Deputy Dean of the College for Academic Advising

Deputy Dean of the College for Academic Advising

Brown University

Providence, RI   |   November 12, 2021

Brown University seeks a collaborative, experienced, and strategic individual to serve as the next Deputy Dean of the College for Academic Advising. The Deputy Dean is responsible for overseeing all College policies and programs related to undergraduate advising and the advancement of the College’s pedagogical and student learning objectives. Reporting to the Dean of the College, the Deputy Dean serves as the primary liaison to select academic and administrative units around advising and academic policies and processes for undergraduate students.

About Brown University

Founded in 1764, Brown is a leading Ivy League research university home to world-renowned faculty, and is an innovative educational institution where the curiosity, creativity, and intellectual joy of students drive academic excellence. Distinctively known as a University-College, Brown is a major research university where undergraduate education is based in the College, and students and faculty at all levels collaborate across the College, departments, and schools.

Brown enrolls nearly 6,800 undergraduate students from nearly every state and 100 countries worldwide. About 44% of U.S. students identify as a person of color and 13% of undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college.

Brown is a national leader in terms of providing holistic – academic, financial, and personal – advising support for our students, which includes a deep commitment to financial aid. Brown meets the full demonstrated financial need of all applicants with aid packages without loan expectations, and 44% of the Class of 2025 received need-based scholarship or grant aid. With the new investments in financial aid announced this year, Brown will fully cover tuition for families earning $125,000 or less with typical assets. In addition, students of families making less than $60,000 a year with typical assets receive scholarships that cover all direct expenses— tuition, room, board, and books — as well as additional scholarship for other personal expenses.

The spirit of Brown’s Open Curriculum infuses every aspect of the University. Brown’s flexible yet rigorous approach to education pushes undergraduates to be deeply creative thinkers, intellectual risk-takers, and entrepreneurial problem-solvers. At most universities, students must complete a set of core courses. At Brown, students develop a personalized course of study – they have the freedom to study what they choose and the flexibility to do what they love. Most undergraduates sample courses in a range of subjects before diving into one of 80-plus academic concentrations for in-depth, focused study. While undergraduates often find the rigor of building a self-directed course of study demanding, the result is a vibrant intellectual environment in which students are fully engaged as they explore courses in any and every discipline, priming them to think creatively and to develop innovative solutions to critical issues. Graduates leave Brown prepared to thrive as independent, innovative leaders no matter what path they choose.

Long the hallmark of undergraduate education at Brown, the Open Curriculum encourages intellectual risk-taking and empowers students to shape their own educational experiences — all within an advising system that leaves students supported from Orientation through Commencement. Before Orientation, every incoming student is assigned an academic advisor — a faculty member, dean, or academic administrator in the Brown community. Together with academic deans and peer counselors, these educators/scholars guide students as they define academic pathways and shape educational goals. And while Brown’s formal advising program provides structured support for students, opportunities for advising take place any time faculty and students join together — in classrooms and labs, during office hours, at events, or other activities.

Brown’s home for more than two and a half centuries and Rhode Island’s capital city, Providence is a vibrant place to live, work and study – a stimulating hub for innovation, and a city rich in cultural diversity. Located in the heart of New England, 50 miles from Boston and 180 miles from New York City, Providence is known for its restaurants and innovative arts scene. With undergraduate education centered in the historic College Hill neighborhood and a growing presence in the Jewelry District — a flourishing hub for science, technology, health, medicine, and entrepreneurship — Brown is deeply committed to meaningful community engagement. Brown fosters innovative community partnerships and facilitates strong relationships with neighbors, nonprofit organizations, schools, civic organizations, and businesses.

Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University

Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University, known as the DIAP, reflects Brown’s strategic commitment to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of University life — recognizing that these values are essential to carrying out Brown’s mission of education and research with excellence.

The DIAP is Brown University’s comprehensive strategic plan to create and sustain the diverse and inclusive community necessary for the advancement of knowledge, learning and discovery. The DIAP — along with DIAP Phase II, developed five years after the original plan — details concrete, achievable actions that Brown is implementing to make the University more fully diverse and inclusive. The strengths of the plan are its concrete goals, University-wide engagement to achieve the goals, and commitment to accountability.

It is imperative that all members of the Brown community — regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, political views, physical ability and other aspects of their identities — are accepted, valued and provided with equal opportunities to thrive at Brown. Brown’s challenge and opportunity as a community is to work together as students, faculty and staff to ensure the University lives up to its ideals.

The College’s Mission

The mission of the College is to support undergraduate student learning and to ensure that each and every student is engaged, empowered, and transformed by their education at Brown. This mission is informed by a Statement of Principles, which continues to define the philosophy of Brown’s Open Curriculum:

At Brown University, the purpose of undergraduate education is to foster the intellectual and personal growth of the individual student. The student, ultimately responsible for their own development in both of these areas, must be an active participant in framing their own education. A central aspect of this development is the relationship of the student with professors, staff, and fellow students and with the material they approach together. Structures, rules, and regulations of the University should facilitate these relationships and should provide the student with the maximum opportunity to formulate and achieve their educational objectives. Accordingly, the curricular structure reflects these purposes.

