Dean for the Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics
Towson University (“TU”), Maryland’s fastest-growing and largest comprehensive university and a recognized leader in student learning, diversity, research, and community service, seeks a visionary, energetic, and innovative leader to serve as its next Dean for the Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics (“FCSM”). Reporting to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Melanie Perreault, the Dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the College and will join TU at a pivotal juncture in its history, as it continues the trajectory of excellence and impact in teaching and scholarship to become a Carnegie R2 institution.
Located on a 330-acre campus in Towson, Maryland, just ten miles from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and a short drive or train ride to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, or New York City, Towson offers an environment for living and learning, close to many educational, cultural and community resources. Forbes has ranked Towson University as a top-100 national public university in its 2022 top colleges list. TU is recognized for its quality and value with a growing research and innovation enterprise deeply connected to people and place. TU is also among the most diverse institutions of higher education in the nation and is staunchly committed to building an inclusive and equitable campus community. It is well-known for its leadership in rigorous undergraduate and graduate education, relevant research, and service to the state of Maryland as the largest producer of K-12 educators in the state, among many other accolades. Its 20,000 students—26% of whom identify as Black or African American, and 9% of whom identify as Hispanic or Latino—are enrolled in 66 undergraduate majors, 47 master’s programs, and 6 doctoral degree programs spanning the liberal arts, fine arts, health professions, education, business, and natural and physical sciences. TU’s incoming class has 57.4% of first-year students identifying as an under-represented racial or ethnic minority.
The FCSM has led TU’s trajectory towards Carnegie R2 Classification and is a prime mover and key conduit for University-wide generative collaborations and strategic initiatives. Its culture of innovation in and commitment to diversity and justice in education and research is essential to the cultural, scientific, educational, and economic vitality of the region. Faculty members in each of the five departments within the FCSM- Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer and Information Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences- are actively engaged in research activities with both undergraduate and/or graduate students. Within FCSM, 1,200 undergraduate students participate in research each year. TU is investing more than $16.3M in Academic Affairs to further expand the resources available for research and scholarly and creative work to support the achievement of Carnegie R2 Classification and advance TU’s position as a top-100 national public institution.
TU’s recent and transformative capital investments of over $550 million will expand the FCSM’s opportunities for collaboration and interdisciplinary research, education, and entrepreneurial pursuits. These capital investments include the Fisher College’s own 320,000 square foot Science Complex, completed in 2021 to support the College’s rapid growth with 50 teaching laboratories, 30 research laboratories, 50 classrooms, 10 collaborative student spaces, 8 lecture halls, and 1 outdoor classroom. The College is home to more than 3,700 undergraduate students, 530 graduate students, 200 faculty, and roughly 50 staff members. It supports eight centers and programs that further the mission of promoting advanced study in the sciences and mathematics and to support preschool through grade 12 (P-12) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Currently, the extramural funding through grants and contracts totals $5 million annually, while the academic core budget is $33.2 million. The FCSM’s endowment is $10.2 million and has historically been used to support students and to recruit top faculty into endowed chair positions, of whom seven are currently extant; the endowment provides a strong resource base for investing in academic excellence into the future.
Working in collaboration with FCSM’s department chairs, center directors, and faculty in keeping with TU’s traditions of shared governance, the Dean will advance a bold vision for FCSM’s future that also respects the College’s deeply held traditions and core values. They will develop a long-term strategy to guide the FCSM’s growth and development, leveraging entrepreneurial opportunities available within its dynamic ecosystem. Success in the role will require an individual who can inspire and unify the community around shared priorities; continue to attract, retain, and cultivate talented and diverse faculty, staff, and students; and empower all within FCSM to be at the forefront of elevating the university to Carnegie R2 Classification. As a passionate, energetic champion for the educational mission and student success, the incoming Dean must be an exceptional communicator who is skilled at building relationships with internal and external partners, represent the College compellingly to stakeholders and donors, and demonstrate an uncompromising commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and justice.
Towson University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist a university search committee in this recruitment. All applications, inquiries, and nominations, which will remain confidential, should be directed to www.imsearch.com/8647.
Towson University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.