Position Description

The University of Memphis seeks a Dean of Communication and Fine Arts (CCFA). The Dean is a senior administrative position responsible for providing leadership, strategic vision, and academic oversight to the college's diverse academic departments and programs. Reporting to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost, the Dean plays a pivotal role in shaping the college's mission, enhancing its reputation, and fostering an environment conducive to academic excellence, artistic creativity, and professional development.

Specific responsibilities include approval of hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions; effective management of resources; oversight of the assessment and accreditation processes, as well as curriculum planning; lead efforts in CCFA student recruitment and retention; coordination of outreach activities; support of research, including aggressive pursuit of external funding; and college development. The Dean should be recognized as a visionary leader and representative of the CCFA and the University of Memphis at the local, state, and national levels. The Dean has primary budgetary responsibility and accountability for the college and its programs.


The Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts must have demonstrated significant achievement in leadership, scholarly activities, and administration. The Dean should be a transformative change-agent who is committed to shared governance and open communication. Specifically, the candidates must demonstrate evidence of the following qualifications:

  • A terminal degree in one of the disciplines represented in the college and qualified to hold professorial rank in one of the departments within the college;
  • A distinguished record of teaching, research, or creative achievement in one of the disciplines of the CCFA;
  • The energy and vision to lead the College in its drive to increase excellence and innovation;
  • Ability to engage with the community and support community partnerships for the mutual benefit of the University and the region;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills for relating effectively with the varied constituencies of the College, University, and the larger community;
  • A strong commitment to promoting diversity, multicultural, and global perspectives;
  • A record of responsible administrative experience and achievements;
  • A commitment to excellence in all the educational programs in the college, to the expansion of research and creative opportunities, and innovative program development;
  • Experience, expertise, and success in fundraising and securing external support.

The College

The College of Communication and Fine Arts (CCFA) offers an array of academic programs preparing our students for productive and thriving careers in music, theatre, film, art and graphic design, dance, journalism, architecture, and communication. CCFA offers an opportunity to study with student-centered faculty members who are renowned scholars, designers, and artists and engage in experiential learning. In addition to undergraduate education, CCFA sharpens the skills of graduate students across different disciplines who aim to further contribute to their respective areas, often by undertaking projects that enhance and impact the local community.

As part of a Carnegie R1, or “Tier One” research university, CCFA is actively involved in several different ongoing research projects funded by National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) grants. Our research umbrella also includes the Institute for Arts & Health, which traces its roots as a CCFA-led initiative that aims to bridge the arts, humanities, social sciences, medical, digital technologies, and STEM areas.

The college continues to expand its reach through the Central Avenue Arts Corridor, as well as state-of-the-art facilities, including the brand-new Scheidt Family Music Center, a space created for existing students to perfect their craft, as well as alumni to return and celebrate their academic and artistic legacies. CCFA is also home to the Art Museum at the University of Memphis, which often features annual exhibitions created and curated by our very own students, as well as the Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology (IEAA), which maintains a collection of more than 1,400 ancient Egyptian antiquities.

The University

The University of Memphis is one of two flagship public institutions in Tennessee and is classified among the highest level of research activity nationwide as a Carnegie R1 University. The UofM serves approximately 22,000 students as a leading, student-centered, urban public institution. The University is committed to its core values, which includes student success and access, as well as providing a welcoming and inclusive environment. Academic offerings include bachelor’s degrees in more than 250 areas of study, master’s degrees in more than 50 subjects and doctoral degrees in 26 disciplines. The UofM supported an institutional record of $86 million in research awards for FY23 and has an operating budget of $500 million. In athletics, the Tigers compete for championships at the NCAA Division I level across 18 varsity sports. Located in the heart of culture-rich Memphis, the UofM is experiencing significant growth and development — a huge transformation since our founding in 1912. See: www.memphis.edu.

The City of Memphis

Located on the Mississippi River in West Tennessee, Memphis features vibrant entertainment and art, spacious nature and outdoor areas, culinary excellence, multiple Fortune 500 companies and more. The city is home to some of the world’s top corporate and biomedical research entities, including FedEx, AutoZone, International Paper, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

A beautiful and culturally rich city, Memphis brings the benefit of low real estate prices and an excellent quality of life. Attractions include:

  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • Beale Street
  • Graceland
  • Sun Studio
  • NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies
  • Memphis Zoo
  • World-class music venues and museums

Nominations and Application Process

The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.  It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to January 29, 2024. For additional information, please contact:

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Senior Principal
Delando Crooks, Associate
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
770-804-1996 ext.: 117

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Submit Application

* Indicates required field


Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.


Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.


Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.

Supplemental Materials

Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.

Please click the submit button only once.