Penn State seeks applicants for vice president, dean for Undergraduate Education

November 18, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State invites applicants and nominations for the position of vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education.

The position is currently held by Robert Pangborn, who will retire at the end of December.

A senior-level University leader reporting directly to the executive vice president and provost, the vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education encompasses a broad range of responsibilities spanning the interrelated areas of undergraduate education and enrollment management. The position holds a seat on the President’s Council, the Academic Leadership Council, and the provost’s staff, as well as serving as a liaison to the Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee of the Penn State Board of Trustees.

The vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education promotes student learning and academic success through innovative development of the core curriculum and leadership to support academic coherence among undergraduate programs; opportunities to enhance student engagement outside the classroom; programming and advising to support students’ introduction to college and transitions as continuing or transfer students; educational programs and opportunities to recruit, support and retain a diverse student body; and effective collaborations with academic colleges and across the University’s campuses.

The vice president and dean works closely with the deans of the University Park colleges, the senior vice president for the Commonwealth Campuses, and Penn State campus chancellors, as well as the vice president for Student Affairs, and the University Faculty Senate. The Administrative Committee on Undergraduate Education — composed of the associate deans for undergraduate education, World Campus, and Schreyer Honors College and other administrative and student representatives — is advisory to the vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education and responsible for devising procedures to enact Senate policy and other undergraduate academic and student policies.

The position is responsible for several administrative and service units that further the University’s commitment to teaching, learning and student success. Units within the Office of Undergraduate Education include:

  • the Division of Undergraduate Studies, which enrolls exploratory students that compose about 20 percent of the entering undergraduate class;
  • the Office of General Education, which administers the University-wide core curriculum;
  • the Office for Summer Session, which coordinates the delivery of robust portfolio of courses for new and continuing students;
  • the Student Orientation and Transition Programs, which coordinates the acclimation of new first-year students and the transition of students among the residential campuses;
  • the Morgan Academic Center, which supports student athletes;
  • Penn State Learning, which provides a wide range of tutoring and guided study group resources;
  • the Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center;
  • the Reserve Officer Training Corps;
  • the Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring Offices; the Intercollege Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor; and
  • the Office for Prior Learning Assessment, which maintains an inventory of approved transfer courses from other institutions and acquisition of credit via testing and experiential learning.

The Office of Undergraduate Education also provides an administrative home for the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, which offers teaching consultant services and strategies, assistance in learning and program assessment, grants for teaching transformation and innovation, and the Pollock Testing Center, which provides scanning and computer testing services. A new Student Success Center administers the University’s Open Doors scholarship program and provides assistance to students nearing graduation.

The vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education is also responsible for coordinating enrollment management and planning across the 20 campuses offering undergraduate programs, as well as registrar and student aid services for undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in law and medicine University-wide, with a total enrollment of nearly 100,000 students receiving over $1 billion in federal, state and institutional financial aid. The Enrollment Management units comprise the Undergraduate Admissions Office, the University Registrar, and the Office of Student Aid.

Those who apply must have credentials appropriate for a tenured appointment at the rank of professor and a demonstrated record of outstanding achievement and commitment to the scholarship of teaching, research and service. The ability to lead in a multifaceted and complex organization with a broad range of student and faculty interactions and proven experience as an effective administrator are essential qualities for the position. Personal characteristics of high energy and integrity, capacity to work with others, ability to resolve problems, and sound judgment are essential. Experience in fund-raising to obtain external support for large projects is desirable.

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, contact Marie Hardin, chair of the search committee, at mch208@psu.edu. Applications received by Dec. 10 will receive full consideration and review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

Last Updated November 18, 2020