Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences

Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences

Finalists for the position of Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences will visit campus in late February and early March 2020. The campus community is encouraged to attend the open forums listed below, where finalists will present their 5-year visions for the future of H&S. Each open forum will be streamed online.  Each open forum will be followed by a reception to give attendees the opportunity to interact with the finalists.  

Velmer Burton

Open Forum: Monday, February 24, 2020 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the UC Theater

Larry Hufford 

Open Forum: Thursday, February 27, 2020 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the UC Theater

Judy Ledgerwood 

Open Forum: Tuesday, March 3, 2020 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the UC Theater 

Jenny McNulty 

Open Forum:  Wednesday, March 4, 2020 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in the UC Theater

Candidate Feedback Survey:

Please provide your feedback on the candidates through this Qualtrics survey.  The survey will close on Tuesday, March 10 at 5 p.m.


Image depicting on-campus interviews

Provost's Charge to the Search Committee

Thank you for agreeing to serve on the search committee for the Dean of the College of Humanities & Sciences. This is an exciting time for the College, with the Liberal Arts building becoming Eck Hall and there are a number of opportunities to expand and innovate programmatically. H&S is the heart and soul of UM, and I am eager to recruit a dynamic and forward-thinking dean to lead UM’s largest college into the future.

It will be important to post the advertisement for this position as soon as possible, to be competitive with other dean position advertisements and reach the broadest possible applicant pool. With search committee chair Tim Nichols’ leadership, you should be able to deliver candidates for interviews before spring break 2020, and enable me to select a Dean who can be on board by July 1, 2020, or sooner.

There are several tasks for a search committee:

  • Learn about and utilize strategies for an inclusive recruitment process (implicit bias awareness, language and format for position advertisements, blind application review, etc.) 
  • Draft, refine and finalize the role description and advertisement for the position
  • Proactively identify and contact a wide range of potential applicants for the position
  • Review the applications, narrowing the list to those for whom you will conduct additional interviews and for whom you will check references 
  • Further narrow the list to those you recommend to me for campus visits
  • Develop a campus visit schedule and facilitate the campus visits
  • Evaluate the finalists for their strengths and weaknesses and report the results to me
  • Indicate if any of the finalists is not acceptable for the position.

It is not the task of the search committee to rank the finalists for the position. The search committee should prepare recommendations for me, specifying which finalists are and are not acceptable, and enumerating the strengths and weaknesses of each acceptable candidate.

For this position, we are seeking a dynamic and visionary academic with administrative and faculty experience who can lead H&S during an exciting and transitional time.  Given the great momentum on campus, based on the priorities for action and our efforts to recruit and retain increasing numbers of students, this is a great time to bring experienced and visionary leadership to H&S. The college plays a critical role in delivering general education courses to all UM students in addition to its outstanding undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. H&S is the core of the University of Montana, and the next dean will reinforce that foundation and pursue new opportunities. With exceptional donor and alumni support, H&S is positioned for increased strength and growth. Let this serve as a charge to the search committee to bring in extraordinary candidates who will help us build upon the foundation that has been laid and to lead H&S into the future.

The successful candidate must work collaboratively with a diverse group of individuals across campus. They must be well versed in current trends in the many disciplines represented in H&S and have the capacity to explain the nuances of these disciplines to others. The dean must understand the unique role H&S plays within the fabric of the larger University. And, they must have a vision for the future of the College with the ability to reach out to alumni, donors, and other stakeholders and share that vision with them.

As you embark on your tasks, several people will be resources for your committee: Hillary Stowell in the Office of the Provost will provide administrative support; Alicia Arant, Interim Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action will provide guidance when needed; and Marcie Briggs, Recruitment Manager for Human Resource Services, will provide guidance and technical support.

Many thanks for all of your contributions and hard work on this important search.

Provost Jon Harbor


Search Committee

Tim Nichols, Dean, Davidson Honors College, search committee chair

Donna Anderson, Senior International Officer, Global Engagement Office

Lana Batts, H&S Alumna and Donor

Tsiza Bell, Postdoctoral Scholar, Division of Biological Sciences

Ken Egan, Alumus and Community Member

Alecia Gray, Director of Communications and Events, H&S

Ramona Grey, Professor, Department of Political Science, Faculty Senate Representative

Ashley Hampton, student representative

Anya Jabour, Regents Professor, Department of History

Xavier Kneedler-Shorten, Mansfield Library, Staff Senate Representative

John Quindry, Chair, School of Integrative Physiology and Athletic Training, Faculty Senate Representative

Aaron Thomas, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Director of the Native American Research Laboratory

Ke Wu, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences