R. William Funk & Associates Seeking Dean for Southern Methodist University

January 30, 2024 – R. William Funk & Associates has been retained by Southern Methodist University (SMU) to lead in its search for a dean of the Perkins School of Theology. This is an extraordinary opportunity to lead a school as it charts a course for its future. “SMU is entering the third year of a $1.5 billion capital campaign to attract and support outstanding students and faculty, to explore new fields with cutting-edge research empowered by future-facing technologies, and to positively impact Dallas and the world beyond,” the job specification said. “With appointment beginning as early as summer 2024, the dean will have the opportunity to reimagine and implement the school’s strategic vision for future excellence.”

With the support of the provost and a resourceful and deeply invested alumni executive board, the new dean will lead a school of theology that has had an outsized impact on the religious and civic life of its community. The new dean will have the opportunity
to innovate and freshly assert the Perkins School as the theology school of choice for churches and student matriculants seeking careers in ministry.

The next dean will be energetic, open-minded and bring an entrepreneurial approach to the opportunities in front of the school. They will also be committed to the Methodist tradition and be tenurable in the School of Theology.

For over a century, Perkins School of Theology has been one of the leading theological schools in the nation, having trained thousands of ministers, scholars, and church leaders, who serve around the world. The primary mission of the school, as a community devoted to theological study and teaching in the service of the church of Jesus Christ, is to prepare women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry. The school, with its extension in Houston, has 26 faculty, 42 staff and its approximately 280 students come from a variety of religious traditions and backgrounds.

R. William Funk & Associates Recruits Dean for University of Louisville
R. William Funk & Associates has helped to recruit Dayna Touron as the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for the University of Louisville (UofL) in Kentucky.  Dr. Touran is associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and psychology professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She will begin her new role July 1, pending approval by the UofL board of trustees. Dr. Touron replaces interim dean David Owen; he was selected as interim dean after Kimberly Leonard stepped down in 2019.

Dr. Touron was among five candidates selected from various universities, including Western Kentucky University and Howard University. The university said that the search emphasized a candidate that is able to “articulate and execute a coherent vision for the future of the College of Arts and Sciences; bolster its financial standing through development, programmatic growth, and funded research; provide robust support for staff and faculty; and prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion across the college, while strengthening internal and external partnerships.”

R. William 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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