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Dean of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California, Irvine

Recruitment Period

Open October 8th, 2020 through Sunday, Nov 8, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)


The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine seeks an impactful and inspirational new leader as it continues its remarkable trajectory. This is a unique opportunity to lead an institution on the rise in one of the most dynamic regions in the world. The next dean will have the chance to lead the school to greater distinction by inspiring excellence in research, scholarship and teaching, as well as leveraging excellent available infrastructure to further support intellectual exploration, interdisciplinary thought and creative partnerships.

As a recently designated Hispanic-serving institution and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution, UCI is home to nearly 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students, more than 1,300 ladder-rank faculty, and over 11,000 campus and medical center staff members. Founded as an interdisciplinary university, it boasts excellence across its arts and sciences core and in its professional schools and has been ranked among the top 10 public universities in the nation for six consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. As one of the youngest members of the prestigious Association of American Universities, UCI combines the strengths of a major research institution with the dynamism and agility of an emergent campus. In addition, its mission as a public land grant institution plays a significant role in contributing to the advancement of the state, the nation and the world.

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering is composed of more than 150 faculty members in six departments: biomedical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, materials science and engineering, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. Renowned faculty members are scholars and leaders in their disciplines, committed to pioneering research and dedicated teaching. Twelve faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and approximately 50 of its faculty are fellows of professional societies. Engineering faculty pursue investigations that are timely, socially responsible and forward-thinking, generating widespread impact while delivering to students a rich undergraduate and graduate education. More than two-thirds of undergraduates actively participate in faculty-led projects. Undergraduate and graduate student diversity continues to be a key initiative for the school, with ongoing efforts to increase enrollment of and support for women and students from underrepresented backgrounds.

The next dean of UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering will address a wide range of opportunities and challenges to meet its aspirations, most notably:

  • Promote pioneering research endeavors and world-class scholarship
  • Foster a diverse and inclusive intellectual community to advance scholarship and innovation
  • Strengthen faculty and staff recruitment, retention and career advancement
  • Expand visibility and partnerships across campus and with universities, industry, and other organizations throughout the region
  • Advance the strong tradition of transparency and effective communication within the school
  • Attract and support an engaged community of top students
  • Establish an inspiring and collaborative post-pandemic vision for the next chapter of the school

A list of the desired qualifications and characteristics of the dean can be found at the end of this document that was prepared by the search advisory committee with the assistance of Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm. All confidential applications, inquiries and nominations should be directed to the parties listed at the end of this document.

About The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Founded as the School of Engineering in 1965 and renamed after a transformative gift in 1999 from philanthropist, technology leader, and faculty member Henry Samueli, the Samueli School of Engineering at UCI is a leader in engineering research, education and industry engagement in Southern California. As Orange County has developed into a global destination for diverse industries, the school has continued to grow in prominence and impact. Situated at the heart of the UCI campus, the Samueli School generates leading-edge, interdisciplinary, scientific research and technology and is home to or affiliated with more than a dozen research centers and experimental facilities. The Samueli School is organized into six departments: Biomedical Engineering (BME), Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE), Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE).

World-class research is woven into the fabric of the Samueli School, where talented faculty lead the charge toward innovation, advancement of knowledge and development of groundbreaking technology. The school occupies nearly 400,000 square feet and includes a wide-ranging collection of research centers, institutes, and lab facilities. Building on a strong foundation of fundamental engineering areas, from mechanics to electronic devices, faculty members pursue one of four principal research thrusts: communications and information technology, energy and sustainability, human health, and advanced manufacturing and materials. These thrust areas catalyze pioneering research by engaging a broad spectrum of school faculty, drawing researchers from outside engineering, attracting the most talented students, and focusing attention and resources on the important engineering challenges of our time. Research expenditures in 2018-19 topped $37.7 million. To learn more about Samueli School research, visit https://engineering.uci.edu/research.

A newly completed Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building is scheduled to open in late 2020. The six-story, 205,000-square-foot structure is located in the campus’s engineering and sciences quad along Ring Road. The ISEB will include researchers from two schools in addition to engineering (physical sciences and information and computer sciences), bringing together diverse disciplines and perspectives to find advanced solutions for complex regional and global challenges. The ISEB will complement the laboratories, classrooms, and research laboratories in the nearby Engineering Hall and Engineering Tower.

