Dean of Academic Affairs

Dean of Academic Affairs

Pine Manor College

Brookline, MA   |   September 17, 2019

Pine Manor College (PMC) seeks an accomplished, creative, and collaborative individual to serve as its next Dean of Academic Affairs beginning July 1, 2019.  With a visionary President and a strong and dedicated faculty and leadership team, the Dean of Academic Affairs will build upon Pine Manor College’s teaching excellence, experiential education, and community engagement to advance a clearly articulated holistic academic vision that celebrates the distinctiveness of PMC students.  The Dean of Academic Affairs will be a seasoned leader with a deep understanding of the 21st century higher education landscape and have experience cultivating solutions and setting ambitious goals for PMC’s remarkable students.  The Dean of Academic Affairs is the Chief Academic Officer of the College.

About Pine Manor College

Helen Temple Cooke, a pioneer dedicated to preparing women for successful lives, originally established PMC as a post-secondary division of the Dana Hall School in Wellesley in 1911.  In 1930, PMC was given full membership in the American Association of Junior Colleges and was first accredited in 1939.  In 1959, PMC gained the right to confer the degrees of Associate in Arts and Associate in Science. In 1965, the College moved from the Wellesley campus to its present location on 50 picturesque wooded acres in the beautiful Chestnut Hill section of Brookline, Massachusetts, only five miles outside of Boston.  The Board of Higher Education approved amendments allowing the College to confer Bachelor of Arts degrees in the humanities and social sciences in 1977; authority to confer Honorary Degrees in 1980; authority to confer the Bachelor of Arts in Biology; and, in November 2005, approval to offer the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.  A substantive change to become fully coeducational in all degree programs was approved by the Board on July 29, 2013.

Sixty-four full and part-time faculty members teach at Pine Manor College. 95% of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their field. 81% of full-time faculty are women. PMC’s student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 69% of PMC’s classes have fewer than 20 students. This allows students to enjoy a close working relationship and mentorship from faculty, a tenet of a Pine Manor College’s education.

The College’s strategic plan articulates strengthening academic programs that will expand opportunities for all students.  In addition, PMC has sought to maintain its academic traditions while continually reinterpreting its goals and revising its programs to meet the changing needs of its students.  Consistent with all position requirements at PMC, this position will be responsible for growing the graduation rate of all of its students as the champion of all matters academic as indicated in the newly defined mission statement:

The mission of Pine Manor College is to make certain that all graduates are prepared to take meaningful steps in their lives: engaging in new jobs and careers, continuing to learn, and positively contributing to their communities. Students, including those who are the first in their families to attend college, who are looking for a purposeful education in a personalized an inclusive learning community will find a home at Pine Manor College.

PMC has been committed to excellence in equity, diversity, social justice, and inclusivity for nearly 20 years and continues to serve a critical societal and educational mission by educating and graduating a majority minority (approximately 85% students of color) first generation low-income (FGLI) population (approximately 84% first generation and 80% Pell grant eligible) through its degree-granting undergraduate programs. As a result, the College delivers an ambitious individualized approach that has resulted in a graduation rate that is approximately three times the national average for this student demographic.

Thomas M. O’Reilly assumed the presidency at a time when the school was facing both enrollment challenges and financial uncertainty. PMC recognizes that student recruitment and retention is an incredibly important factor in working towards student success in the classroom and beyond and is critical supporting the institution’s financial health. As a result, PMC maintains a deep commitment to providing individualized support to ensure student success, retention, high graduation rates, and supportive career development that results in employment in students’ respective fields of interest. PMC fully recognizes the relationship between educational outcomes and economic inequity and, in an effort to narrow the college readiness gap, is increasing its efforts to clearly identify and support students through a variety of targeted student success initiatives. To better support student retention rates, PMC has both implemented a comprehensive recruitment plan to attract pre-college students who best fit PMC’s academic offerings and, after their enrollment, provides an intentional, supportive network to help them successfully navigate through their college years. Additionally, the college has significantly increased student support on campus by developing the Initiative for Student Success (ISS). Through an intentional institutional approach, ISS increases students’ access to a variety of support, resources, and services both on- and off-campus by using a success model that requires significant collaboration among academic advisors, student success coaches, its learning resource center, the library, and the full range of student engagement staff. PMC faculty are essential in achieving these goals, and the PMC community recognizes that students do not solely learn within academic classrooms. Learning and personal development have no borders on the PMC campus; as a result, cross-departmental collaborations exist to first identify the needs of PMC’s students and then to respond with academic, social, health/wellness, athletic, and/or financial support. The College will continue to assess and revise programming and plans to best support the needs of the PMC student body.

