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Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Affairs and Anne and Michael Towbes Dean of the Graduate Division

Position overview

Position title: Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Affairs and Anne and Michael Towbes Dean of the Graduate Division (AVC-GA/Dean)
Salary range: The anticipated annual compensation range for this position is $250,000 – $430,000. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions, including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: 2024-25

Application Window

Open date: April 22, 2024

Next review date: Monday, Sep 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Friday, Jan 31, 2025 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Interested applicants should apply at: []

The University of California, Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara) seeks to appoint a collaborative and dynamic leader, scholar, and visionary thinker as Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Affairs and Anne and Michael Towbes Dean of the Graduate Division (AVC-GA/Dean). The new AVC-GA/Dean will join a highly successful public research university committed to the principles of research and teaching excellence; interdisciplinary education; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is an exciting and pivotal time at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the new AVC-GA/Dean will lead in developing and expanding the University’s forward-looking vision for graduate education and advancing the University’s mission of innovation and the transmission and production of knowledge.

The ideal candidate will be a talented leader and scholar with a keen understanding of current issues, challenges, and opportunities in graduate education today, as well as experience in working with students and faculty across a wide range of scholarly disciplines. Graduate education at UCSB takes a variety of forms with varying funding models across the university. An ideal leader will have a breadth of interdisciplinary expertise and financial management experiences, as well as the ability to balance a range of diverse perspectives and develop and execute creative solutions in the rapidly-changing landscape of graduate education. The AVC-GA/Dean should have significant organizational leadership and administrative experience; demonstrated success and willingness to engage in external relations and fundraising; an established record of advancing diversity and inclusion; and credentials that merit appointment in an academic department at the rank of full professor.

The new AVC-GA/Dean should embrace and address the following opportunities and challenges:

• Develop and articulate a bold and forward-looking shared vision for graduate education at UCSB.
• Play a leadership role in reimaging graduate education and sustaining programs financially and intellectually.

• Provide support and ensure excellence across a wide range of disciplines and graduate education programs.
• Foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community for graduate students.
• Advocate for the wellbeing and success of graduate students .
• Expand and allocate resources in support of the Graduate Division’s mission.

The AVC-GA/Dean will strengthen UC Santa Barbara’s position as a leader among public research universities in building and maintaining excellent graduate programs and holistic graduate student support in a highly collaborative environment committed to shared governance. This individual will be a strong advocate for graduate education and diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice (DEIBJ) across the University and beyond.

Role of the Associate Vice Chancellor of Graduate Affairs and Anne and Michael Towbes Dean of the Graduate Division

Reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor, the AVC-GA/Dean leads in the development of the highest standard of excellence in graduate studies across the UCSB campus and administers the Graduate Division. The AVC-GA/Dean will collaborate closely with other deans, Vice Chancellor for Research, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education, Associate Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel, department chairs, Graduate Council, Graduate Student Association, and other leaders at UCSB and in the UC system to envision the future of graduate programming at UCSB. The AVC-GA/Dean also works closely with the UCSB Academic Senate’s Graduate Council and represents the campus on the University of California Council of Graduate Deans.

The AVC-GA/Dean will oversee a team of over 30 staff, an operating budget of $2 million, and a fellowship and block grant budget of over $100 million. In addition, the AVC-GA/Dean is responsible for fundraising efforts in conjunction with the Development team. Reporting directly to the AVC-GA/Dean are two Associate Graduate Deans, one Assistant Graduate Dean, one Assistant Dean of Development, one Director of Diversity Programs, and one Director of Marketing and Communications.

The AVC-GA/Dean also plays a key role in state-wide and national organizations as an advocate for graduate education. As a member of the University of California Council of Graduate Deans, the AVC-GA/Dean has a role in influencing policy and securing support for graduate education across the UC system. One key goal of this group is to envision how the campuses can work together to make graduate education more accessible and appealing to all Californians, particularly for those from under-represented backgrounds. The AVC-GA/Dean also represents UCSB on the Council of Graduate Schools and the AAU Association of Graduate Schools.

Key Opportunities and Challenges for the AVC-GA and Dean

Develop and articulate a bold and forward-looking shared vision for graduate education at UCSB

The AVC-GA/Dean of the Graduate Division will work with the deans, department chairs, faculty, staff, students, and other senior leaders on campus to develop a forward-looking vision for graduate education at UCSB, one that recognizes the important contribution of graduate students at the nexus of the research and teaching missions of the University and elevates UCSB’s reputation as an accessible and inclusive top-tier research institution. To do so, the Dean must be cognizant of the financial challenges confronting higher education as well as the current and emerging issues facing graduate programs across disciplines. This includes both changes brought by the national trend of unionization of graduate students, rising costs of living, and a need to re-envision career pathways for doctoral graduates in a variety of disciplines. The vision should also consider UC Santa Barbara’s focus on interdisciplinary research and education and its high level of research productivity, particularly in light of its AAU status, a high percentage of undergraduate students, and relatively smaller number of professional schools. The AVC-GA/Dean will use this opportunity to build additional bridges across the University, strengthen the collaboration among and between academic departments and the Graduate Division, and nurture an exceptional environment for excellence in research, professional development, and creative activities for graduate students.

