Dean, W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana


The University of Montana (UM), located in Missoula, Montana, invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation (FCFC). The FCFC seeks an innovative and resourceful leader to further our mission as a top-ranked college in natural resource management and environmental sciences.

UM is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to diversity in all areas. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people, including people from academic, public sector, private sector, or non-governmental settings, who would assist the University in pursuing its five priorities for action. We encourage applications from and nominations of women, Native Americans, persons of color, persons with disabilities, veterans, and other individuals from underrepresented groups.

See the full position announcement here.

The Position

Reporting to the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer for FCFC and is responsible for administering the College’s departments and programs, developing and implementing academic strategies, recruiting and retaining students and members of the faculty and staff, and managing organizational and financial structures that promote excellence in research, professional practice, and education.

We seek a Dean with an established record of creative and effective leadership who understands the pressing challenges facing natural resources management and environmental science.  The College seeks an innovative, dynamic, and experienced leader who will enhance and further its reputation and position as an international pioneer in teaching, research, and outreach. Montana is a large state with virtually unmatched opportunity for natural resources-related research and outreach. The Dean will also serve as an effective leader and advocate for the College within the University.

The Dean will display a high level of energy and aptitude for building meaningful connections with a variety of stakeholders and donors. In addition, the new dean should be a collaborative leader who will nurture the convivial culture within the College and help the College implement its strategic goals while unifying its diverse disciplines, promoting collegiality among both the faculty and staff, and valuing relationships with students. The Dean will lead the realization of a new mass timber building that will bring the College together under one roof and serve as a centerpiece of sustainability. At a time of change and opportunity within the University, the new dean will forge connections with other campus units through participation in the University’s Communities of Excellence, especially the Community of Excellence in Environment and Sustainability.

Primary Responsibilities

The Dean will further the mission and vision of the College and the University. The successful candidate will:

  • Provide the leadership, vision, and strategy to increase academic and research opportunities for the College in Montana, nationally, and abroad.
  • Promote and encourage faculty excellence in teaching, scholarship, research, outreach, and service through innovative strategies.
  • Advocate for students both inside and outside the University to support their professional success, including developing relationships with key employers.
  • Establish relationships with individuals, associations, corporations, and local, tribal, state, federal and international programs and agencies.
  • Serve as Director of the Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, administering state-appropriated funds, federal McIntire-Stennis funds, grant and donor funds, and station research properties and facilities.
  • Represent the eleven FCFC centers and institutes that serve as an integral part of research and outreach for the college and university.
  • Represent the interests of a variety of students, staff, and faculty in the biological, social, and physical sciences in a unified strategic vision.
  • Oversee effective fiscal and personnel management and collaboration, including the recruitment and retention of highly qualified and diverse staff, students, and faculty.
  • Build partnerships through strategic communication and interaction with funding agencies and potential donors.


Required Qualifications

Candidates must demonstrate a strong commitment to student achievement and faculty scholarship, and effective interpersonal and collaborative skills, and possess the drive and skills to advance the College through excellence in its teaching, outreach, and research missions. They must have strong leadership capabilities and demonstrate the ability to set priorities and to challenge and inspire individuals to achieve strategic goals.  Specific qualifications include:

  • Doctorate or other terminal degree from a discipline related to those represented within the College with experience in an academic, public sector, private sector, or non-governmental setting.  Candidates shall have a record of scholarship commensurate with a tenured faculty position in one of the College’s departments.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness as a leader and administrator of a multi-faceted organization.
  • Demonstrated understanding of contemporary issues in natural resource management, sustainability, and environmental science.
  • Commitment to excellence and innovation in undergraduate and graduate education, including high impact learning experiences.
  • Record of effective leadership and management with a commitment to ethics, openness, and diversity.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster cooperation, collaboration, and consensus building.
  • Demonstrated understanding of, commitment to, and ability to support natural and social science, as well as interdisciplinary approaches.
  • Effective communication skills, and a demonstrated commitment to communicating research, science, and programing with the public, press, stakeholders, and partners.
  • Commitment to and experience with transparent budgeting and decision-making.
  • Experience that indicates an aptitude for development, including working effectively with private donors and foundations, and policy-makers at the state and federal levels.


Position Details

  • Position is full-time (1.0 FTE) MUS Contract and includes a comprehensive and competitive benefits package including insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, and wellness program.
  • Salary for this position is commensurate with qualifications.

Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to Offer of Employment. In accordance with University policy, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations. ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran’s Preference – Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. References – *References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant. Testing – Individual hiring departments at UM-M may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions. Employment Eligibility – All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).

Need additional help? Check out our UM Jobs FAQ website.

How to Apply

Priority Application Date: Monday, March 16, 2020

Applications received by this date will be guaranteed consideration.  Application review will begin after date above and continue until the position is filled.

Please submit the following application materials via “New Resume/CV” button below.

*Please note: only five (5) attachments are allowed per application. Please combine documents accordingly.

  • Letter of Interest – describing relevant experiences and interest in the position
  • Detailed resume/curriculum vitae listing education and describing work experience
  • Five (5) professional references – Names and contact information with titles, mailing addresses, business/home telephone numbers and email addresses


Nominations are welcomed and encouraged.  To submit nominations, please visit our nomination form.



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