University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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About the Position

The University at Buffalo (UB), one of the nation’s top public research universities, seeks an accomplished scholar and leader to become the next dean of the Graduate School of Education (GSE).  The new dean is expected to guide the school to new levels of excellence in research, teaching and engagement.

The Opportunity

The University at Buffalo (UB) seeks an accomplished scholar and a visionary, creative leader to become the next dean of the Graduate School of Education (GSE).  Nationally recognized for its empirical and theoretical scholarship about teaching and learning, human growth and development, and the diverse contexts in which they occur, the Graduate School of Education believes in the power of education to transform lives and societies and is committed to promoting equity and social justice through service, teaching, and research across our urban area and our regional, national, and global communities.  The new dean is expected to guide the school to new levels of excellence in pursuit of this mission by charting a pioneering and ambitious course for the school’s future, acting in partnership with community members, practitioners, policy makers, and other key stakeholders, and in concert with the university’s broader vision of excellence.

UB is the largest and most comprehensive university center in the State University of New York (SUNY) system and has been a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) since 1990.  With one of the nation’s largest international enrollments and affiliation agreements with over 80 universities in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa, UB is a global university in scope and impact, recognized around the world as a leading center for groundbreaking research and discovery. The 2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings listed UB in the top 200 universities worldwide, affirming UB’s stature as one of the world’s preeminent universities.

The GSE dean serves as a member of the university’s senior leadership team, working collaboratively with the university’s president, provost, and other deans to advance the UB 2020 vision, which is focused on enhancing the UB’s distinction and relevance so as to further establish the university’s position as being among the world’s best research universities.  With the recent passage of historic state legislation that provides critical tools and stability to engage in long-range planning and institutional development across the disciplines, this is a transformational time for UB and for GSE. 

Ultimately, UB 2020 seeks to position UB as a recognized leader in responding to broadly defined societal challenges—a vision that resonates strongly with the mission of the Graduate School of Education.  Since its inception, GSE has played an instrumental role in advancing the university’s mission and deepening its impact, from its surrounding neighborhoods to the global educational community.  As the university moves forward in realizing the UB 2020 vision, GSE is taking active steps to increase collaborative, cross-disciplinary research with an eye towards addressing a range of critical issues facing the 21st century. 

The GSE dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the school, reporting to the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. The dean is responsible for providing overall leadership to the school to promote academic excellence and advance its national and international prominence in research and graduate education. The ideal candidate will be an established scholar, an advocate and facilitator for interdisciplinary work within the school and across the university, an energetic partner in building and enhancing relationships with the school’s many constituencies and its local, national and worldwide communities, and a skilled and conscientious administrator.

GSE faculty are leaders in their academic areas, engaging in cutting-edge research and scholarship, and transforming lives through counseling, teaching, leadership, and information.  Through their research and scholarly productivity, as well as key leadership roles served in professional associations, they have earned national and international acknowledgment as authorities in their respective fields.  Among the faculty are recipients of multi-million dollar federal research grants from such organizations as the National Science Foundation and Institute of Educational Science, editors of top-tier journals such as the American Educational Research Journal, authors of numerous books from prestigious presses and top-ranked journal articles, and recipients of prestigious academic awards, including an elected member of the National Academy of Education and a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists.  

There are 78 faculty members within GSE’s four departments: Counseling, School and Education Psychology (CSEP); Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP); Learning and Instruction (LAI); and Library and Information Studies (LIS). With 15 active research centers based in or affiliated with the GSE; the school’s overall research expenditures for the fiscal academic year exceeded $7.5 million. GSE’s programs, centers, institutes, and scholarly initiatives allow students, faculty, and visiting scholars the opportunity to investigate a wide range of contemporary issues and investigate the latest topics in teaching, educational administration, counseling, and information science.  

Established in 1931, GSE is proud of its almost 19,000 living alumni, many of whom have gone on to become academic leaders in their fields and assume leadership roles in schools, universities, and ministries of education around the world as university presidents and administrators, school principals, superintendents, psychologists, counselors, information specialists, librarians, teachers, faculty, and outstanding researchers. The school’s current students are aspiring leaders and experienced education professionals with a commitment to excellence, innovation, and impact in a multicultural world. Total enrollment for GSE in 2012-13 academic year is more than 1,400 students. Though deeply engaged in the Buffalo-Niagara region, GSE, like all of UB, draws students from across the U.S. and around the world and serves a truly global community through the international impact and relevance of its research and education enterprise. 