PMC has achieved much success over the past three years. At the forefront, the College has demonstrated financial sustainability by posting three years of surpluses with a fourth year projected for FY 2019. While this success is one the entire community shares in and is proud of, all recognize that finances remain a top priority for the College over the next five years.

For more information on Pine Manor College, please visit

The Opportunity

Reporting directly to President O’Reilly, the Dean of Academic Affairs will work in close partnership with the President to provide leadership and oversight of the educational affairs and activities that implement the Strategic Plan 2017-2022 and contribute to the College’s mission. As a key member of the President’s leadership team, the Dean of Academic Affairs will play a critical role in advancing the remarkable growth trajectory Pine Manor College has enjoyed by increasing student success through collaborative learning and student empowerment; cultivating a robust, supportive and inclusive community; facilitating reciprocal partnerships, and prioritizing institutional sustainability and capacity building. In addition to enhancing student success, the Dean of Academic Affairs will collaborate closely with the faculty on academic strategic planning, professional development and evaluation, accreditation, faculty recruitment and development, the championing of best pedagogy practices, and curriculum assessment and planning.  As the leader of faculty, the Dean of Academic Affairs will actively mentor and develop full-time and part-time faculty, lead faculty planning and recruitment and retention efforts, and, with all faculty, maintain extensive communication to listen, to understand, and to share with senior leadership those faculty ideas, suggestions, and concerns about academic matters at Pine Manor College.

In addition, the Dean of Academic Affairs will partner with the Dean of Student Affairs, the Director of Finance, the Vice President of Advancement, the Dean of Enrollment & Admissions, and the Directors of Human Resources and Operations on budgetary planning and development around academic needs and will play a major role in recommending the allocation of resources, particularly among academic units in the context of shared implementation of the College’s strategic plan and priorities. Collaboration and cooperation with the Dean of Admissions and the Dean of Student Affairs will be paramount in developing academic offerings and enrollment strategies that are consistent with the changing landscape of higher education that will accommodate the needs of the unique Pine Manor College student body, their program needs, and pedagogical delivery methods of the future. The Dean of Academic Affairs will be an articulate and passionate spokesperson for the College, representing the faculty when indicated, and promoting the College’s vision with the Board of Trustees, donors, external agencies, accrediting bodies, and community leaders. The Dean of Academic Affairs will be supported by a team of direct reports that includes institutional research, the registrar, academic affairs, faculty development and teaching excellence, the Brown Learning Resource Center, Library Services, and the Masters In Fine Arts in Creative Writing graduate degree program (the College’s only graduate degree program). The Dean of Academic Affairs also has oversight of academic grants and contracts. The Dean of Academic Affairs will represent the President on all academic affairs with the Board of Trustees.  In addition, this role will coordinate the various President’s Academic Advisory Boards.

Maintaining and advancing Pine Manor College College’s entrepreneurial approach to empowering students, faculty, and staff in liberal arts education, Pine Manor College’s Dean of Academic Affairs will continue to integrate professional and liberal arts with experiential learning to support the intellectual and professional development of all its students.  Pine Manor College’s success has been extraordinary in terms of career preparation and placement, and development of programs that anticipate the needs of the marketplace.  This success has been fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit which combines hard work and risk tolerance.

As an educational community, PMC has recently re-affirmed its values: Rigor, Citizenship, Mentoring Relationships, Student Support, Community and Inclusivity, and Readiness for Life and Career. The new Dean of Academic Affairs will be called upon to be a standard-bearer of this philosophy and to be a leader in the effort to ensure that PMC graduates are distinctly profession-ready within a culture that prioritizes teaching excellence and community engagement.

Advancing an inclusive, collaborative faculty culture aligned with Pine Manor College’s mission and vision for the future, the Dean of Academic Affairs and the faculty leadership team have a vital role in recruiting, mentoring, and retaining a diverse group of faculty, both full-time and part-time, with varying expectations for teaching loads, administrative responsibilities, and scholarly output.  Among the priorities at PMC for the incoming Dean of Academic Affairs is to identify opportunities for faculty collaboration across departments and to encourage intellectual partnerships and operational efficiencies. The Dean of Academic Affairs will preserve and contribute toward the strengthening of a culture of shared governance across the College with the goal of aligning the work of faculty and staff with the shared vision of the College as described in the Strategic Plan 2017-2022.

Building consensus among faculty, within the Dean of Academic Affairs team of direct reports, and across the Senior Leadership team will be critical to developing academic program growth.  Communication at all levels will be needed to effectively manage and lead through change.

By developing and implementing a data-driven approach to program development and assessment, Pine Manor College has historically created opportunities that are responsive to student needs. The Dean of Academic Affairs will collaborate with the President and colleagues to use data to evaluate existing programs to determine their efficacy and perpetuation and to build new academic programs, leading to sustained financial strength and new revenue streams. As a responsible steward of academic excellence and financial resources, the Dean of Academic Affairs will be engaged in identifying trends in higher education nationally and locally; identifying and resolving daily issues and conflicts inherent in all academic organizations; building revenue streams across all educational programs; and leveraging leading-edge technology in teaching and learning.

Candidate Profile

The new Dean of Academic Affairs will be a creative leader who can lead in a shared governance environment, inspire faculty and staff, and effectively work with leaders across campus. Strong candidates will have demonstrated the ability to work with other senior leaders on strategy, planning, and financial management, and with fellow academics on program and curricular development. The incoming Dean of Academic Affairs will be an academic entrepreneur who has experience with design and delivery of creative educational technologies, global education, and multi­disciplinary collaboration.  The Dean of Academic Affairs will need to have knowledge of higher education trends, of planning and budgeting, of personnel management, and of curricular assessment processes.

The Dean of Academic Affairs will have demonstrated experience as a strong academic leader and will possess a keen understanding of the changes and future direction of higher education. A respect for and commitment to the ideals of a Pine Manor College education—experiential education, inclusive community, continuous growth and development—is essential. The ideal candidate will have the ability to lead through collaborative and shared decision-making and will have experience attaining goals and effectively nurturing and advancing change. The ability to build and maintain strong and collegial relationships with Pine Manor College’s distinctive students, with its faculty and administration, and with trustees is essential.

Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following capabilities and attributes:

  • Significant experience as a successful academic leader within higher education, with responsibilities that include academic program development, curriculum, faculty recruitment and contract renewal, performance management, strategic planning, best practices in pedagogy, and accreditation;
  • Ability to formulate and articulate sound policies and demonstrated ability to identify, resolve, and consult on a wide range of administrative and academic personnel issues with a clear sense of institutional needs and priorities;
  • Experience assessing academic programs and using assessment results to ensure innovation and high quality in existing programs as well as to develop new programs with limited resources;
  • Evidence of a strong commitment to the success of students and familiarity with the unique student population that PMC cherishes;
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills and the ability to listen to diverse voices and to articulate vision and inspire individuals both internally and externally;
  • An appreciation and aptitude for synthesizing, interpreting, utilizing, and communicating data to inform, support and execute decision-making and implementation;
  • Demonstrated approachability and a style that conveys and engenders respect, openness and thoughtful discourse;
  • Ability to effectively deal with ambiguity and complexity, and to demonstrate perseverance in providing steady leadership toward achieving goals;
  • Unparalleled personal integrity, ethics, and initiative.
Qualifications and Experience

Specific qualifications include:

  • An earned doctorate degree;
  • A minimum of six years teaching experience and commitment to student success;
  • A record of scholarship and service;
  • Evidence of strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Credentials for tenure in an academic environment at PMC or similar institution are preferred;
  • Experience supporting philanthropic efforts with donors, partnerships, and grants is highly desirable.

Pine Manor College has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to assist in this search. Please submit applications, expressions of interest, and nominations to Andy Evans, Liz Neumann, or Malissa Brennan at

Pine Manor College is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to being the place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come, to stay, and to do their best work.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with higher education, nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit