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Assistant Dean, Teaching & Learning and Director, The Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) seeks an accomplished, creative leader to serve in the position of Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning in the College of Engineering. The Assistant Dean will also serve as the Director of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education. 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 educational experiences of undergraduate and graduate students and in holistic professional development programs for faculty.

The Assistant Dean will work in an exciting environment focused on innovation in engineering education, with unique programs such as the Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory, Engineering Ambassadors, Engineering Leadership, Technology-based Entrepreneurship, and Social Entrepreneurship. The University has begun an extensive infrastructure enhancement program for the College that sets the stage for significant curricular and pedagogical 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.

The Assistant Dean will lead collaborative initiatives to identify and implement significant enhancements of the curricular and co-curricular educational experiences of undergraduate and graduate students. In this role, they will work closely with the Assistant Dean for Curricular Innovation and Program Assessment to identify enhancements of educational experiences required to ensure success of curricular innovations. The Assistant Dean will also work closely with the Engineering Office for Digital Learning to help facilitate the adoption of digital technologies in resident and online instruction.

Because 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, enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion will be central to all work of the Assistant Dean.

The Assistant Dean will contribute to the development of improved measures of teaching effectiveness and to the design and delivery of a holistic faculty development program that enables faculty members to execute their multiple roles in teaching, research and service while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Holistic faculty development is especially important because early career faculty comprise approximately 50% of the faculty in the College.

The Assistant Dean will serve as the Director of The Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education, which has been a critical source of educational innovation, assessment, and education-related faculty development in the College of Engineering for more than 30 years. The Leonhard Center is comprised of a small team of dynamic, creative individuals who offer a wide range of expertise from engineering writing to psychometrics. This team provides design and evaluation of educational innovations, teaching & learning workshops, and courses for graduate teaching assistants.

The Leonhard Center partners with departments and faculty to develop, implement, and evaluate a wide range of educational innovations inside and outside of the classroom. The Center provides financial support for innovative projects though an annual proposal process that is funded by income from a substantial endowment. Over the last decade, the Leonhard Center has provided over $3,000,000 in direct project support to departments and individual faculty members. For more than two decades, the Leonhard Center has had a highly productive collaboration with the Rock Ethics Institute to create a community of ethics educators through workshops that prepare faculty to integrate ethics into their teaching and to improve research ethics education of graduate students. In 2016, the National Academy of Engineering selected these pioneering efforts as an Exemplar in Engineering Ethics Education.

The ideal candidate will have extensive experience serving as a proponent, convener, and implementer of change initiatives in engineering education. They must be able to articulate a compelling vision for the future of engineering education that encompasses curricular and co-curricular experiences, and an appreciation for the importance of holistic faculty development. They will have demonstrated a deep commitment to equity and inclusion in education. They must possess the interpersonal skills to relate to all constituents within the College and 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.

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 the Chair of the Search Committee, Dr. Christine Masters at Applications received by October 15, 2021 will receive full consideration; 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.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

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