The Samueli School boasts a robust alumni community that helps secure philanthropic support to advance its goals of unleashing innovation, creating opportunities and inspiring ingenuity. The school’s growing alumni ranks make significant contributions to society in the fields of technology, business, academia, and government. There is an active UCI Engineering Alumni Society and the Dean’s Circle provides an additional conduit to alumni and friends. Further, the school has fostered collaborative relationships with hundreds of industry partners in Orange County and beyond. Engagement is diverse and includes corporate advisory boards, affiliate programs, cooperative research projects, philanthropic support, and sponsored internships.

To learn more, visit engineering.uci.edu.

Role of the Dean

Reporting to the provost and executive vice chancellor, the dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the Samueli School of Engineering. The dean will oversee a budget of roughly $66 million and about 88 permanent and 138 non-permanent staff, including six department chairs, a senior assistant dean/chief of staff, assistant dean of access and inclusion, oversight of development, and four associate deans for undergraduate student affairs, graduate and professional studies, academic affairs, and research and innovation.

Key Opportunities and Challenges for the Dean

The next dean will build upon the existing strengths of the school, expanding its prominence and impact regionally, nationally, and globally. The dean will extend opportunities for faculty engagement, experiential learning, undergraduate and graduate research, and industry partnerships. A strong advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as a tireless champion of student success, the next dean will serve as a visionary leader capable of meeting this unique moment in history. To that end, the new dean will meet a series of opportunities and challenges, outlined below:

Promote pioneering research endeavors and world-class scholarship

The new dean will leverage the strength of UCI’s brilliant faculty to further elevate the Samueli School’s academic standing, encouraging intellectual leadership on the national and international stage. In close collaboration with faculty, the dean will oversee strategic investment in the growth of research centers and interdisciplinary endeavors. Further, the dean will allocate resources and space appropriately, leading a community of top scholars with an eye on continuous advancement across multiple metrics, including various national rankings.

Foster a diverse and inclusive intellectual community to advance scholarship and innovation

The dean will champion and advance the institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Leveraging the newly endowed Stacey Nicholas Office of Access and Inclusion, the new dean will continue to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion in all facets of Samueli School’s activities and build a diverse faculty, bringing together top scholars from all corners of academia. In celebrating UCI’s incredibly diverse student population and working with the school’s Office of Access and Inclusion, the dean will serve as a thoughtful facilitator of productive discussion among students, faculty, staff, and community members. The new dean will encourage innovative ideas around equity, diversity, and inclusion, including cluster hiring and increased opportunities for broad collaboration. The dean will also serve as a voice and advocate for issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the engineering profession more broadly.

Strengthen faculty and staff recruitment, retention and career advancement

Being a prominent scholar and capable administrator (or experienced leader), the new dean will be a strong champion of faculty and staff. By relying on the strength of the university’s shared-governance, state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, and unwavering commitment to excellence, the dean will fortify the school’s recruiting position and ensure the continued ability to attract and retain top academic and administrative talent. In addition the dean will continue to build and broaden already existing international partnerships and relations in Europe, China, India and seek to establish new strategic international partnerships.

Expand visibility and partnerships across campus, throughout the local region, nationally and internationally

The dean will identify and cultivate key distinguished alumni and industry partners, both locally and further afield. In collaboration with the external relations team, the new dean will expand and diversify advancement opportunities, including engagement with previously unconnected distinguished alumni and local and global partners and building on established international partnerships. By nurturing on-campus relationships with other deans and central leadership, the new dean will bring a fresh perspective to important school allocations, including teaching and research dollars. The newly created UCI Beall Applied Innovation, which has greatly enhanced the transfer and impact of knowledge created by the UCI community, will be a key tool for realization of this goal.

Advance the strong tradition of transparency and effective communication within the school

The dean will foster an “open-door” policy and promote a culture of active listening among all stakeholders, building consensus on topics across the school. The new dean will respect and enhance the importance of the shared governance model and will align the school’s aspirations with the intellectual spirit of the community.

Attract and support an engaged community of top students

Building on the strong reputation of UCI and the Samueli School, the new dean will continue to dedicate attention to attracting diverse students with top-tier academic records. The dean will support students at the undergraduate and graduate levels by fostering ingenuity in teaching, research and student success. Further, the dean will engage alumni to promote long-lasting community and support for the school.

Establish an inspiring and collaborative post-pandemic vision for the next chapter of the school

The new dean will be a leader who is able to meet this extraordinary moment. The dean will work toward building sustainable and flexible modifications to school operations, embracing an established “School for the Future” ethos to remain innovative and competitive in a changing marketplace. The dean will prioritize the Samueli School connections with the academic and local communities to lead in addressing key societal challenges.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate must have an excellent history of academic accomplishment and administrative experience. They will possess a clear vision of the future of engineering research and education, a proven record of achieving community and philanthropic support, an understanding and appreciation of shared governance, a demonstrated commitment to diversity and student success, and the ability to work effectively with various industry and other external stakeholders associated with the school.

While no single candidate will have all of the following qualifications and characteristics, the ideal candidate should possess many of the following:

  • A strong academic record commensurate with appointment to the rank of full professor with tenure (required);
  • A record of and commitment to world-class research;
  • A proven commitment to fostering equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • A record of success in identifying and recruiting outstanding faculty and staff;
  • The ability to identify and cultivate sources of external resources;
  • Fluency in the operational aspects and management expectations of a large, public research university;
  • An inspirational commitment to and vison for undergraduate, graduate and professional education;
  • Support of entrepreneurship and close relationships within the industry;
  • The ability to navigate university-level administration;
  • An articulate vision for the role of engineering schools in the 21st century;
  • A commitment to and vision for collaborative and interdisciplinary engagements;
  • A charismatic and genuine personality able to inspire staff, faculty, students, alumni, industry, and community partners


Irvine, California is located in the heart of Orange County with quick access to major freeways, rail service and John Wayne Airport. The coastal communities of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach and are only a short distance away. Irvine is less than an hour from Los Angeles International Airport and downtown Los Angeles. The city, incorporated in 1971, is among the nation’s largest planned urban communities, encompassing more than 65 square miles, and has been named the “Safest City in America” for 14 consecutive years based on FBI statistics for violent crime. UCI enjoys the best of what Southern California has to offer: beaches, mountains, deserts and a broad variety of cultural, entertainment and intellectual activities. To learn more about Irvine, see www.destinationirvine.com.

Many UCI faculty and administrators live in University Hills, an on-campus residential community created to provide affordable housing to eligible full-time employees. It’s within walking distance of Irvine shopping, restaurants and entertainment, as well as campus academic and athletic activities and neighborhood recreational amenities. The community has three apartment complexes, two condominium associations, townhomes, paired homes, single-family detached houses and a few custom homes. In all, University Hills has nearly 1,500 residences on more than 300 acres and continues to grow.

Applications, Inquiries and Nominations

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the end of the search process. For best consideration, please apply by Nov. 6, 2020. Inquiries, nominations, referrals and applications should be submitted via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: www.imsearch.com/7601. Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Complete applications will include a CV, cover letter and a separate diversity statement that describes past activities to promote diversity and inclusion and plans for future contributions. For more information about UCI’s commitment to inclusive excellence, visit https://uci.edu/diversity.

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community dedicated to the advancement, application, and transmission of knowledge and creative endeavors through academic excellence, where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in a safe and secure environment, free of violence, harassment, discrimination, exploitation, or intimidation. With this commitment as well as a commitment to addressing all forms of academic misconduct, UC Irvine conducts institutional reference checks for candidates finalists to whom the department or other hiring unit would like to extend a formal offer of appointment into Ladder Rank Professor or Professor of Teaching series, at all ranks (i.e., assistant, associate, and full). The institutional reference checks involve contacting the administration of the applicant’s previous institution(s) to ask whether there have been substantiated findings of misconduct that would violate the University’s Faculty Code of Conduct. To implement this process, UC Irvine requires all candidates who accept a “campus visit” to complete and sign the form entitled “Authorization to Release Information” into as part of their application.

David Bellshaw and Joe Kralick
Isaacson, Miller
1000 Sansome St., Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-655-4900

The University of California, Irvine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. The recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity, UCI is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples, supports work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies, and is dedicated to broadening participation in higher education


Contact: Human Resources, University of California, Irvine

Online App. Form: https://recruit.ap.uci.edu/apply/JPF06356