Dean of the Graduate School

Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, Michigan seeks a visionary, innovative, and collaborative leader for the position of Dean of the Graduate School. The new Dean will provide leadership in advancing academic excellence in graduate and postdoctoral education, and will cultivate a supportive environment for research, scholarly activities, and other creative endeavors that are integral to the success of a diverse body of graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty. The selected candidate will have the opportunity to expand the Graduate School's programming and impact within the context of WSU's transition to the responsibility center management (RCM) budget model.


The Dean reports to the Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and is the chief academic, administrative and fiscal officer of the Graduate School. In addition, the Dean's specific duties include:

  • Leading the university's strategic initiatives on graduate education, training, and collaboration;
  • Overseeing over 60 departmentally-based doctoral programs;
  • Guiding the development and delivery of masters and certificate programs, including online programs;
  • Allocating and managing the school's fiscal resources;
  • Fostering a culture conducive to external support for graduate training programs;
  • Facilitating recruitment efforts of graduate students across programs;
  • Developing new strategies and incentives to support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows; and
  • Promoting professional development for diverse career paths.


Candidates for the Dean of the Graduate School should have a distinguished record as a scholar and teacher, and should have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate. Applicants should be able to be tenured at the full professor level. The ideal candidate should possess the following:

  • A strong, unwavering commitment to excellence in graduate education and leadership skills that will take WSU graduate education to the next level;
  • Ability to coordinate, communicate, and work effectively with other administrative and academic units and institutional partners;
  • A record of excellence in scholarship and in training post-baccalaureate students;
  • Proven ability and experience in administration, preferably academic administration;
  • A strong record of developing or implementing innovative career development and professionalization programming for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows;
  • A capacity for effective leadership of the Graduate School's internal constituencies, including administrators, faculty, students, and staff;
  • Skills necessary to maintain and develop relationships with the Graduate School's external constituencies, including alumni and University decision-makers;
  • A demonstrable ability to lead the Graduate School's fundraising and development efforts and to enhance its reputation locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally;
  • A commitment to diversity consistent with the WSU's mission as an urban public research institution;
  • A commitment to fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and a history of developing and maintaining consensus and cohesiveness;
  • Strong business acumen and experience in strategic planning, fiscal planning, budget and resource management; and
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.


For best consideration, complete applications should be submitted by February 24, 2020. Applications should include the following: (1) a cover letter describing relevant experiences and interest in the position; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) a one-page leadership statement in relation to overseeing the Graduate School; (4) a one-page diversity statement that provides vision and examples of establishing an inclusive culture for students, faculty, and staff; and (5) names of five references with their contact details. Kindly direct any confidential inquiries to the search committee chair Roland Sintos Coloma by phone at (313) 577-0902 or by email at

Graduate School Dean position information 
You can also use the "Search Postings" option on for posting number 044942.

Gullen Mall fountain court with lush green grass and trees

About Wayne State University:

WSU is a nationally recognized public research university with an urban teaching mission. WSU is a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research Extensive institution with 13 academic schools and colleges, including a School of Medicine, offering more than 350 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. WSU is home to nearly 28,000 students from nearly every state and 60 countries – the most diverse student body among Michigan's 15 public universities. For more information:

Wayne State University, founded in 1868, is a nationally recognized public, urban research university in Detroit. Wayne State is Michigan's only urban research university, and is known internationally for its contributions to the sciences. Committed to educational opportunity, research, and community enrichment, Wayne State serves a critical role in Michigan's higher education landscape. It holds the highest Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching designations in both research and community engagement. Just as the city of Detroit is undergoing a renaissance, the university itself is in a time of significant transformation, strengthening its ability to serve students from Detroit and around the world.

Wayne State University's campus, located in the University Cultural Center and Historic District in the heart of Detroit's Midtown neighborhood, encompasses approximately 200 acres. The university enrolls nearly 28,000 students, making it the third-largest among Michigan's 15 public universities and one of the 50 largest in the nation. Wayne State boasts the most diverse student body among Michigan's public universities, with students from nearly every U.S. state and 60 countries. Fifty-four percent of Wayne State Students are white; 18 percent are African- American; and 28 percent are other race/ethnicity groups. In a recent survey, Wayne State University students ranked the campus diversity highest among a list of campus strengths.

Wayne State University is Detroit's seventh-largest employer, with more than 7,600 regular employees and more than 2,000 student employees. Wayne State has 2,701 faculty members— of whom 1,729 are full-time — and nearly 5,000 staff members. Approximately two-thirds of faculty and staff are represented by one of the 13 unions on campus. The university's financial statements are available here. Moody's has assigned Wayne State's General Revenue Bond a rating of Aa3. Wayne State University has more than 250,000 alumni spread throughout the country, of whom about 75 percent live in Michigan.

The university's comprehensive academic offerings are divided among 13 schools and colleges: the School of Business Administration; the College of Education; the College of Engineering; the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts; the Graduate School; the Law School; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the School of Library and Information Science; the School of Medicine; the College of Nursing; the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; the Irvin D. Reid Honors College; and the School of Social Work.

Students attending the School of Medicine have access to a variety of educational resources through 11 affiliate hospitals, including Detroit Medical Center Hospital, Henry Ford Health System and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Such diverse partnerships enable students in the university's health-profession schools to gain knowledge and experience in a variety of disciplines.

