover letter and Curriculum Vitae.

2) Contact information for five professional references. References will not be contacted without permission from the applicant.

3) Vision statement (no more than four pages) which articulates the candidate’s vision relevant to the school and program areas, on the following topic areas:

· Leadership, innovation, and communication,

· Research,

· Teaching,

· Extension and outreach