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The Board of Trustees and the incoming inaugural President of a new and innovative experiential college in Abu Dhabi (“the College”) seek an experienced academic leader with expertise in curriculum development, faculty recruitment and development, accreditation, and partnership agreements to serve as the College’s inaugural Dean. Reporting to the College’s President, the Dean will play a key role in developing, opening, and advancing a transformative new institution designed to guide and educate ambitious and thoughtful leaders through an education grounded in the cultural practices of the region and informed by state-of-the-art practices in the experiential liberal arts. The College will expand the post-secondary educational modalities of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates more broadly and teach students how to think in innovative and creative ways. Once established, the College will make a distinctive and measurable contribution to the expansion of Emirati culture, society, and economy within a multi-pronged approach to creating a knowledge economy in this young country.

The guiding vision for the College, the result of ambitious, multi-year planning work undertaken in the UAE education ecosystem, is to cultivate future generations of community-oriented leaders with humility and grit through post-secondary education guided by ambitious, student-led academics, community-building cultural practices, and service-oriented labor.

The Dean will join the College as its President and Board begin to move from conceptual to actual design of curriculum and facilities and into the start of the accreditation process and will therefore have a tremendous opportunity to shape the College from its very earliest moments including in the ongoing development of its leadership team. At this still-early point of development, it is anticipated that the College’s curriculum will traverse the liberal arts and sciences with strategic attention to disciplines foundational to math and sciences while also sustaining a core engagement with the arts, humanities, and social sciences that will enable students to engage and advance national and regional heritage in a global context.

The Dean will be a passionate advocate for the virtues of post-secondary education in the twenty-first century who can imagine the full impact of experiential learning and operationalize it in appropriately scaled and sustainable programs through dedicated, innovative faculty. The Dean will connect the College partner institutions internationally while also positioning the College within the broader transformation of education and society underway in the UAE.

The College’s first Dean will be an experienced, trusted leader who will effectively develop the College’s administrative infrastructure; promote and embody scholarly and teaching excellence; inspire and lead the faculty; collaborate effectively with other senior leaders; and represent the College, its academic programs, and its educational mission to internal and external constituencies. Candidates will bring a management style that builds confidence, promotes teamwork, enhances creativity and collaboration, and builds consensus. A terminal degree, preferably in a liberal-arts discipline, is required.

The Board has engaged Opus Partners to assist this search. Craig Smith, Partner, Kenna Boyd, Associate Partner, and Marisea Rivera, Senior Associate, are leading the search. To seek additional information, to nominate qualified candidates, or to apply, please contact An application should include a CV and cover letter. Letters should highlight relevant experience, explain interest and motivation, and describe an initial vision for leading the College. The search process is confidential until final-round interviews, at which point candidates will provide a comprehensive list of references.

Please consult Opus Partners for more information about the application process.

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Job details

Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Application deadline
2024-06-21 23:59
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The College has established as its vision the cultivation of future generations of ambitious, responsible, empathetic, and community oriented leade...

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