Dean – University of Montana – Missoula, MT

Dean, W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana

Tracking Code:  2548-254

The University of Montana (UM), located in Missoula, Montana, invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation (FCFC). The FCFC seeks an innovative and resourceful leader to further our mission as a top-ranked college in natural resource management and environmental sciences.

UM is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to diversity in all areas. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people, including people from academic, public sector, private sector, or non-governmental settings, who would assist the University in pursuing its five priorities for action. We encourage applications from and nominations of women, Native Americans, persons of color, persons with disabilities, veterans, and other individuals from underrepresented groups.

The Position

Reporting to the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer for FCFC and is responsible for administering the College’s departments and programs, developing and implementing academic strategies, recruiting and retaining students and members of the faculty and staff, and managing organizational and financial structures that promote excellence in research, professional practice, and education.

We seek a Dean with an established record of creative and effective leadership who understands the pressing challenges facing natural resources management and environmental science.  The College seeks an innovative, dynamic, and experienced leader who will enhance and further its reputation and position as an international pioneer in teaching, research, and outreach. Montana is a large state with virtually unmatched opportunity for natural resources-related research and outreach. The Dean will also serve as an effective leader and advocate for the College within the University.

The Dean will display a high level of energy and aptitude for building meaningful connections with a variety of stakeholders and donors. In addition, the new dean should be a collaborative leader who will nurture the convivial culture within the College and help the College implement its strategic goals while unifying its diverse disciplines, promoting collegiality among both the faculty and staff, and valuing relationships with students. The Dean will lead the realization of a new mass timber building that will bring the College together under one roof and serve as a centerpiece of sustainability. At a time of change and opportunity within the University, the new dean will forge connections with other campus units through participation in the University’s Communities of Excellence, especially the Community of Excellence in Environment and Sustainability.

Primary Responsibilities

The Dean will further the mission and vision of the College and the University. The successful candidate will:

  • Provide the leadership, vision, and strategy to increase academic and research opportunities for the College in Montana, nationally, and abroad.
  • Promote and encourage faculty excellence in teaching, scholarship, research, outreach, and service through innovative strategies.
  • Advocate for students both inside and outside the University to support their professional success, including developing relationships with key employers.
  • Establish relationships with individuals, associations, corporations, and local, tribal, state, federal and international programs and agencies.
  • Serve as Director of the Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, administering state-appropriated funds, federal McIntire-Stennis funds, grant and donor funds, and station research properties and facilities.
  • Represent the eleven FCFC centers and institutes that serve as an integral part of research and outreach for the college and university.
  • Represent the interests of a variety of students, staff, and faculty in the biological, social, and physical sciences in a unified strategic vision.
  • Oversee effective fiscal and personnel management and collaboration, including the recruitment and retention of highly qualified and diverse staff, students, and faculty.
  • Build partnerships through strategic communication and interaction with funding agencies and potential donors.

Required Qualifications

Candidates must demonstrate a strong commitment to student achievement and faculty scholarship, and effective interpersonal and collaborative skills, and possess the drive and skills to advance the College through excellence in its teaching, outreach, and research missions. They must have strong leadership capabilities and demonstrate the ability to set priorities and to challenge and inspire individuals to achieve strategic goals.  Specific qualifications include:

  • Doctorate or other terminal degree from a discipline related to those represented within the College with experience in an academic, public sector, private sector, or non-governmental setting.  Candidates shall have a record of scholarship commensurate with a tenured faculty position in one of the College’s departments.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness as a leader and administrator of a multi-faceted organization.
  • Demonstrated understanding of contemporary issues in natural resource management, sustainability, and environmental science.
  • Commitment to excellence and innovation in undergraduate and graduate education, including high impact learning experiences.
  • Record of effective leadership and management with a commitment to ethics, openness, and diversity.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster cooperation, collaboration, and consensus building.
  • Demonstrated understanding of, commitment to, and ability to support natural and social science, as well as interdisciplinary approaches.
  • Effective communication skills, and a demonstrated commitment to communicating research, science, and programing with the public, press, stakeholders, and partners.
  • Commitment to and experience with transparent budgeting and decision-making.
  • Experience that indicates an aptitude for development, including working effectively with private donors and foundations, and policy-makers at the state and federal levels.

Position Details

  • Position is full-time (1.0 FTE) MUS Contract and includes a comprehensive and competitive benefits package including insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, and wellness program.
  • Salary for this position is commensurate with qualifications.

About the W. A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation

The W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation was founded in 1913 as the School of Forestry, one of the first forestry programs accredited by the Society of American Foresters. Today, the FCFC includes programs in ecological, social, and natural resource sciences, policy, and management. College faculty are amongst the most productive researchers in the nation, and have been nationally and internationally recognized for their research excellence and commitment to sustainable resource management. The College is also known for the quality of its graduates and has produced many of the nation’s finest natural resource managers and scientists.

The College serves approximately 730 undergraduate students (65% nonresident) through six degree programs: Forestry; Resource Conservation; Parks, Tourism and Recreation Management; Ecosystem Science and Restoration; Geography; and Wildlife Biology. The College also serves 135 graduate students via six masters programs and three Ph.D. programs. Through its oversight of the Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, the college operates two outstanding research and teaching properties: 21,000-acre Lubrecht Experimental Forest and 3,600-acre Bandy Experimental Ranch. The College also includes 14 programs, centers, and institutes, including the Native American Natural Resource Program.  Within this structure are numerous cutting-edge initiatives in both research and teaching promoting integrative approaches to conservation.

The College has been fortunate to receive many philanthropic gifts throughout the years, including the largest gift in the history of University of Montana, the W.A. Franke gift.  The Dean will have the opportunity to guide the deployment of these new resources.  Further, a new mass timber building for the College is currently the top new infrastructure priority for the University of Montana and the Montana University System. 

The College faculty takes pride in the attention devoted to teaching, research, and the application of science to complex problems. Considerable emphasis is placed on hands-on experience to supplement students’ academic work, through the use of well-equipped laboratories, extensive computer technology, international exchanges, and field labs and courses. Students and faculty benefit from access to outstanding field stations and nearby landscapes, including the Flathead Lake Biological Station on the shores of Flathead Lake  and the Boone and Crockett Club’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch along the east face of the Rockies. The University library houses significant collections in forestry and conservation.

The University

Nestled in the heart of western Montana’s stunning natural landscape, the University of Montana is a place where top-tier students, educators, and researchers from across the country and around the globe gather and thrive. UM is located in Missoula, Montana’s second-largest city with a population of 75,000 residents. The University draws a diverse population to Missoula and helps cultivate an educated, engaged and vibrant community. UM has launched an exciting interdisciplinary initiative in its Communities of Excellence, both as an internal opportunity for new academic and scholarly collaborations as well as a promotional tool for attracting students, faculty, and staff.

Approximately 10,000 students attend the University of Montana and Missoula College, where they receive a world-class education grounded in the liberal arts, combined with a broad range of professional, graduate and post-doctoral programs.

The main campus spans 56 acres at the base of Mount Sentinel along the Clark Fork River and includes the park-like Oval at the center of campus, more than 60 architecturally unique buildings and a 25,200-seat football stadium. UM’s 180-acre South Campus offers student housing, a golf course, soccer fields and an outdoor track facility.

About Montana & Missoula

Missoula view from Mount Sentinel

The state of Montana boasts a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. For the last six years, Montana has been one of the top states in the nation for entrepreneurship according to the Kauffman Index. For four of those years, Montana was ranked #1.

A cultural center for the Northern Rockies, Missoula was recently ranked in the “top 20 best college towns with a population of less than 250,000” by the American Institute for Economic Research. The community of approximately 75,000 is a regional destination for shopping and dining, featuring several shopping districts and an abundance of restaurants, cafes, coffee houses and breweries with something to fit all budgets and palates. Known for its eclectic culture, Missoula hosts a seemingly endless array of arts and entertainment events including symphony, theatre, film festivals, athletics, ballet, and rodeo. In addition, the Wilma Theater and UM’s Adams Center have become anchors of a vibrant and burgeoning regional music scene.

Surrounded by seven wilderness areas and at the confluence of three rivers, Missoula is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Recently ranked 9th in Outside Magazine’s “The 16 Greatest Places to Live in America,” Missoula is known for its blue-ribbon trout fishing  and spectacular natural beauty. Abundant recreational opportunities in surrounding state and national forests and nearby Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park complement a thriving intellectual atmosphere.

To learn more about the University of Montana, Missoula, and the State of Montana, please visit the links below.

Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to Offer of Employment. In accordance with University policy, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations. ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran’s Preference – Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. References – *References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant. Testing – Individual hiring departments at UM-M may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions. Employment Eligibility – All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).

Need additional help? Check out our UM Jobs FAQ website.

How to Apply

Priority Application Date: Monday, March 16, 2020

Applications received by this date will be guaranteed consideration.  Application review will begin after date above and continue until the position is filled. 

Please submit the following application materials via “New Resume/CV” button below. 

*Please note: only five (5) attachments are allowed per application. Please combine documents accordingly.

  • Letter of Interest – describing relevant experiences and interest in the position
  • Detailed resume/curriculum vitae listing education and describing work experience
  • Five (5) professional references – Names and contact information with titles, mailing addresses, business/home telephone numbers and email addresses 


Nominations are welcomed and encouraged.  To submit nominations, please visit our nomination form

Job Location
Missoula, Montana, United States
Position Type