Massachusetts, USA
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (“UMass Amherst”), the land-grant, flagship university of the University of Massachusetts System, seeks an exceptional academic leader, scholar, and administrator to serve as its next dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts (HFA). The dean will have an exciting opportunity to inform and implement the University’s new strategic plan uniting HFA and the broader Amherst community around a shared vision for the humanities, fine arts, and University’s future.

The dean provides visionary leadership and strategic direction for the College, which is comprised of 14 academic departments and 12 research centers and institutes. HFA enrolls approximately 2,200 students, including more than 1,700 undergraduates and over 500 graduate students. They also oversee a faculty of 363 (nearly two-thirds are tenured or tenure-track) and nearly 100 staff who support the day-to-day work of the College. The new leader must foster excellence in teaching, research, creative activity, and public engagement, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, and students. The next dean must be a leader that appreciates and articulates the vast diversity of HFA and its offerings – a champion and advocate for all.

The dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts oversees the budget, personnel, curriculum, fundraising, alumni relations, and external partnerships of the College. They will help generate new resources and steward their strategic allocation to strengthen infrastructure and support institutional effectiveness. UMass Amherst has a $1.4 billion budget, of which HFA has an operating budget of $67.5 million.

Central to UMass Amherst’s core values are a drive for inclusive excellence, a reverence for diverse perspectives, and a deep commitment to social progress and justice. The new dean will actively work to build a community of dignity and respect where every individual feels they belong. As a public land-grant institution, the University has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people. UMass Amherst believes that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence and that diverse experiences strengthen the learning community and the University’s pursuit of a more just society.

A thriving, engaged, diverse institution, UMass Amherst enrolls approximately 32,000 students, including more than 24,000 undergraduates and over 7,000 graduate students, across 12 schools and colleges. The University has approximately 1,800 faculty. Almost 1,100 are tenured or tenure-track; nearly 400 additional faculty and lecturers are on full-time appointments. Nearly 4,500 staff support the day-to-day work of the University, playing critical roles in teaching, research, discovery, and learning at UMass Amherst. Eleven collective bargaining units represent University employees, including faculty/librarians, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. UMass Amherst has nearly 300,000 alumni worldwide, the majority of whom live and work in Massachusetts, one of the most expansive, knowledge-intensive economic engines in the world. The University is located in the heart of the Pioneer Valley, offering a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. UMass Amherst is among the largest employers in the region and a key driver of the local economy.


The successful candidate will be an innovative and inspiring leader who embraces and expands upon the exciting educational and research innovations happening in the College and across the University. The dean will be a fiscally responsible and visionary leader with a demonstrated commitment to academic excellence. They will be a strong communicator who embraces shared governance through transparency and collaboration. The University seeks in its next dean a proven collaborator and dedicated institutional steward. An earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree is required, along with a record of scholarship commensurate with an appointment as a tenured full professor within the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.


All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile found at: https://wittkieffer.com/positions/25121-dean-college-of-humanities-and-fine-arts.

WittKieffer is assisting University of Massachusetts Amherst in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by Friday, March 15th. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s https://apptrkr.com/5050487.


Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Melissa Fincher and Bree Liddell