Human Resources  

Job Description: Dean of Science and Sustainability

December 2014

The Dean of Science and Sustainability is responsible for the development of programs in the science division at Aquinas College and the management and implementation of the College’s larger sustainability initiative.  The position reports to the Provost and is the Chief Sustainability Officer of the College.


The role requires that the individual will:

  • Promote a culture of wellness and human flourishing in a manner that is consistent with the Catholic Social teaching and the Charisms of the Dominican tradition
  • Provide visionary leadership for the transformation and advancement of the sciences in curriculum, teaching and research and the continued integration, development and strengthening of the culture of Economicology* and sustainability at the college
  • Inspire the confidence to embrace change through communication and leadership in order to serve students
  • Develop an organization that is outward/outcomes focused and accountable and that values liberal arts education
  • Be a collegial leader that will work with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other stakeholders and is committed to an inclusive environment



  • Ph.D. in a natural or physical science discipline
  • An understanding of the principles of sustainability
  • Prior administrative experience
  • A background in (or experience with) education in a liberal arts setting
  • Successful grant acquisition and management


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teaching and Scholarship
    • Promote teaching quality, research, and innovation
    • Advocate for the sciences and math internally
    • Work collaboratively with faculty members, administration and governance structures to develop and maintain science programs of high quality and market relevance with clear outcomes
    • Support Undergraduate Research Coordinator for continued success of summer research programs
  • Outreach and Fund raising
    • Actively promote the sciences with outside partners and stakeholders
    • Serve as a lead spokesperson and representative for the College on issues of science and  sustainability
    • Provide leadership to fulfill the college’s external commitments, including the American Colleges & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment
    • Identify and develop new opportunities for Aquinas science students in the local community (internships, research opportunities, clinical/shadowing experiences, etc.)
    • Develop outreach programs in partnership with other College departments to engage the broader community in the vision of economicology
    • Enhance the College’s reputation as a regional and national convener of sustainability-related programming
    • Identify and pursue funding to help address the needs of the sustainability program and lead the college’s effort to rebuild and equip its science facility
    • Work with faculty and the Aquinas Foundation to establish fundraising priorities and assist on preparing grant proposals and identify and pursue funding to help address the needs of the staff, faculty and the programs
  • Faculty/Staff Appointments and Development
    • Support the Provost for the recruitment, promotion and appointment of full-time and part-time faculty as well as support personnel in collaboration with department chairs
    • Design and implement professional development activities in collaboration with chairs
    • Collaborate with faculty to select department chair persons for recommendation to the Provost
  • Budget and general administration
    • Advocate for the needs of the unit and publicize its accomplishments
    • Contribute to meet accreditation guidelines and federal mandates establishing and implementing key performance indicators throughout the courses, programs, research, activities, etc. and alignment of unit’s processes
    • Review and address student concerns related to staff and faculty in collaboration with department chairpersons
    • Supervise the activities of the Center for Sustainability and its personnel and facilitate the work of the College’s Sustainability Steering Committee to ensure College environmental policies are both visionary and legally compliant
    • Work collaboratively with Provost, CFO and Controller to manage science and sustainability budgets and manage the use of endowed funds within the Science Division
    • Work collaboratively with the Director of Sustainability to advance sustainability initiatives with internal and external constituents and monitor their effectiveness


Aquinas College reserves the right to modify this job description at any time.

*Economicology is a term coined by the late Peter Wege. With Economicology, Wege envisioned a positive synergy between economic and environmental interests focused on what he called the “6 Es” of Economicology (Economics, Ecology, Environment, Ethics, Education & Empathy).


(Ideal characteristics and skills needed to perform the duties and responsibilities listed above)

  • Integrity and honesty - Behaves in an honest, fair and ethical manner. Models high standards of ethics. Ensure consistency to values, policies, principles and procedures.
  • Interpersonal skills - Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of diverse individuals.
  • Continual learning - Pursues self- development and actively participates in lifelong learning.
  • Student-centered – Understands that as a higher education institution our mission is to serve the students and help them succeed
  • Resilience - Deals effectively with pressure
  • Oral and written communication skills - Makes clear and convincing presentations and prepares concise, clear, and organized documents.
  • Flexibility - Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to changing conditions, generates and evaluates alternative solutions.
  • Service - Shows commitment to serve constituents.
  • Team building - Inspires and fosters team commitment, confidence and trust.
  • Customer service - Anticipates and meets the needs of both internal and external customers
  • Accountability - Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely and cost effective results.
  • Decisiveness - Makes well-informed, effective and timely decisions
  • Influencing/Negotiating - Persuades others and builds consensus
  • Leveraging diversity and seeking inclusion - Fosters an inclusive workplace where differences are valued and leveraged.
  • Conflict management - Encourages creative tension and differences of opinions.
  • Developing others - Fosters professional development of staff
  • Creativity and innovation - Develops new insights into situations and encourages new ideas
  • Partnering - Develops networks and builds alliances
  • External awareness - Understands and keeps up to date on local, national and international trends.
  • Strategic thinking - Formulates objectives and priorities and implements plans consistent with the interest of the organization