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Dean Search

Moody College of Communication Dean Search

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), a member of the Association of American Universities and one of the nation’s premier centers of academic excellence, invites nominations and applications for the role of Dean of the Moody College of Communication. Moody’s next dean will provide inspirational, strategic and entrepreneurial leadership to one of the nation's leading colleges of communication. Reporting to the university’s executive vice president and provost, the dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the college and will set an ambitious course as it continues its trajectory of innovation and impact.

With roots reaching back to 1899, the college was officially established in 1965. It became the Moody College of Communication in 2013 following a historic and transformational $50-million gift from the Moody Foundation of Galveston, Texas. Combined with the college’s previous endowments, the Moody Foundation gift created the largest endowment for the study of communication at any public university in the nation. As a result, Moody is both the largest and most comprehensive college of communication in the country. Advancing world-class education, research and creativity in the theory and practice of communication, the undergraduate and graduate programs are continually ranked in the top tier nationally, and students are highly sought after for employment. With its unusual breadth across so many dynamic and converging fields and media platforms, the college is an innovative leader in shaping how our increasingly technological world communicates and connects.

The next dean of the Moody College of Communication should have a distinguished reputation based on scholarship and research and/or creative accomplishments meriting appointment at the rank of professor with tenure in one or more disciplines within the college.The successful candidate will have demonstrated leadership experience, vision, superb management abilities, excellent communication skills and an outstanding record of achievement related to supporting students and faculty. The successful candidate will also bring a record of sustained and impactful public service and community engagement.

UT Austin is engaged in an international search for candidates. The provost’s consultative search committee will begin to review applications in August 2023; nominations and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. It is anticipated that the dean will be appointed with a start date in 2024.

Dean of the Moody College of Communication

The dean oversees all areas of the college’s mission. The dean is responsible for academic and scholarly leadership and serves as the college’s primary representative and liaison to alumni, the Advisory Council, local government stakeholders, industry and other partners. Overseeing a budget of more than $80 million, the dean is responsible for advancing the college’s internationally recognized leadership in a variety of communication disciplines and programs. Specifically, the dean is charged with maintaining and promoting a culture of innovation; forging a strong community of scholarship, creativity, collaboration and learning; and advancing the vision, operations and services of the college through strategic decisions regarding faculty, students and staff, as well as administration, academic programs, development and strategic partnerships with other UT colleges and external constituents. 

Current direct reports to the dean include the five school directors and department chairs; one center director; the senior associate dean for faculty affairs and graduate education; the senior associate dean for research; the associate dean for undergraduate education and teaching excellence; the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion; the associate dean for professional programs; the assistant dean for business services; the executive director for development; the chief marketing and communications officer; the executive director for media programs; program manager for data, analytics and assessment; and the assistant to the dean. The dean also provides matrixed oversight of other selected centers, institutes and programs. 

Leadership Opportunities and Challenges for the Next Dean

To ensure the Moody College of Communication’s continued growth and academic distinction, the next dean will address the following key opportunities and challenges:

Articulate and Execute a Compelling Vision for the Future of the Moody College of Communication

The dean will collaborate with, and challenge, Moody faculty, staff, students and alumni to build upon the strong foundation of the college’s successes, identify strategic priorities and partnerships that leverage its strengths and distinction, prepare students to succeed in their professional endeavors and help recognize and solve some of the most pressing societal challenges. The dean will oversee the completion and execution of the college’s next strategic plan, which complements UT’s Change Starts Here strategic plan. In concert with Change Starts Here, the next dean will provide visionary leadership cognizant of the rapidly shifting higher education landscape and the innovation and convergence that is transforming all communication fields. The dean will align theory, research and experiential opportunities and practice and bring a collaborative approach to navigating the college, the university and an array of local, national and global communities. With strategic focus in mind, the dean will capitalize on the multiplicity of programs and perspectives within the college and foster a culture that encourages and empowers faculty, staff and students to explore and implement new ways of thinking, creating, teaching and learning. 

Support and Enhance Teaching, Practice, Creativity and Research

The dean will ensure the continued prominence of the faculty by prioritizing the recruitment and retention of distinguished faculty at all levels. The dean will be expected to work with the Moody community to promote collaboration and wide-ranging and impactful research that elevates its standards of excellence. The dean will demonstrate support and recognition for all disciplines within the college; appreciate and foster research, practice, collaboration and teaching; increase curricular flexibility and accessibility throughout all programs; and promote, support and reward innovation. They will facilitate the expansion of the college’s non-state-funded graduate programs and the development of well-positioned executive-education programs to enhance educational opportunities for a broad student body. The dean will also lead efforts around the recruitment, mentorship, retention, timely graduation and success of the student body from undergraduate through Ph.D. levels to lifelong learners. To successfully recruit and retain the best talent, the dean will not only create an environment that recognizes and supports cutting-edge scholarship, develops a responsive curriculum and elevates innovative instruction, but will also communicate the mission and vision of the college in a way that draws leaders and strategic partnerships in all communication disciplines and members of all stakeholder groups to join the effort.

Build, Enhance and Strengthen Community and Belonging Efforts

The college has made strides over the years to enhance the sense of community and belonging for all students, faculty and staff. The dean will promote, support and continue to advance these efforts and will foster an environment in which all students, staff and faculty feel welcomed, empowered and valued. With support from university central administration, the dean will work to attract, grow and retain talented students, faculty and staff from all backgrounds. 

