Associate Dean — Woodring College of Education



Job description

Bellingham WA

About the University:
Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

About the College:
Accredited by NCATE, CCNE, CORE, CEC, NAEYC, and the Washington State Professional Educators Standards Board, Woodring College of Education is a nationally recognized leader in the development and implementation of programs that prepare outstanding early childhood, elementary, secondary, and special education teachers as well as adult educators; educational administration leaders; human service professionals; nurses; and rehabilitation counselors. The College has been a leader in diversity-related initiatives at Western Washington University and values its history of shared governance.

As its mission, Woodring facilitates learning that prepares and advances quality educators and human services professionals throughout their careers, and it is known for producing award-winning educators and human service professionals. The College vision fosters community relationships and a culture of learning that advances knowledge, embraces diversity, and promotes social justice, which serves as a guide for program development, partnerships with schools and communities, and college initiatives. The mission and vision are fulfilled through the successful collaborative efforts of creative and energetic faculty, staff, and students to meaningfully address societal challenges.

We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position:
The Associate Dean works closely with the Dean, Department Chairs, Program Directors, Faculty and Staff to manage the internal operations of the College, which is made up of an engaged community of 80+ faculty, 40+ staff members in four departments, several off-campus program sites, and four related centers. The Associate Dean reports to the Dean and serves as Acting Dean in the absence of the Dean. This is a full time 12-month appointment.


College-wide initiatives to support student, staff, and faculty and success

  • Provide leadership to advance and develop diversity and inclusion initiatives to support student, staff, and faculty success.
  • Engage in strategic thinking and planning with support services staff and supervise their ongoing program operations.
  • Coordinate faculty, staff, student awards/scholarships, and professional development.
  • Assist with processing student grievances, complaints, and academic integrity resolutions.

Academic program administration and development

  • Coordinate and oversee College-level initiatives to support program quality and continuous improvement.
  • Coordinate the curriculum approval and scheduling processes.
  • Oversee College-wide data collection and reporting for state approval and national accreditation, for partner organizations, and for program use.
  • Coordinate with Departments of other Colleges that work with Woodring teacher education programs.
  • Interact with local school districts, community organizations, and state government agencies.
  • Work with department chairs and Operations Manager to identify priorities and resource needs for course schedules and enrollment management, including summer session.
  • Provide leadership for off-campus programs.


  • Represent the Dean’s Office on a variety of activities at the College and University level.
  • Engage in special projects assigned by the Dean, including grant writing.
  • Assist the Dean with private sector fundraising and foundation activities.
  • Oversee college policy, procedures and governance documents and revise to respond to emerging needs.
  • Periodic opportunities to teach if desired.

Required Qualifications:

  • Earned doctorate in education or other relevant field OR earned doctorate with equivalent relevant experience.
  • Teaching, service and scholarly activity commensurate with the tenure requirements of the college and university.
  • Demonstrated leadership as an effective administrator equivalent with department chair level or above.
  • Demonstrated success working in P-12 schools and/or community based organizations serving children, youth, or adults.
  • Demonstrated success working effectively with individuals from diverse cultural and social identity backgrounds, including cross-cultural communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to examine programs, policies and student support with a social justice lens.
  • Demonstrated use of effective communication and collaboration skills.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in teacher education or health and community studies.
  • Successful experience with accreditation at the state or national level (e.g., NAEYC, CAEP, CCNE, CORE, CEC), or equivalent successful experience.
  • Demonstrated success with staff supervision and team building to create a satisfying and productive work environment
  • Support and commitment to shared governance

Preferred Qualifications

  • Teaching, service and scholarly activity commensurate with requirements of the college and university for Full Professor.
  • Leadership experience beyond academic administration (e.g., community service, organizational leadership, youth organizing, etc.).
  • Curriculum and data analysis skills.
  • Proficiency in more than one language.
  • Significant engagement within diverse communities.

Commensurate with experience and qualifications

How to apply

Apply online

  • A cover letter and curriculum vitae are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities, specifically addressing each of the required and preferred qualifications.
  • The Woodring College of Education’s strategic plan explicitly calls attention to the priority of, “Recognizing historical and contemporary inequalities, we pursue practices that honor diversities and promote social justice to and for equity.” Given this importance, please include a 1-2 page separate statement on your vision and successes related to inclusion and equity.
  • Also required are the names and contact information for three professional references.

Closing Date Notes
Application review begins December 15; position is open until filled.

With 15,000 students, 160 academic programs, and an energized campus community, Western offers the focus on students and the faculty access of a smaller college and the academic choice, resources, multicultural diversity, and room to grow of a large university. Not so big that you feel like a number; not so small that you have to conform to a mold. Large enough for you to define yourself and small enough that you make a difference.