UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO – Dean, School of Business

The University of San Diego (USD) invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the School of Business. The Dean will have the opportunity to lead a school that is currently enjoying a great deal of momentum and new levels of accomplishment and distinction due to the combined efforts of faculty, staff and administration. The University is on an upward trajectory and this position offers the opportunity to play a defining role in shaping the future of the business education at USD.

The Position of Dean


The Dean, who reports to the Vice President and Provost, is responsible for the overall academic, administrative, and fiscal leadership of the School of Business. The Dean is also responsible for maintaining and strengthening strategic relationships with alumni, benefactors, local community, and industry. The Dean will provide leadership in defining the strategic priorities and growth of the academic programs in the School of Business to enhance the visibility, brand and reputation locally and globally. The Dean shall advance the mission and vision of the School of Business with transparent decision-making and understanding of bottom-line fiscal implications.

Specifically, these responsibilities include:

  • ensuring and promoting academic excellence and integrity in the School of Business through a strong commitment to professional and/or academic development of faculty, staff, and students;
  • fostering a dynamic and cohesive leadership team as well as promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment with commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, administration, staff, and students;
  • ensuring the School of Business maintains its accreditation and alignment with AACSB International standards;
  • leading fundraising and capital campaign initiatives to meet current and future School priorities;
  • regularly interacting with industry leaders and being a strong connection between the School of Business and the business community;
  • fostering alumni engagement and relationships;
  • promoting USD’s students for internships, projects and full-time employment;
  • participating in University-wide strategic planning activities, especially as related to academic matters;
  • having ultimate decision-making responsibility for the hiring and evaluations of faculty and administrators;
  • demonstrating a strong commitment to and practice of shared governance; and
  • administering all fiscal matters for the School of Business.


The Dean must show evidence of successful leadership, exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, and a proven record in an administrative position with responsibility for developing and guiding strategy, motivating and leading a team, engaging external constituencies, and fostering diversity.

Specific qualifications include:

  • exemplary academic and/or professional qualifications in one of the disciplines in the School of Business, an earned terminal degree and/or a record of outstanding academic and/or professional achievement;
  • effective communication and public relation skills with the ability to forge productive links with other deans on campus, as well as external constituencies, including area business partners and corporations;
  • a record of promoting diversity and a commitment to furthering a culturally aware and inclusive environment;
  • demonstrated budget and fiscal management experience;
  • evidence of strategic planning leadership and the ability to effectively implement strategic plans;
  • an appreciation for the contemporary Catholic identity, mission and vision of the University;
  • an ability to raise financial resources and build the financial infrastructure of the School;
  • evidence of an ability to engage with and foster relationships with industry and community partners;
  • an experienced fundraising track record and involvement with capital campaigns; and
  • a strong commitment to community engagement for the purpose of linking students, faculty, and friends with community, regional and global leaders who know, understand and support the School of Business.

The School of Business

Founded in 1972 with the visionary belief that global partnerships were the key to the future of business, the USD School of Business is dedicated to creating a learning environment that includes entrepreneurship and innovation, global business, ethical leadership, and business analytics.

The School of Business is now home to more than 1,800 students every year and offers nine majors, 13 minors, eight specialty master’s programs and two MBA programs. The school also houses five centers of excellence that enhance the student experience and build practitioner relationships with the business community. Currently, seventy-one percent of undergraduate business students have international experiences, 100% of MBA students study abroad, and the School of Business graduate students spend an average of 17 days overseas during their coursework.

The School of Business is internationally recognized and enjoys top rankings, both locally and globally:
In 2018, Financial Times ranked the School of Business in the nation’s top 50 (50th), in the top 100 (97th) globally and 6th in California.

Poets&Quants also recently ranked the undergraduate business program as 47th in the nation and 3rd in California.
U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked the Master’s in Supply Chain Management in the top 25 in the United States for best online graduate business programs.
Bloomberg Businessweek currently ranks the MBA program number 60 in the nation and the undergraduate business program number 53 in the nation.

As it has for many decades, the University of San Diego School of Business creates and prepares future business leaders who are well equipped for the 21st century marketplace; who can navigate business across the globe; who embrace innovation and entrepreneurship as cornerstones for building commerce; and who prioritize sustainability, ethics and social responsibility. The School has a consistent recognition of A or A+ teaching quality by Bloomberg Businessweek and the faculty – 85% of whom have PhDs – has dramatically increased the number of publications in top-tier academic journals in recent years. The School of Business continues to be a model of outstanding global business education, a leader in high-quality business research, and a magnet for the most dedicated and innovative faculty and staff.

In December of 2017, USD Board of Trustees Chair Don Knauss, and his wife, Ellie, made a $20 million donation to the School of Business. Combined with other gifts, including a generous pledge of $1 million from Kim and Andy Busch, USD will expand the size of the School of Business from 48,000 square feet to more than 120,000 square feet with the construction of a new building. The $67 million construction project will be completed in 2022.