Serve As a Visible Champion for the Critical Role of Communication Across the University and Beyond

The Moody College of Communication has a history of advocating for the critical importance of communication at the center of all human interactions and relationships. The dean will be expected to serve both as a steadfast spokesperson and advocate for the college and a collaborative and engaged university citizen and community member, communicating the contributions, value and vision of the college to a wide audience.

As an active member of the faculty, the dean will be an engaged leader within the college and as such will exemplify its academic values. Extending the reach of the college, the dean will connect with university leaders, alumni, donors, policymakers and other external audiences to promote the college’s successes and ambitions. The dean will embrace the history and rich culture of the college and will continue to promote and support its countless opportunities for education, research, creative work, practice and collaboration. The dean will engage and strengthen the relationship with the City of Austin, capitalize on industry connections the college has already established and seek new and innovative opportunities in Austin and Texas, across the country and around the world. The dean will represent the college as an active participant in the Alliance for Schools and Colleges of Communication and Journalism and in other professional and industry communities.

Build Collaboration Within the College and Across Campus

The dean will take advantage of a robust and distinctive college and institutional environment, working to increase interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-program teaching, research and practice, and to place the Moody College of Communication at the forefront of intellectual and entrepreneurial conversations across campus. The dean will endeavor to support and challenge the faculty in their teaching, research and creative work, and will construct with the faculty an exceptional environment for students to learn. 

The new dean will embrace the college’s opportunity to contribute to and benefit from collaborations across its programs and with other schools. Working together with faculty, staff, students and fellow deans, the dean will identify new opportunities for cross-disciplinary, inter-college collaborations and will develop creative strategies for better integrating the college’s students and faculty within the greater UT community. 

Maintain and Enhance the College’s Financial Strength

Although the Moody College of Communication is financially sound, the dean will work closely with development staff, university leadership, alumni, the Advisory Council, students and faculty to develop  compelling and effective opportunities to attract philanthropic and research support. By cultivating both new and existing donors and partners, the college has increased its fundraising activity considerably in recent years. Working with the college’s and the university’s development teams and potential outside partners, the dean will be a passionate and energized fundraiser, pursuing a successful completion (expected in 2025) of the current What Starts Here fundraising campaign and laying the groundwork for the next quiet phase of a new campaign. Sponsored research activities also contribute directly to the college’s financial health. The dean will undertake an ambitious program of raising additional resources, supporting faculty to pursue large research grants and contracts, responsibly and strategically managing and deploying resources and spearheading efforts to generate earned revenue.

With Moody’s finance and budget team, the dean will closely monitor critical financial issues for the college and will continue to enhance the accessibility of courses and pursue strategies to minimize student financial burden. 

Strengthen Operational Infrastructure and Enhance Support for the Entire College Community

The dean oversees a large and complex operation that depends on the contributions of a dedicated team of faculty, staff, students and administrators to operate effectively. The dean will provide leadership and vision on the college’s long-standing commitment to initiatives that improve intellectual and community life across its student, faculty and staff populations. The dean will attend to faculty and staff priorities, retention and professional development and will work closely with unit leadership to invest in key functions and positions to ensure a cohesive, efficient and high-performing college. And the dean will provide faculty and staff opportunities to grow and advance within roles and areas of expertise, leadership and distinction.

The dean will build and maintain an organizational infrastructure characterized by consultative and collaborative decision-making processes that integrate expertise from all college constituencies. They will collaborate with Moody leadership to establish the optimal model for sustaining administrative and support resources across the departments/schools, centers, institutes and programs. Internal communication will remain a key component for advancing the entire college community, helping all to feel included in the movement toward truly distinctive goals and objectives.  

Qualifications and Characteristics of the Dean

The successful candidate will present a distinguished record of achievement in research and/or practice, education, leadership and administration. They will demonstrate impeccable judgment and an uncompromising dedication to academic excellence; a commitment to promoting cultural and intellectual breadth in research, creative work and curricula; an unwavering ethical compass; and a devotion to interdisciplinary collaboration. A transparent and enthusiastic communicator, the dean will collaboratively cultivate, develop and implement a vision for the future of the college; establish and pursue clear strategic priorities; and generate and manage resources effectively to steadily advance those priorities.

The Moody College of Communication seeks in its next dean an exceptional leader with energy, ambition, vision and entrepreneurial creativity. While no single candidate will meet all of the following qualifications, the consultative search committee and the provost expect that candidates will demonstrate many of the following personal qualities and professional skills and experiences to inspire and lead the college to new levels of excellence:

  • Academic or professional qualifications within one or more of the college’s teaching fields, a terminal graduate degree, an outstanding record of academic and/or professional achievement and scholarly and creative impact commensurate with an appointment as a full professor with tenure
  • A strong record of providing motivational and inclusive leadership and effective management to a large and complex organization
  • Intellectual depth and strategic abilities; the capacity to translate ideas into actions with meaningful impact
  • Demonstrated success in establishing a vision and executing a strategic plan; experience aligning resources with strategic goals
  • A global outlook and a strong commitment to realizing the potential contributions of the Moody College of Communication to strengthening strategic engagement with local, national and international communities and with partners in industry and government
  • Demonstrated administrative capability and the ability to delegate, prioritize and make timely, transparent and effective decisions
  • A strong record of promoting community and a sense of belonging within communication disciplines/professions
  • A strong record of success in recruiting and developing high-performance staff, whether in an academic or industry setting, and in supporting the unique needs of a broad community of practicing professionals and scholars
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience and success
  • Financial acumen and a record of fiduciary transparency and accountability
  • Exceptional communication and relationship skills along with the ability to be an effective spokesperson and strong advocate for the school
  • Demonstrated support for traditional, emerging and converging technologies and the development of cutting-edge curricula and research programs