GSE is particularly committed to issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and access in all of its endeavors. The school serves diverse populations and cultures with global perspectives, advances in technology, and partnerships that amplify its social impact. GSE faculty, staff, and students are proud leaders in areas of online education, digital advancements, interdisciplinary inquiries, and community school partnerships.

The deanship of the Graduate School of Education offers the chance for an accomplished scholar and trailblazer to join UB at a unique and pivotal point of opportunity in the university’s history, and to lead a faculty that is eager to collaborate with the next dean as the school rearticulates a bold shared vision in planning for its exciting future.

The Role of the Dean, Graduate School of Education

The dean is responsible for the overall leadership of the Graduate School of Education (GSE). The dean reports to the provost, and works closely with vice presidents, vice provosts, other deans and varied constituencies to ensure the success of the Graduate School of Education in fulfilling its mission as well as its role advancing the vision of the broader university.  The dean’s leadership responsibilities encompass articulation of GSE’s vision, direction, and priorities; strategic planning; oversight of all aspects of the school’s educational programs; promotion of increased sponsored research; cultivation of external funding and relationships; and personnel and fiscal management. The dean is responsible for hiring and evaluating faculty, and makes promotion and tenure recommendations to the provost.  The annual recurring base budget for GSE is approximately $10.8 million. 

The Graduate School of Education: An Overview

Core Purpose

To inform and prepare a profession to positively shape human development, education, and the information environment in local, national, and global contexts.


GSE is a professional school with a social mission in the public interest. The school creates and applies knowledge informed by research on human development, educational policy, pedagogy, and information science.


GSEbelieves that:

  • Education and knowledge positively transform peoples’ lives.
  • Excellent research is dynamic and recursive; it both informs and is informed by practice.
  • Our best work is created when we collaborate with partners within local, national, and global communities.
  • Ethical principles and professional standards are cornerstones of the Graduate School of Education at UB. This commitment is evident in research, teaching, and service both on campus and in all of our collaborative endeavors. We recognize that in the context of rapid societal change, our signature achievement must remain the development of dedicated professionals and scholarly products characterized by their integrity, as well as their intellectual excellence.

Academic Programs

GSE offers an extensive array of master’s and doctoral programs, including study toward numerous New York State professional certifications. The school provides a broad spectrum of opportunities for independent study, online courses, and supervised experiences as an integral part of its academic mission.

Programs and faculty in GSE are organized within four academic departments:

  • Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology
  • Educational Leadership and Policy
  • Learning and Instruction
  • Library and Information Studies

Faculty Scholarship and Research

GSE faculty members are acknowledged nationally and abroad for their scholarly and research achievements in their respective fields.

Fulfilling the school’s envisioning plan, GSE faculty lead the following major areas of inquiry: Institutional and Educational Policy Analysis, Education for Social Equity, Family-School-Societal Transitions, and The Science of Learning and Pedagogy. These themes build on and extend existing strengths, as well as create exciting challenges for new areas of cross-disciplinary research across the four departments in GSE.

GSE faculty also provide scholarly leadership through their involvement in a number of prominent interdisciplinary research centers and projects, addressing a wide variety of societally relevant topics ranging from literacy and early childhood education to rehabilitation counseling. 

Active research centers housed in GSE are:

Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention

Nationally renowned center whose mission is to reduce bullying abuse in schools and in the community by contributing knowledge and providing evidence-based tools to effectively change the language, attitudes, and behaviors of educators, parents, students, and society.

Center on Rehabilitation Synergy (CRS)

Funded by a $4 million, 5-year Technical Assistance and Continuing Education center grant as a training center for state agencies serving people with disabilities.

The Fisher Price Endowed Early Childhood Research Center (ECRC)

Endowed by the Fisher Price corporation, this research center conducts cutting edge research exploring the development of cognition, language, social/emotional connections, physical skills, and perception in the first few years of life.

Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education (CCGSE)

The Graduate School of Education has several programs, centers, institutes, and scholarly initiatives for students and visiting scholars wishing to study education in its international, comparative, and global contexts.

Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE)

As one of the University at Buffalo's thirteen professional schools, the Graduate School of Education has faculty and staff dedicated to offering a variety of learning experiences, grounded in research and practice for the lifelong learner.

Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction (CLaRI)

The Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction has been serving children and teachers in Western New York since 1963. Through research, instruction, and professional development, our goal is to create success for children who are struggling to read or write.

Center for the Study of School Site Leadership (UCEA)

The UCEA Center for the Study of School Site Leadership was established in 1999 to foster and encourage collaborative forms of research about school leadership.

Educational Collaborations in the Buffalo Public Schools and Beyond

Faculty within GSE conduct research and take part in significant educational collaborations within Western New York aimed at improving educational outcomes in the Buffalo Public Schools, as well as in districts outside the Buffalo Public Schools.

One of the most prominent of these is the University at Buffalo/Buffalo Public Schools Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP), a multidisciplinary collaboration on which a GSE faculty serves as a co-principal investigator.  Funded through 2016 by a $9.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation, ISEP is a partnership of UB with the Buffalo Public Schools, Buffalo State College, and the Buffalo Museum of Science focused on improving math and science education and teacher training in the STEM fields.  The project focuses on research on the processes and conditions in which teachers develop interdisciplinary science inquiry knowledge, how this information may be translated into pedagogical content knowledge that ultimately improves students’ science learning, and how professional learning communities may support the development of this pedagogical content knowledge.

For additional information about GSE, visit

An organizational chart for GSE is attached as Appendix I. 

Opportunities and Expectations for Leadership

The dean of the Graduate School of Education will be presented with an extraordinary opportunity to join an institution that is looking to its future with vigor and enthusiasm. UB is pursuing new and distinctive academic directions that integrate excellent teaching, research and engagement that will continue to enhance its standing among AAU research universities, and is making the university's three campuses more beautiful and sustainable in support of academic excellence through the completion of major building and construction projects totaling more than $500 million. GSE’s new dean will join work in progress to define, lead, and implement the transformational UB 2020 vision for the university’s future.

Among the specific opportunities and expectations for the new dean are the following:

Develop vision for GSE and enhance the school’s stature

UB’s School of Education was founded in 1931. It quickly became and has remained primarily a graduate school, and was officially renamed the Graduate School of Education in 1989.  Since its founding, the school has continued to evolve to assure the offering of cutting-edge curricula and programs as part of its mission to prepare professionals who can meet the challenges of an ever-changing education landscape. Among the accomplishments and changes under the immediate past dean are rolling out fully online degree programs (2001), introducing and gaining accreditation for the teacher education program (2006), and adding the department of Library and Information Studies to the school’s faculty and programs (2007). Over the past decade GSE’s academic mission and engagement have been expanded through numerous school-based research initiatives and collaborations throughout the pre K-16 community.

The new dean will be welcomed by a committed and distinguished faculty engaged in significant and influential research. Working with the faculty, the dean will develop a shared vision for the school’s future that will further distinguish GSE among the world’s schools of education, strengthen interdisciplinary collaborations within the school and across the university, and increase external partnerships that allow the school to address relevant educational and social issues at present and in the years ahead.

The dean must serve as a strong advocate for the school, promoting its interests within the university, across the regional and statewide educational community, to the national and global academy, and with its many and varied external friends and constituents.  Success for the dean will be marked by an excited and engaged faculty, increased prominence and engagement for GSE within UB, and further elevated stature among other schools of education.

Address enrollment challenges and assure academic programming that meets students’ interests

UB recognizes that strong academic programming is closely linked to strong enrollment. The dean is expected to work with GSE’s leadership team and faculty to assess current academic programs and develop a plan for maintaining areas of strength while identifying new and innovative programs. The dean will promote an academic climate that is nimble, energetic, and responsive to the changing needs of society. 

Enrollment in GSE’s online programs is enjoying a period of significant growth; however, consistent with national trends for education schools, GSE experienced some decline in its enrollment in the past year. The dean will collaborate with the faculty and UB administration to address enrollment issues by reinvigorating student recruitment efforts to ensure that the school admits, enrolls, retains, and graduates a highly diverse and successful student body. In addition to enrolling a robust regional and national student population, GSE highly values a student body that reflects the international profile and reputation of the university.

Foster faculty strength and development

The dean will join a receptive faculty that will embrace the opportunity to participate in developing a shared vision for the school’s future. The dean will encourage and strengthen the culture of shared governance within GSE.  As an academic and administrative leader, the dean must provide visionary, collaborative, and inspiring leadership in supporting faculty excellence in education, research and service. He or she must work effectively with faculty across the disciplines of the school to understand and support their diverse needs. 

The dean will promote and support a vital intellectual environment within GSE that is attractive to new faculty recruits and rewarding to current faculty members. He or she will continue to set and maintain high standards in faculty hiring and evaluation, and will be an effective recruiter of talented faculty and staff. The dean must invest in promising new faculty, increase the presence of accomplished senior faculty, and provide incentives and encouragement to retain the distinguished scholars who are already within the school. The dean will play a central, personal role in the ongoing support and development of all faculty members in their roles of teaching, research, and service that lead to tenure and promotion.

Increase external support for the school

Like the majority of state supported institutions of higher education, UB has experienced a decrease in state tax support in recent years. The president and provost implemented a proactive approach to this challenge, gathering broad-based input from university constituencies regarding strategies to deal with institutional budget issues. The university has been effective in reducing overall expenditures while maintaining faculty strength and the quality of its education and research activities. Through strategic planning, careful fiscal management, and the current budgetary stability provided through recent NYSUNY 2020 legislation, UB is well-positioned to continue its upward trajectory as a premier public research university.

While the university is planning with optimism, it realizes the critical necessity of diversifying its revenue streams from other than public resources. The dean will be expected to devote significant effort to increasing revenues from external partnerships, philanthropic sources and entrepreneurial activities, including the possibility of growing programmatic revenue through the expansion of online offerings.

In pursuing these efforts, the dean will be an engaged community member, enhancing GSE’s existing relationships, while cultivating new relationships and collaborations for the school. Strengthening alumni engagement will also be among the priorities for the new dean.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities

The successful candidate will be a respected member in his or her field with a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing schools of education, and the personal stature to serve as a national and international leader among schools of education.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • Credentials: terminal degree compatible with the Graduate School of Education’s mission; distinguished record of scholarship, teaching, and service in higher education; academic standing sufficient for appointment as a tenured full professor within GSE;
  • Leadership skills: evidence of outstanding leadership, vision and sound judgment; administrative, planning and personnel management skills; strong interpersonal and communication skills with internal and external constituencies; commitment to collaborative decision-making through shared faculty governance; energy, enthusiasm, and passion for the people and mission of GSE; ability to advocate to the administration on behalf of the faculty and GSE;
  • Resource development/management: evidence of success in or demonstrated understanding of strategies for increasing revenues through grants, contracts, fund-raising, and innovative and entrepreneurial efforts; flexible, transparent, and sound orientation to resource allocation; demonstrated budget and planning experience;
  • Change agent: the ability to promote change in a thoughtful and collaborative manner; the ability to recognize and encourage innovation; 
  • Exceptional communication and relationship skills:  strong speaking and writing skills, with the ability to develop and strengthen relationships and articulate a vision effectively to all constituencies, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, the broader academy, external partners, and the general public; and
  • Personal qualities:  articulate, optimistic, confident, and hardworking; active, engaged, and exploratory thinker; sense of humor; engaged and collaborative team member; demonstrated appreciation for and record of working effectively with diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives; ability to observe, listen, learn, and clarify needs; ability to engender trust quickly and create synergies with varied constituencies; provides support for his or her own unit and its priorities but also the priorities of the university as a whole.

This is an exceptional opportunity for an individual with the drive, skill, and experience to bring creative leadership to the Graduate School of Education and to play a meaningful role in shaping its future as part of one of the world’s distinguished public research universities, the University at Buffalo.

University at Buffalo: An Overview

Impactful research, scholarly distinction, transformative student experiences and far-reaching service to local, state, national and international communities define UB’s mission as a premier research-intensive public university. UB was founded in 1846 as a private medical college located in downtown Buffalo. UB joined SUNY in 1962 and is, today, the largest, most comprehensive research university within the 64-campus SUNY system, and its primary center for professional education and training. UB enrolls close to 29,000 students (approximately 2/3 undergraduate and 1/3 graduate and professional students), and offers nearly 400 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral levels across its 12 decanal units.

UB boasts a distinguished faculty of approximately 1,550 full-time members and almost 650 part-time members. With more than 150 research centers and institutes, UB’s current annual research expenditures, including affiliated institutions, are approximately $350 million. The libraries hold 4 million volumes in seven major units and an exceptionally wide array of digital information resources.

UB is a global community of scholars, consistently ranking among the nation’s top 10-20 universities for the enrollment of international students. UB’s current international enrollment is 19% of the overall student body. The university also enjoys a strong international presence, maintaining affiliation agreements with over 80 universities in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa.  The 2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings listed UB in the top 200 universities worldwide, affirming UB’s stature as one of the world’s preeminent universities.

Continuing to elevate the university in excellence, impact, and stature is the guiding objective of the UB 2020 vision, and the university is actively realizing this vision by building excellence across its research, education, and engagement activities, and in the physical environment that supports this broader academic enterprise. 

The president and provost recently launched the Realizing UB 2020 initiative as the next evolution of this vision, building on the progress and momentum the university has achieved and using it as the springboard for taking the institution to the next level of excellence.  This process is focused on defining the distinctive qualities that set the university apart from its peers, and aligning these distinctive qualities to allow UB to lead with even greater impact in the 21st century.

Recognizing the key role that a vibrant 21st-century physical campus environment plays in enhancing education, research and learning, as part of the UB 2020 vision UB is implementing a long-range plan for enhancing its North, South and Downtown campus spaces and connecting them more effectively to their surrounding communities. UB’s North Campus, located in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, is the university’s main undergraduate campus, and home to the university’s primary athletics and cultural facilities. Three miles to the south, on the northern edge of the City of Buffalo, is the university’s historical South Campus, which serves as the primary health sciences campus. UB also has a rapidly developing third campus center in downtown Buffalo. The focal point of UB’s downtown presence is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, on which UB’s new medical school facility will be constructed in proximity to the university’s health and life science partners.

With annual revenues of almost $1.2 billion from all sources, UB and its affiliated entities generate an estimated economic impact of $1.7 billion annually in the state and region.

The university’s total workforce of almost 6,400 full-time equivalent employees makes it one of the region’s largest employers. UB is also a leader and an active partner with the more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in the Buffalo Niagara region.

UB leadership

President Satish K. Tripathi

Internationally recognized as an accomplished researcher and transformative higher education leader, Dr. Satish K. Tripathi was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo on April 18, 2011. His vision for UB’s future focuses on moving the university into the highest ranks of the nation’s leading research universities through expanding its reach and impact locally, as well as globally.

Dr. Tripathi, who served as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs from 2004-2011, was one of the principal creators of the UB 2020 strategic plan to achieve academic research excellence, and has led the university to achieve significant growth in research and scholarly activity, enhanced student quality and diversity, and an expanded international presence.  A fellow of the IEEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he is an internationally distinguished scholar in the field of computer science.

Provost Charles F. Zukoski

An internationally renowned scholar in chemical engineering and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Charles F. Zukoski was named provost and executive vice president for academic affairs on June 1, 2012. Dr. Zukoski joined UB from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he had previously served as professor and head of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department and as vice chancellor of research. From 2008-2011, he held the position of Chair of the Science and Engineering Research Council in Singapore. Dr. Zukoski was named one of the Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

The Community

The Buffalo-Niagara region, home to 1.5 million residents, is the state’s second largest major metropolitan area, exceeded only by New York City. The region includes a diverse blend of communities, each with its own distinct personality, yet commonly characterized by a distinctly neighborly way of life, an unpretentious nature and spirited loyalty among residents. Buffalo’s own strong sense of community, easy lifestyle and affordability regularly place it in top ten lists from a variety of national publications for its overall quality of life.

Buffalo offers an impressive array of cultural and recreational opportunities uncommon for a region of its size. Buffalo’s rich cultural resources reflect its distinguished history and a commitment to sustaining the arts, including the Grammy-Award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; the world-class collection of modern painting and sculpture at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; an extensive array of historic architectural treasures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, and Eero and Eliel Saarinen; and an expansive park system, considered to be the very best work of designer Frederick Law Olmsted’s career. The city is home to the state’s largest concentration of theaters outside of New York City.

The Buffalo area is rich in natural resources and beauty, Buffalo Niagara is a four-season region that offers the best for seasonal sports enthusiasts. University at Buffalo fans enjoy a full complement of NCAA division I sports with the UB Bulls, as well as the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Triple-A baseball’s Buffalo Bisons, and the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits.

Less than a two-hour drive from Buffalo across the United States-Canada border is Toronto, the cultural, entertainment and financial capital of Canada. Buffalo is also ideally located for easy access to many of America’s greatest cities, with New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C. only an hour’s flight time from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport.

Procedure for Candidacy

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited.  Review of applications will begin and will continue until the position is filled.  For fullest consideration, candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the Position Specification, and the names and contact information of five references.  References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates.  These materials should be sent electronically by March 25th via e-mail to the University at Buffalo’s consultants Jon Derek Croteau and Amy Crutchfield at:

Confidential inquiries or questions may be directed to the Witt/Kieffer consultants supporting this search, Jon Derek Croteau (585-662-5403) and Amy Crutchfield (630-575-6130).

Materials that cannot be sent by email may be mailed to:

                        Dean, Graduate School of Education

                                     University at Buffalo

                                        c/o Witt/Kieffer

                    Attn:  Jon Derek Croteau and Amy Crutchfield

                                2015 Spring Road, Suite 510

                                    Oak Brook, Illinois 60523


The University at Buffalo is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic university community committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. Potential applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply.

The material presented in this position specification should be relied on for informational purposes only.  This material has been copied, compiled, or quoted in part from University at Buffalo documents and personal interviews and is believed to be reliable.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, the original source documents and factual situations govern.