AACSB Accreditation
In June 2019, both the business and accounting degree programs in the School of Business were reaccredited for another five years by AACSB International.

School of Business Mission
The USD School of Business is committed to developing socially responsible leaders with a global mindset through academically rigorous, relevant and values-based education and research.

School of Business Vision
Our vision is to be a model of outstanding global business education, a leader in high-quality business research and a magnet for the most dedicated and innovative faculty and staff.

About University of San Diego

Inspired by faith, informed by its core mission and values, and dedicated to the ongoing legacy of its founders, the University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. USD’s community of scholars are committed to educating the whole person—intellectually, physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially and culturally. The university provides a character-building education that fosters independent thought, innovation, integrity, analytical thinking, and an open-minded and collaborative world-view.

The original chapter of the University of San Diego was written on a brisk early winter afternoon in December of 1949, when local dignitaries joined Bishop Charles Francis Buddy and Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill for a groundbreaking ceremony atop a wind-swept mesa overlooking the burgeoning San Diego cityscape.

The Society of the Sacred Heart volunteered to provide a $4 million endowment for the College for Women. The original furnishings included ornate crystal chandeliers, beautiful tapestries, and of course, library books.

In more modest surroundings, the College for Men and the School of Law began classes in 1954, eventually moving into Thomas Moore Hall, now known as Warren Hall. Other buildings were soon constructed, including the centerpiece of the university, the blue-domed Immaculata Church, which was consecrated in 1959.

In 1972, the colleges merged and formed what is now the University of San Diego. Committed to the Catholic faith, the school’s leaders also embraced the spirit of ecumenism and academic freedom. Currently, more than half of the undergraduates attending USD profess to faiths other than Catholicism.

Today, the University of San Diego is a nationally ranked Catholic institution with 476 full time and 522 part time faculty members and over 9,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students. USD has a Carnegie classification of “Doctoral University: High Research Activity” and offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 30 master’s degree, the JD degree, five LLM degrees, and three doctoral degrees. Minority enrollments currents stand at 37% of the student body.

Governed by an independent Board of Trustees, the University has nine academic divisions: the College of Arts and Sciences, the schools of Business, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace and Justice, Copley Library, and the division of Professional and Continuing Education.

The 180-acre campus now houses buildings that encompass more than two million square feet and provide educational, administrative, residential, athletic, dining and support services.
Getting across campus now requires a hike, but thanks to steadfast planning by USD’s leaders over the last six decades, the destination remains the same: a consummate liberal arts education.

USD Mission
The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic institution committed to advancing academic excellence, expanding liberal and professional knowledge, creating a diverse and inclusive community and preparing leaders who are dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service.

USD Vision
The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges.

USD Strategic Plan: Envisioning 2024

The President

Dr. James T. Harris III became the University of San Diego’s fourth president on August 3, 2015. Previously, Dr. Harris served for 13 years as the president of Widener University, a private, independent institution educating more than 6,300 students on four campuses in two states — Pennsylvania and Delaware. Prior to his appointment at Widener, he was the President of Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio.
The span of his career includes volunteer leadership service in numerous local, state, and national roles. Examples of his leadership include his service as Chair of Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, Chair of the Pennsylvania Campus Compact, and as Vice Chair of National Campus Compact, a national coalition of 1,200 college and university presidents dedicated to promoting civic engagement among college students. He also served on the executive committee of the NCAA and as Chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Monarch School, a board member of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and the Chair of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Board of Trustees, one of the largest educational associations in the world.
President Harris earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Toledo, a master’s degree in educational administration from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and his doctorate in education from Pennsylvania State University.
The Provost
Dr. Gail F. Baker is vice president and provost of the University of San Diego. In this role, she is USD’s chief academic officer and works closely with President Harris and the university’s academic deans. Prior to joining USD in 2017, Dr. Baker was dean of the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media at the University of Nebraska Omaha. She also served as executive associate to the chancellor of UNO as well as other university leadership positions. At the University of Florida, she served as chair of the Department of Public Relations in the College of Journalism and Communications. She later served as vice president of public relations and special assistant to the president. At the University of Missouri-Columbia, she was chair of advertising and directed the Minority Recruiting Program of the School of Journalism.

Her industry experience includes public relations positions with IBM and International Harvester (now Navistar). She was a reporter and editor for the Chicago Daily Defender Newspaper.

She has earned recognition for her work as a teacher, scholar, communications practitioner, and writer. She has authored books and articles and is the winner of four Emmy Awards for Excellence in Documentary Writing and Producing.

Dr. Baker holds a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, a master of science degree in marketing communications from Roosevelt University and a doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Nominations, applications, and inquiries of interest may be sent in confidence to the University’s executive search firm: Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner
Chelsie Whitelock, Principal
10 Cadillac Drive, Suite 190
Brentwood, TN 37027

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.