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Assistant Dean for Curricular Innovation and Program Assessment

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) seeks an accomplished, creative leader to serve in the inaugural position of Assistant Dean for Curricular Innovation and Program Assessment in the College of Engineering. The Assistant Dean will report to the Associate Dean for Education and Graduate Professional Programs and, as a member of the dean’s leadership team, will help maintain excellence and chart innovative directions in the college’s evolving portfolio of curricular options.

The Assistant Dean will identify opportunities for significant curricular innovations at the undergraduate and graduate levels through in-depth assessment of current programs and develop collaborative approaches to achieve those innovations. Partners in these collaborations will include Engineering Departments, the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion, The Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, the Engineering Office for Digital Learning, Global Engineering Engagement, The Learning Factory, Engineering Office of Institutional Research, and Engineering Technology & Commonwealth Engineering as well as Colleges of Science and the Liberal Arts. The Assistant Dean will be familiar with University Faculty Senate policies, procedures, and decisions that impact College of Engineering curricula.

The Assistant Dean will coordinate and evaluate first-year seminars across the College and assist departments and partner colleges and campuses in delivering high quality first and second year education to College of Engineering students. The Assistant Dean will help identify needs and opportunities for cross departmental courses that support curricula shared by all College of Engineering students.

The Assistant Dean will coordinate accreditation processes for undergraduate programs in the College of Engineering and serve as the Institutional Representative during accreditation reviews. They will also coordinate annual assessments of graduate and certificate programs as part of Penn State’s regional accreditation. In addition, they will assist the Associate Dean for Education and Graduate Professional Programs with a variety of routine instruction and curriculum functions such as course and curricular review processes, degree requirement substitutions, transfer course evaluations, athletic academic verifications, bulletin updates, and grade adjudications.

The Assistant Dean will work in a dynamic environment focused on innovation in engineering education, with unique programs such as the Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory, Engineering Ambassadors and formal Leadership, Entrepreneurial and Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship programs. The University has begun an extensive infrastructure enhancement program for the College that sets the stage for significant curricular innovations. The first new building, to be completed in Fall 2022, will house design studios and makerspaces that will serve as a hub for hands-on learning across the curriculum. In addition, the College of Engineering is committed to fostering diversity by offering a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for its students, faculty, staff, and other constituents and nurturing a learning and working environment that respects differences in culture, age, gender, race, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation. Therefore, enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion is central to the curriculum innovation process.

The ideal candidate will have experience in leading significant change in engineering curricula and in assessment of engineering programs. They will have led large teams in achieving complex tasks. They will have knowledge of innovative curricular approaches in engineering education. They will have demonstrated a deep commitment to equity and inclusion in education. They will possess the interpersonal skills necessary to relate to all constituents within the College and to develop collegial and productive relationships across the university. Candidates must possess a terminal degree in a field of engineering, engineering education, or closely related field of study and have a minimum rank of associate professor, associate teaching professor, or associate research professor.

This is a full-time position, but there is sufficient flexibility in the position to allow a part-time transition period so that the assistant dean can assume time-critical responsibilities as soon as possible.

To apply for this position, submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for four references via the University’s employment website ( To nominate a candidate or if you have questions, write to Thomas Litzinger (, Chair of the Search Committee for this position. Applications received by January 31, 2021, will receive full consideration and review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. Final candidates for the position will be required to complete a full background check process, including education, employment, and criminal as appropriate.

To review Penn State Annual Security Reports, visit Printed reports are available on request.

Penn State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

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