Dean of the School of Business and Economics

Rohnert Park, California, United States

Job description

Sonoma State University (SSU or Sonoma State), a comprehensive residential public institution in Sonoma County, California, seeks a visionary and collaborative leader to serve as Dean of the School of Business and Economics (SBE or the School). This is a distinctive opportunity to provide essential leadership at one of California’s most sought after institutions, unique in its liberal arts and sciences mission and located in the economically booming San Francisco North Bay Area amidst the natural beauty of Sonoma County. The Dean, working with various stakeholders and constituents, will have the opportunity to shape and execute the vision for SBE’s next chapter of growth aligned with a new University strategic plan, Strategic Plan 2025. The Dean will join a new and pioneering leadership team that is working to build the future of Sonoma State and deliver on its vision to embrace innovation in the institution’s quest to be a national model for public higher education by 2025.

Founded as a liberal arts college in 1961, Sonoma State has approximately 9,400 students (92 percent undergraduate), and has evolved into a diversified university with six schoolsArts and Humanities, Business and Economics, Education, Extended & International Education, Science and Technology, and Social Sciencesthat provide students with the intellectual framework and hands-on skills to thrive in a variety of professional careers. A major contributor to the North Bay workforce, Sonoma State offers degrees in 46 majors and 49 minors at the bachelor’s level and 15 at the master’s level, as well as nine credential programs and eight undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. The University operates as part of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system, the largest four-year system of higher education in the United States.

The next Dean of SBE will take the reins after several years of rapid growth and following the recent opening of the Wine Spectator Learning Center in May 2018 and a successful Association for Advancing Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) re-accreditation. The Dean, working closely with various stakeholders, will set new directions based on SBE’s many strengths, and will inspire action from the School and University, as well as among alumni, the business community, and other constituencies. In order to take the School to new levels of success, the Dean will address a number of key opportunities and challenges, including:
1) Develop and articulate a compelling vision for the School that aligns with the new University strategic plan;
2) Recruit, retrain, and empower faculty and staff to provide an excellent student experience;
3) Manage and diversify revenue streams and grow resources;
4) Continue to prioritize, embrace, and promote diversity and inclusion;
5) Be a connector within the University and externally.

The School currently has an endowment of approximately $3.2M and the Dean will oversee a budget of approximately $5M.

About Sonoma State University
Sonoma State University, located 48 miles north of San Francisco, is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University. Sonoma State University is a liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students and 530 full-time and part-time faculty. Our beautiful campus is located in Rohnert Park, at the foot of the Sonoma hills in the Wine Country.

Sonoma State University is proud to be a smoke-free campus, where smoking and other uses of tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco, the use of e-cigarettes and similar devices, are prohibited.

Sonoma State University’s Jeanne Clery Act Annual Security Report is available at; Annual Campus Housing Fire Safety Report is available at

Contact Information
Sonoma State University
Human Resources
Main (707) 664-3100
Fax (707) 664-3196
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

How to apply

Sonoma State University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process/until the position is filled. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.

Deborah Hodson, Courtney Wilk-Mandel, Sunny Zhang
Isaacson, Miller
1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.655.4900
Fax: 415.655.4905

Other Information
Equal Employment Opportunity: The University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, or protected veteran status.

Mandated Reporting: This position may be considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.