Funk Associates Leading Dean Search for the University of South Alabama’s College of Engineering

May 2, 2024 – Funk Associates was recently retained by the University of South Alabama to lead its search for a dean for the College of Engineering. The dean, reporting to the EVP and provost, serves as the chief academic officer for the college and guides the college’s efforts in academic curriculum development, faculty and staff development, research and scholarly activity, external fundraising and the building of partnerships with the industry community and alumni.

The school is looking to attract an innovative leader with strong leadership skills and a demonstrated commitment to establishing successful collaborative relationships within an environment in which faculty and stakeholders are fully engaged partners. The dean will be expected to elevate the level of excellence of University of South Alabama’s renowned high-quality education, nurturing students to be career-ready professionals. The dean will also be expected to enhance the research mission of the college, including facilitating increased sponsored research.

The ideal candidate should have an earned terminal degree in an engineering field represented by one of the college’s disciplines and should demonstrate evidence of scholarly, professional, and creative achievement sufficient to qualify for tenure at the rank of professor. In addition, Funk Associates outlines the following qualifications that are preferred:

· A record of fostering academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, leading change and growth;

· Significant scholarly research along with a strong record of external funding;

· A demonstrated capacity to identify, recruit, and retain strong faculty and leadership for the college;

· Broad knowledge of educational trends, engineering practices, multi-disciplinary research, and cutting-edge collaborative ventures with industry;

· Demonstrated experience overseeing large and complex budgets, developing and implementing strategic plans, and managing personnel.

In addition, the search firm is looking for candidates with a strong track record of successful fundraising and talent for identifying entrepreneurial opportunities as well as a demonstrated ability to enhance diversity. Those applying must have strong collaboration and consensus building skills and the ability to communicate with multiple constituencies and foster partnerships with other colleges, universities, and industry stakeholders.

Related: R. William Funk & Associates Recruits Dean for University of Louisville

The mission of the College of Engineering is to provide students with high-quality, accessible undergraduate and graduate engineering education; to prepare graduates for professional careers and lifelong learning; to create and disseminate knowledge; and to serve society through economic and technological development of the Gulf Coast, the State of Alabama and the Nation. It offers five ABET-accredited baccalaureate degrees, as well as, five master’s degrees, the doctor of philosophy in systems engineering, and the doctor of philosophy in chemical and biomolecular engineering. Major industries in the local area and region offer opportunities for industrial/academic collaborations, while numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations exist with the USA College of Medicine, USA Health, the Mitchell Cancer Institute, and the USA College of Arts and Sciences.

Funk Associates Initiates Podcast Series “Voices of Leadership”
Funk Associates announced the premier of its podcast series, “Voices of Leadership”. The podcasts are intended to showcase important leaders in higher education discussing contemporary topics. Dr. Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University, will kick-off the series, with Dr. Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, and Dr. Mung Chiang, president of Purdue University following consecutively at one week intervals. Additional thought-leaders will be scheduled going forward. Listeners are invited to tune into the series on the firm’s new website ( or on the Spotify and Apple podcast platforms. The series is hosted by Bill and Willie Funk. In addition to the podcast series, the firm is announcing its new offering in the recruitment of intercollegiate coaches and athletic directors, and introducing a new website format.

Funk Associates is an executive search firm specializing in higher education executive recruitment. The firm has recruited chancellors/presidents for two-thirds of all public AAU universities. The firm has also recruited presidents or chancellors to more than one-half of U.S. News & World Report’s recently published “Top 30 National Universities.” Over time, it has conducted more than 425 searches for college and university presidents and chancellors as well as an even greater number of provosts, deans, and various vice presidents.

Nationally Recognized

The firm has been recognized by the Women’s Network of the American Council on Education (ACE) for its work in recruiting women and minorities to senior levels of higher education. Notably, the search firm has broken the color and/or gender line in president searches at more than 40 institutions around the country, making in one of the most highly sought after search firms across the sector.

R. William “Bill” Funk, founder and president, is a widely respected search consultant serving higher education. He has been called the “guru of higher education recruiting” by The Chronicle of Higher Education and is listed as one of the 200 best executive recruiters in the world in The Global 200 Executive Recruiters: An Essential Guide to the Best Recruiters in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America (Jossey-Bass, Inc.). Prior to founding his own firm 16 years ago, Mr. Funk was the national practice leader of the education practice and office managing director of the Dallas office for Korn Ferry International for more than a decade.

Related: R. William Funk & Associates Assists University of South Carolina in the Recruitment of President

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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