Provide support and ensure excellence across a wide range of graduate education programs

Building upon the work that is currently underway both on campus and in the UC system on graduate education programs, the AVC-GA/Dean will work across campus to ensure that each program is academically excellent and financially sustainable. The AVC-GA/Dean will also ensure that the Graduate Division continues to support graduate students and give them the tools they need for success, looking for ways to enhance or expand current services. The AVC-GA/Dean must also understand and be able to articulate the connection between graduate education and research and its impact on undergraduate pedagogy and curriculum. Finding the right balance between supporting students in existing graduate programs and providing incentives for new sustainable models and resource-generating programs will also be important. This may include changes to current funding models, new professional degree programs, and new creative partnership opportunities on campus and with other universities, national laboratories, and industry that will benefit graduate education at UCSB.

Foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community for graduate students

The AVC-GA/Dean will work to continue efforts to increase and support the diversity of the graduate student population to better reflect the demographics of the undergraduate population, as well as those of the State of California, and will work with other units across campus to ensure that UCSB offers a welcoming and supportive environment that provides all students a high probability for success. The Graduate Division will support graduate enrollment planning and efforts with faculty, academic departments, and the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, sharing best practices around effective recruitment and developing standardized processes to increase diversity and inclusiveness, including training in holistic admissions review and recognizing and mitigating implicit bias for admission committees. The AVC-GA/Dean also will support campus and UC-wide efforts to recruit and support students and look for new ways to increase efforts, particularly around new sources of funding. Ultimately, the AVC-GA/Dean will work across the campus to create an experience that is equitable, inclusive, multidisciplinary, and responsive to students’ needs and promote a positive climate for graduate study, retention, and timely degree completion.

Advocate for the wellbeing and success of graduate students

The financial welfare and overall wellness of graduate students will be a priority for the new AVC-GA/Dean. The AVC-GA/Dean will work to address budget planning and needs for affordable housing. Internally, the AVC-GA/Dean will work closely with the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor, other deans, and academic departments across campus to develop creative solutions to economic challenges facing graduate students. Consistent with the culture of shared governance at UCSB, the AVC-GA/Dean will actively engage the Graduate Council (an Academic Senate Faculty committee), the Graduate Student Association, and the graduate student affinity groups to ensure they have a role in shaping strategy and planning. Furthermore, the AVC-GA/Dean will provide enhanced professional development resources that go beyond disciplinary training and position students for a myriad of career paths in academia and beyond.

Expand and allocate resources in support of the Graduate Division’s mission

As an ambassador for graduate education at UCSB, the AVC-GA/Dean will communicate the important contributions and accomplishments of graduate students in order to increase philanthropic giving and foundation support, engaging graduate alumni and community organizations as potential donors, employers, and mentors for current students. Capitalizing on successes leveraging UCSB’s status as an HSI, AANAPISI, and MSI, the AVC-GA/Dean will work with the Offices of the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Office of Research, and the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to identify opportunities for external funding, including but not limited to large center research grants that involve students from multiple disciplines, training grants, and fellowships for graduate students, such as the UC-HSI Doctoral Diversity Initiative. The AVC-GA/Dean also will work with the College, School, and Divisional Deans and Institutional Advancement to pursue funding opportunities from foundations. Securing crucial additional resources will help the AVC-GA/Dean make the UCSB graduate experience financially available to more students – particularly first-generation, low-income, or undocumented students as well as Black, Indigenous, and other students of color.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• At the time of application, applicants must hold a Ph.D. or the highest equivalent terminal degree;
• 3 to 5 years of demonstrated progressive leadership in academia, specifically with respect to a broad range of graduate programming.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

• A strong record of distinguished scholarly and professional accomplishment that qualifies for appointment as a tenured professor in an appropriate UCSB academic department is required

Preferred qualifications

The University will search nationally for the most qualified candidates. While no one person will embody them all, the successful candidate will have many of the following professional qualifications, skills, experience, and personal qualities:

• An experienced, deliberative, and energetic academic administrator with a track record of success in a complex research institution and an astute understanding of university finances and the relationships between academic priorities, budgeting, and fundraising;
• Demonstrated ability to understand and react to current complexities, including the political, financial, technological, and global challenges that public universities face today;
• A collaborative leader with demonstrated commitment to building strong relationships with graduate students, faculty, and other administrative units;
• A proven, demonstrated commitment to shared governance; the capacity to listen thoughtfully, consult with others, build consensus, and develop an overarching vision and strategy for moving forward;
• Demonstrated success in programs to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging;
• Experience in grantsmanship, particularly in a graduate student context (e.g., training grants, etc.) and a track record in seeking extramural funds;

• An interdisciplinary thinker, committed to building innovative institutional frameworks that will harness and facilitate collaborative activities across disciplinary boundaries, including new configurations for interdepartmental degree programs;
• The ability to work productively with Labor Relations and represented bargaining units;
• A commitment to innovative and engaging graduate education that satisfies the demands of the national and global workforce;
• Excellent written, oral, interpersonal skills; and
• A strong record of distinguished scholarly and professional accomplishment that qualifies for appointment as a tenured professor in an appropriate UCSB academic department.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and/or service.

Reference requirements


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About UC Santa Barbara

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit: For the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA