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Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in its search for Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

For full consideration, please apply by July 23rd.

This is an exceptional opportunity for an innovative clinical or tenure track administrator to join a top ranked School of Nursing (SON) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In alignment with the new Lead with Light strategic plan and the recent restructure of the SON, the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (SADAA) is a pivotal role as an administrative officer solely focused on facilitating the planning, administration, evaluation, and continuous improvement of the academic programs of the SON, ensuring academic standards and policies of the University, Graduate School, SON, and accrediting and approval agencies are met.

This position, the UNC at Chapel Hill SON, and all nursing programs are a top priority for the State, UNC System, and University administration as evidenced by the new Nursing Education Building currently under construction and focused on nursing education. Significant investments are being made to increase program growth across the state.

As the SON embraces organizational and cultural change, the successful candidate brings a dedicated nursing education background coupled with strong scholarship related to nursing education and/or quality improvement. They embody a combination of innovation and continuous improvement along with a relational, empathetic, team-based leadership approach.

Representing the Dean at designated School, University, professional, and community group meetings, the SADAA works jointly with Associate/Assistant deans and other SON leaders to enhance and foster synergy among the School’s academic, research, and service/practice programs. The SADAA is responsible for programs and policies that support student academic progression and clinical site contract compliance and is a resident resource and expert on topics related to the state of-the-science of pedagogy, providing support for special educational related projects as needed. Additionally, the SADAA supervises and facilitates the work of SON academic Assistant Deans (undergraduate, masters, post masters, doctoral/postdoctoral programs), the Assistant Dean for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

The SADAA develops and maintains strong collaborative relationships within the School by attending meetings with the Leadership Team, Deans Cabinet, the assembled faculty, and standing ad hoc committees and task forces. The SADAA chairs the Academic Affairs and Policy Council (AAPC), meets regularly with the student representatives from all SON programs, and serves as a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council.

This is an on-site position reporting directly to the Dean of the School of Nursing.


  • Provides vision and demonstrates innovation, creativity, and courage in facilitating cutting-edge and forward-facing, high-quality academic programs to address complex and evolving healthcare needs and systems in alignment with the strategic plan, Leading with Light.
  • Provides intellectual and strategic leadership for academic programs and for assembling a faculty with the expertise to implement innovative pedagogy and academic programs.
  • Advocates for the academic program mission of the School, the scholarship of teaching and educational support needs of faculty.
  • Leads and manages systems to support academic program planning, implementation, evaluation, and continuous improvement.
  • Oversees and evaluates the implementation of educational programs and policies adopted by Academic Affairs and Policy Council.
  • Assures plans for academic program compliance with professional accreditation and regulatory body guidelines.
  • Coordinates and approves School of Nursing reports submitted to university, regulatory, or accreditation bodies on behalf of the School’s academic programs.
  • Monitors systems to support academic advisement and progression of students from admission through graduation.
  • Collaborates with relevant SON leaders and faculty to develop and submit relevant educational grant applications that are consistent with School’s mission.
  • Supervises and facilitates in collaboration with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the respective academic Assistant Deans ongoing monitoring of systems to support clinical site contracts and clinical placements.
  • Responsible for recruitment, hiring, managing and performance evaluation of OAA staff.
  • Supervises and facilitates the work of the Office of Academic Affairs, including Academic Assistant Deans, Assistant Dean of Innovation in Teaching and Learning, and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
  • In absence of the Dean, has signatory authority on all contracts, documents, and letters pertaining to academic affairs.
  • Decision-Making Authority for:
    • Negotiates resolution and implantation of Academic programming and policies (e.g., class schedules, progression issues).
    • Academic Program evaluation plan.
    • External funding opportunities related to academic affairs, programs, and student support.
    • Compliance with accreditation and other professional standards.
    • Contract management for Educational Clinical sites, in collaboration with the Dean (who is the final signatory).
    • Responsible for the evaluation of Program Assistant Deans, Assistant Dean for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and staff direct reports.
  • Full list available upon request.


  • Leadership Qualities
    • Demonstrates respect for faculty, staff, students, and colleagues.
    • Demonstrates and encourages innovation and risk-taking.
    • Stays abreast of and addresses program-related trends and encourages appropriate actions.
    • Listens to and acts upon feedback from various sources.
    • Demonstrates effective communication, collaboration, and administrative skills.
    • Demonstrates commitment to ensuring a climate that supports collective well-being among faculty, staff, and students.
    • Acts as a role model and champion for service excellence and continuous improvement.
    • Collaborates with other SON leaders to ensure the successful execution of all SON academic programs.
    • Seek continuous improvement in leadership development.


  • A doctorate degree earned in nursing or a closely related field (i.e. EdD, PhD, DNP, DNS).
  • Eligible for or hold current registered nurse license for the State of North Carolina.
  • Evidence of success in academic scholarship, such as with funded training grants/centers and educational publications/presentations.
  • Minimum of 3 years academic administrative experience.
  • Eligible at the rank of clinical or tenured Associate or Full professor.
  • Experience in and passion for leading change; knowledge of undergraduate and graduate curricula in nursing, simulation, and pedagogy.


The first public university in the United States, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks among the nation’s great institutions of higher education, set on a historic and beautiful campus that celebrates all four seasons. Carolina’s 30,000+ students, 4,000+ faculty and 9,000+ staff come to Chapel Hill from around the world, bringing varied cultural, racial, socio-economic and ethnic heritages that help make UNC-Chapel Hill a thriving and diverse global intellectual center. Carolina ranked fourth among public universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best College rankings, also holding first place among public institutions in the best value category. The University ranked 22nd overall among public and private universities, moving up seven positions from the prior year. Classified as a top-tier R1 university, UNC Chapel Hill boasts strong programs in business, law, medicine, and public health, among others.


Established in 1950, the UNC School of Nursing (SON) is part of a cutting-edge, research-intensive university. The school offers top-ranked BSN, MSN, DNP and PhD degree programs, as well as post-graduate certificate programs. Both the SON and the university foster a highly collaborative research environment. The SON has significant dedicated research space including a state-of-the-art Biobehavioral Laboratory. The SON is located within walking distance to the university’s top-ranked schools of medicine, public health, pharmacy, dentistry and social work located within steps of each other and is adjacent to UNC Hospitals. SON faculty lead and collaborate on a diverse portfolio of multidisciplinary studies and received over $12 million in external funding in 2021.


Located in central North Carolina, Chapel Hill is a multicultural university town known for its perfect blend of small-town charm and urban sophistication. Along with Raleigh and Durham, it sits in the renowned Research Triangle, a major metropolitan area known for its esteemed educational institutions, research facilities, and high-tech companies. Brimming with rich history, Chapel Hill offers plenty of ways to explore this “southern part of heaven,” with parks and an extensive network of hiking and biking trails. Cultural attractions abound and are varied and numerous, from the North Carolina Botanical Garden to the Carolina Performing Arts, and the historic Franklin Street which is home to hundreds of restaurants, bars, and shops.

Chapel Hill has plenty of parks, trails, and recreational facilities, such as the North Carolina Botanical Garden and an extensive network of hiking and biking trails. It also offers a diverse selection of cultural attractions, with numerous theaters, music venues, and art galleries. The Carolina Performing Arts center hosts various performances throughout the year. Historic Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill is home to more than 200 restaurants, bars, retail shops and service businesses. For those looking to get away, Asheville is a great destination to explore the majestic North Carolina mountains and North Carolina beaches are among the most beautiful on the East coast.

Chapel Hill consistently ranks high in quality-of-life metrics, including healthcare, education, and overall livability. The proximity to the Research Triangle Park (RTP) fosters a strong entrepreneurial spirit, with many startups and tech companies in the area.

To Apply

For full consideration, please apply by July 23rd.

To be viewed by the search firm, you must apply directly at:

Please apply through the application link and do not email applications.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and curriculum vita. Ideally cover letters should not exceed two pages. All applications are treated confidentially.

Inquiries, referrals, and nominations are also treated confidentially.

Inquiries and questions: Please send to

Nominations and referrals: Please send the nominee’s name, title, and contact information if available to

Institution’s EEO Statement

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

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