The University of California, Irvine (UCI) invites applications and nominations for the position of dean of the School of Education. UCI seeks an experienced and accomplished leader who is a distinguished scholar and innovative administrator with an outstanding national reputation and demonstrated commitment to academic excellence, diversity and inclusiveness, and who will bring vision and inspiring leadership to the School.

The UCI School of Education is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary and ethnically diverse school with strong grounding in the basic disciplines of education, psychology, sociology, economics, linguistics, neuroscience, and the interdisciplinary areas of literacy, the learning sciences and educational technology. Its mission is to promote the success and achievement of ethnically, linguistically and economically diverse learners across the life span and to support educators in both formal and informal learning contexts.

Under the leadership of the founding dean, Deborah Vandell, and the current dean, Richard Arum, the School has grown from a senate faculty of nine in 2004 to 40 in 2020, including three members of the National Academy of Education, one member of the National Academy of Sciences, and one member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The School of Education is ranked 15th in the nation and seventh among public universities in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Annual Ranking of Graduate Education Schools (rising from 20th in 2020). More importantly, the citation rate for its faculty is in the top one percent and the percent of faculty with federal research grants is in the top two percent of U.S. schools of education. The School is among the top 10 in the country in terms of awards per faculty and/or editorships. Research award dollars in the School reached $20M in 2020, and research expenditures were $12.5M.

The School houses highly competitive academic programs in graduate education, undergraduate education, and teacher preparation. Our graduate program attracts top students. Three Ph.D. students in each of the last two years received NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Awards – among the highest percentage of any school of education and any disciplinary department in the country. In 2014, the School launched a Bachelor of Arts degree in Educational Sciences – one of only a few undergraduate programs in the U.S. that adopts a holistic view of education. Key hallmarks of this program are a certificate in afterschool education, a research apprenticeship in education, and community engagement efforts to better understand and improve educational systems that increase access, achievement, and opportunity for individuals and communities.

The School also offers two teacher preparation programs, a Master of Arts in Teaching that includes a teacher credential and UCI’s Cal Teach math and science teacher preparation program that are deeply committed to the preparation of future teachers to meet the needs of schools in under-served and under-resourced communities. One of the central achievements of the School in the last five years has been greater integration and collaboration with the Center for Educational Partnerships that serves to advance the School’s commitment to advancing research with and that is relevant to local school districts, community organizations, early childhood and afterschool programs, and hospitals.

Over the next five years, the School will increase its attention to diversity and equity while continuing to pursue academic excellence. The School plans to grow its senate faculty while increasing its diversity, build online programming in literacy, science and math, build a program in higher education, and draw on large-scale data sets to examine the intersection of race, poverty, human development and education to promote the well-being of individuals over the lifespan. Our faculty will promote new fields of inquiry related to educational science, and strengthen our research on STEM learning and teaching and on underserved and linguistically diverse youth. In addition, the School is committed to strengthening its partnerships with communities, and strengthening its links to related basic disciplines such as sociology, psychology, economics, neuroscience, statistics and computing, African American studies, and Chicano studies. UC Irvine’s School of Education seeks a dean with the experience, knowledge and ambition to help achieve these goals. In addition, consistent with UCI’s status as a Hispanic serving school (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI), and consistent with the demography of Southern California, the next dean should prioritize an increased focus on the educational needs of Hispanic, Southeast Asian, African-American and other underrepresented populations.

This is an exceptional leadership opportunity in the premier public university system in the world. UCI is one of 10 campuses in the University of California system, is one of 65 universities in the U.S. and Canada selected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. UCI is working toward an ambitious growth plan guided by its strategic plan. The campus is currently engaged in a $2B fundraising campaign to help build a “Brilliant Future” for all the communities it serves. For more information, please visit

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume, a diversity statement and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile. WittKieffer is assisting UCI in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by May 12, 2021.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D. and Alejandra Gillette-Teran

The University of California, Irvine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. A recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity, UCI is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples, supports work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies, and is dedicated to broadening participation in higher education.