Wayne State University ranks 64th among public American universities, according to the 2013 National Science Foundation Research rankings; its medical sciences, physics, chemistry, physical science and psychology programs rank in the top 100 nationwide. The university's annual research expenditures are nearly $224 million.

Wayne State's advancement of its research mission is augmented by collaboration with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in the University Research Corridor, an alliance that brings in 94 percent of all federal research dollars attracted to Michigan each year. Wayne State also has a thriving research and technology park called TechTown Detroit and a number of partnerships with government, industry, and business.

Wayne State is home to the Perinatology Research Branch, the only National Institutes of Health clinical research center located outside of Bethesda, MD. WSU also houses one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers – the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute – and the new Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors funded by the National Institutes of Health in 2014.

Wayne State University commits to its urban research mission by continuing to provide access and opportunity to higher education for students of all backgrounds. This commitment helps nurture the next generation of professionals — who will use their education to advance the causes of civil rights and social justice in all threads of society — and helps meet the needs of Detroit and its surrounding communities.

Aerial view from the Old Main building tower overlooking Cass avenue down to Detroit


Detroit is the largest city in Michigan and a major port on the Detroit River, an international waterway that connects the western Great Lakes to Lake Erie and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. In 2014, the city had a population of approximately 680,000 — and the population of the surrounding metropolitan area is more than five million. The city's population is primarily African American and is increasingly diverse, with new residents eager to participate in Detroit's transformation representing a spectrum of ages, races, and cultures. The southwest Detroit area has vibrant and growing Latino/a American communities and the city of Dearborn has the largest Arab American community outside of the Middle East. The combined Detroit–Windsor metropolitan area (Ontario), a critical commercial center on the Canada-U.S. border, has a total population of 5.7 million. Known as the nation's traditional automotive center, Detroit is synonymous with the American automobile industry and an important source of popular music legacies celebrated in the city's two familiar nicknames, "The Motor City" and "Motown."

Detroit's Midtown neighborhood is home to Wayne State as well as excellent museums, theatres, libraries, concert halls, and professional sports venues. Among the cultural institutions within walking distance of the main campus are the main branch of the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Michigan Science Center, the Fisher Theatre, Detroit Children's Museum, and the Detroit Historical Museum. As Detroit has undergone a historical resurgence, Midtown has been at the heart of the growth. In 2014, USA Today named it one of its "10 Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods around the USA."

Wayne State promotes cooperation among Midtown's three anchor institutions: Wayne State, Henry Ford Health System, and the Detroit Medical Center. Wayne State has assumed leadership roles in collaborations designed to ensure public safety, promote local transportation, boost economic development, and beautify the area. Since 1999, the university has committed nearly $700 million to projects on and adjacent to the campus, changing Midtown's landscape and ambience. This includes the new Integrative Biosciences Center (IBio), which will push the frontiers of multidisciplinary health sciences and attract faculty and economic development from across the nation.

McGregor Memorial Conference Center Yamasaki Reflecting Pool

University Leadership


M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S., was unanimously elected president of Wayne State University by its Board of Governors on June 5, 2013. He assumed the presidency on August 1, 2013. Prior to joining Wayne State, Dr. Wilson served as deputy director for strategic scientific planning and program coordination at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Previously, Dr. Wilson was dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for health sciences at Creighton University, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and, concurrently, chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver and chair of the board of directors of the University of Colorado Hospital.

Dr. Wilson received his undergraduate degree from Allegheny College, an M.S. in epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He was selected for the list of Best Doctors in America for a consecutive 14 years by Best Doctors Inc. and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Business Journal's Healthcare CEO of the Year in 2011. In 2003, he was elected as a lifetime member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, one of the highest honors in the field of Medicine.

His additional honors include the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Senior Achievement Award, the Distinguished Physician Award from the Minority Health Institute, the Herbert W. Nickens Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the NIH Director's Award, the President's Award from the American Glaucoma Society, and the W. Montague Cobb Distinguished Research Career Award.


Keith E. Whitfield became provost of Wayne State University on June 1, 2016.  Previously, he was vice provost for academic affairs at Duke University, and held appointments as professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, research professor in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. He also was the co-director of the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research.

An expert on aging among African Americans, Dr. Whitfield has published 200 articles, books and book chapters on cognition, health, and individual development and aging. He is a longtime member of the advisory board of Wayne State's Institute of Gerontology, has participated in a number of committees for the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, and has served on several study sections for the National Institutes of Health.  

As Wayne State's chief academic officer, Dr. Whitfield is the second-ranking executive officer and responsible for all matters related to the instructional mission of the university including faculty matters, student performance and retention, and academic personnel policies and decisions, among other duties. 

Dr. Whitfield earned a bachelor's in psychology from the College of Santa Fe, a Ph.D. in lifespan developmental psychology from Texas Tech University, and received postdoctoral training in quantitative genetics from the University of Colorado Boulder.

About the Graduate School

The Graduate School provides leadership in advancing academic excellence in graduate and postdoctoral education. It cultivates a supportive environment for research, scholarly activities, and other creative endeavors that are integral to the success of a diverse body of master's and doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty across programs. For more information about the Graduate School: