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Boise State University
Divisional Dean, School of Social Work

Boise State University, powered by creativity and innovation, and uniquely positioned in the Northwest as a metropolitan research university of distinction, seeks a new Divisional Dean to build on the School’s history of success; lead and continue to grow the thriving MSW and BSW programs; develop and expand existing distance and alternative education platforms; and support interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and community-engaged teaching, scholarship, research, and service.

Integrity ... Entrepreneurial ... Advocate ... Relationship Builder … Communicator

Facilitator ... Strong Leader ... Decision-Maker … Dynamic … Collegial … Strategic

Innovator … Budget-Savvy … Online Experience … Collaborative ... Supportive

The Position

As the chief academic officer for the School of Social Work, the Divisional Dean provides leadership for the School and exercises responsibility for its academic and administrative operations; including budget, personnel, programs, and physical facilities. Through consultation with the faculty, the Divisional Dean establishes a vision in setting priorities, maintaining academic standards, and strengthening faculty scholarship and research.


Areas of responsibility include leadership for graduate and undergraduate programs, outreach, and continuing education; establishment and expansion of research, clinical practice, and educational programs; growth of extramural funding and fundraising; cultivation of alumni relations; and building and sustaining strong relationships with internal and external constituents. Working in partnership across the College and University, the Divisional Dean represents the School within the University, the external community and region, the state, as well as with external agencies and organizations. The Divisional Dean reports directly to the Dean and participates in a shared governance system with faculty, staff, and students.


Additional responsibilities include advocating for the School and the College of Health Sciences, working with College leadership to establish strategic direction for both the School and College, developing and administering a budget, establishing annual goals and tracking progress, working with College leadership to raise funds for the School and College, mentoring faculty and staff, assessing performance, and providing guidance and direction.

The Qualifications

The University seeks individuals with a solid record of professional accomplishment; commitment to excellence in research and teaching; administrative, budget, and leadership skills; Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation experience; a high standard of excellence, and strong community engagement skills.

Required Qualifications


  • Ph.D. in Social Work or a closely related field.

  • Master’s degree in Social Work from a program accredited by the CSWE.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proven skills in leadership and a commitment to excellence and innovation with a vision for the future of education in social work.

  • Program development and management in face-to-face, online, and distance education.

  • Ability to secure external research funding and assist and support faculty and students applying for external research grants and opportunities.

  • Evidence of success in developing and maintaining successful community partnerships.

  • Experience in Title IVE, health, behavioral health, and addictions.

  • Capability in supporting innovative curriculum, research, and program development.

  • Track record of work with doctoral programming (DSW and/or PhD).

  • Ability to communicate consistently in a timely and transparent manner.

  • Capacity to make bold leadership decisions that support growth in spite of the changing climate in higher education.

  • Willingness to manage challenges and conflict in a way that supports an open climate and collaboration within faculty governance.

  • Success in recruitment and retention of talented and diverse faculty, staff, and researchers.

  • Experience with academic planning, enrollment management, and student success.

The School

The School of Social Work prepares graduates in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest for beginning and advanced social work practice. Programs are rigorous and transformative, and faculty provide a comprehensive and hands-on education. Field Practicum challenges students to apply social work practice knowledge, skills, and values within an organizational and community context and affords experiential assessment and evaluation of students’ development in the process of becoming a helping professional. Curriculum includes a liberal arts perspective informed by recognition of the critical import to social work education and practice of cultural, political, and socio-historical contexts; skills in communication, reasoning, analysis and critical thinking and inquiry; understanding of human behavior; and scientific method.

The social work major was one of the first four-year degree programs established by then Boise College in 1966 when the College attained four-year status. The Bachelor's program has been accredited through the CSWE since 1974, while the Master’s program was established in 1991 and accredited in 1992. The School established extended sites in Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, and Twin Falls in 2008, and the MSW Online program offered its first courses in January 2016. The department of social work officially became a School in 1994. Originally under the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs, the School was transitioned to the College of Health Sciences in 2014. Today the School has the largest graduate program at the University.


The 280 undergraduate students and 470 graduate students (86 face-to-face and 384 online) are served by 16 faculty. In addition to the undergraduate BSW program, the School also offers both the Full-Program MSW and the Advanced Standing MSW options. All social work programs have been reaffirmed for accreditation through February 2026 by the CSWE.

Student organizations include the Phi Alpha Honor Society, which fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement, and the Organization of Student Social Workers, which serves to provide an opportunity for students’ additional growth and development and offers a continual learning experience in the areas of policy decision making, administration, leadership, and organizational skills development.

The School’s strategic plan was initiated after CSWE accreditation in the spring of 2019 and follows the development of the College of Health Sciences Strategic Plan. Setting a clear direction for the School’s next five years, the faculty and staff own the plan and the Divisional Dean, along with the Executive Committee, manage plan implementation. The plan is reviewed in August, January, and May of each year and modified, improved, and updated to accommodate the dynamic environment for which it was written. The plan is a living document designed as a road map of the organization’s strategic direction.


For additional information about the School of Social Work, please visit

The University

Boise State University, a metropolitan research university, is the largest University in Idaho with over 19,000 students from all 50 states and 65 countries. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the “top up-and-coming” universities in the West, the University offers over 150 academic programs, including 76 Master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized the University as one of the fewer than 100 universities with a community engagement classification.


With more than 170 buildings, the 285-acre campus is located near downtown Boise on the south bank of the Boise River. The University was founded as Boise Junior College in 1932 and became Boise College in 1966 when four-year status was achieved. In 1969, Boise College became Boise State College and Boise State University in 1974.


The University is ranked in the Top 50 for Innovation by U.S. News & World Report. Sometimes called “Blue Turf Thinking,” referring to its famous blue turf football field, the University is building on a culture of innovation - developing research that positively impacts lives, structures that transcend disciplines, and spaces and programs specifically devoted to innovation. It’s all about breaking norms and blazing new trails, and the University is nationally recognized for it.

Despite the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University broke records for 2021 research and sponsored project awards and expenditures. In 2021, the University received 425 awards, totaling more than $65 million, an increase of 13% from last year’s award dollars and 58% in the past five years. Additionally, University research expenditures reached new heights at $55.7 million, rising 16% from 2020 and 59% from five years ago. The University strives to be a “new kind of research university” in which research impacts students at all levels of their education, is fully integrated into how people teach and learn, and helps students become innovative thinkers and leaders.


In the face of the significant uncertainty and economic disruptions, University donors increased their support by more than $7.6 million during fiscal year 2021, giving $41.8 million in philanthropic support. The increase is the result of more than 83,000 gifts from 24,500 individual, corporate, and foundation donors.

The University is home to unique athletic facilities, including the recreation center with a 7,200-square-foot rock wall, and Bronco Stadium, with its famous blue turf football field. Student athletes can play at the intramural level or participate on one of 16 Boise State Broncos varsity teams, which compete in the NCAA Division I Mountain West Conference.


For additional information about Boise State University, please visit

The Location

Boise is Idaho’s capital and a city consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best places to live. Each year the city ranks on multiple top 10 lists and has been placed among the best U.S. downtowns, the best city to raise a family, the healthiest, the best place to retire, the best place to be a doctor, and a good spot for yogis and asthmatics. Beautifully situated at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, the metropolitan area has a population of over 749,000, making “the City of Trees” the largest city in Idaho. As the major metropolitan area within a 300-mile radius, the airport is served by nine airlines, connecting it to cities across the country.


Downtown Boise is the cultural center and home to a variety of shops and dining experiences. Centrally, 8th Street contains a pedestrian zone with sidewalk cafes and many local restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The area also contains the Basque Block, which showcases Boise's Basque heritage. The city’s attractions include the art deco Boise Art Museum and sculpture garden, the sandstone Idaho State Capitol Building, the classic Egyptian Theatre, and Zoo Boise on the grounds of Julia Davis Park.


Boise offers numerous recreational opportunities, including extensive hiking and biking in the foothills to the immediate north of downtown. The Boise River runs through the heart of the city and an extensive twenty-five-mile urban trail system called the Boise River Greenbelt runs along the river and through Pierce Park. The riverfront greenbelt features walking, jogging, and biking paths; prime wildlife habitat; and is a common destination for swimming, rafting, kayaking, and fishing.

The Invitation

Application, nomination, questions, confidential conversation.


To apply, please submit a complete curriculum vitae, a letter of application, and a list of five references (none of whom will be contacted until a later stage of the search and not without candidate permission). The letter should summarize your professional qualifications and the accomplishments that reflect the skills, background, and experience to be successful in this key position. Successful applicants will provide specific examples of past work experience as it relates to the position responsibilities and qualifications listed above. Send your application materials to me at the email address below. Full consideration will be given to those that apply by Friday, February 4, 2022. The position will remain open until filled.

Nominations for this opportunity are encouraged. If a colleague comes to mind you feel might have an interest, I welcome your nomination. Please forward your nomination to me via email.

If you have any questions regarding the position or search process, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone.

Thank you for your consideration.

Gary R. Rhoads
Search Consultant


For a PDF copy of this position profile webpage, click here.

Boise State University is an equal opportunity employer. The University is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and qualified applicants for employment as provided for by federal, state, and local law. Boise State prohibits, to the extent permitted by applicable law, discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic information, or sexual orientation. As an affirmative action employer, the University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, qualified individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans.

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