The College’s Values

These principles not only define the philosophy of education at Brown, but they also define the values of the office by reflecting how staff in the College approach their work together.

In the College, we are all learners and teachers, mentors and mentees. As a community, we support continuous intellectual, personal, and professional growth. We ask questions, challenge ourselves, and seek help. We encourage exploration, provide support, and practice self-reflection. We take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them – together.

We value building relationships with and among students, staff, faculty, and alumni, because intentional collaboration is the foundation for shared learning and collective impact. We value scholarship and teaching, and therefore work to advance mentorship and pedagogy through evidence-based and inclusive practices. Motivated by these values, we support and partner with students in framing their own education and building lives of sustained learning, meaning, and purpose.

Brown University Leadership

Christina H. Paxson, President

Christina Hull Paxson has served as Brown University’s 19th president and professor of economics and public policy since July 1, 2012. Under Paxson’s leadership, Brown has fortified its standing as a leading research university known for its excellence and innovation in undergraduate education, its transformational vision in fueling economic development through community and government partnerships, and its commitment to inclusion and access.

Paxson is a passionate advocate on issues of access to higher education, and Brown has gained international attention for its campus-wide effort to develop and implement its comprehensive Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion action plan, which the University launched in 2016. In addition, Brown became a national model in working with its students to create one of the first student centers for undocumented, low-income and first-generation college students. Her leadership in creating The Brown Promise financial aid initiative has eliminated loans from the financial aid packages awarded by the University, decreasing financial barriers to access to a Brown education.

Prior to her appointment at Brown, Paxson was dean of the Princeton School of International and Public Affairs and the Hughes Rogers Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. A noted economist and public health expert, Paxson became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.

Rashid Zia, Dean of the College

Rashid Zia is the Dean of the College and a Professor of Engineering & Physics at Brown University. As Dean of the College, he is the senior undergraduate academic officer, and oversees a broad range of administrative departments, including the Center for Careers and Life After Brown (CareerLAB), the Office of International Programs, and the Swearer Center for Public Service.

Rashid is both a product and champion of Brown’s Open Curriculum. He received his combined A.B./Sc.B. in English & American Literature and Electrical Engineering from Brown University in 2001. He returned to join the faculty at Brown in 2006 after completing his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Rashid is an advocate of liberal education and has served as a Fellow of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education. For his teaching, he has received the Philip J. Bray Award for Teaching Excellence and Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship as well as the Brown School of Engineering’s Dedicated Faculty Award and its inaugural Faculty Award for Commitment to Diversity.

For more information on Brown University, please visit

The Opportunity

Brown is seeking a strategic and experienced leader and administrator with an established record of inclusive, effective, and collaborative leadership and demonstrated commitment to holistic student advising and the undergraduate experience. Reporting to the Dean of the College, the Deputy Dean is responsible for overseeing all College policies and programs related to undergraduate advising and the advancement of the College’s pedagogical and student learning objectives. The Deputy Dean collaborates closely with colleagues in academic and administrative units across Brown, including Campus Life, Financial Aid, and the Office of the Registrar, around advising and academic policies and processes for undergraduate students. The incumbent leads a team of around 10 academic advising deans and professional staff responsible for programs, units, and activities within the College’s student-facing functional areas.

The Deputy Dean’s duties include overseeing undergraduate advising; leading collaborative efforts to establish programmatic priorities; chairing and/or staffing University committees; managing advising team staff; liaising with other staff and offices across campus; special projects related to advising innovations, assessment, and initiatives; and advising and mentoring individual students. The Deputy Dean is expected to build and foster partnerships across the University to promote the success of advising programs and to ensure effective collaboration with academic units around issues related to undergraduate studies.

Key responsibilities of the Deputy Dean Include:

Develop and implement strategy, policy and processes for undergraduate advising in the College

The Deputy Dean is responsible for overall coordination of College policies and programs related to undergraduate advising and the advancement of the College’s pedagogical and student learning objectives. Working closely with the Deputy Dean of the College for Curriculum and Co-Curriculum, and in collaboration with key faculty committees focused on undergraduate advising, the Deputy Dean will provide leadership to develop strategy, policy, and processes affecting the work of the College, establish programmatic priorities and direction, and align human and financial resources with educational goals.

Provide partnership and support for undergraduate advising across the institution

The Deputy Dean provides holistic undergraduate advising to students in the context of Brown’s Open Curriculum and oversees undergraduate academic advising at Brown through close collaboration with academic and administrative units. This leader works closely with faculty, staff, and students to develop effective partnerships and support students and faculty in monitoring and achieving their educational goals. In particular, the Deputy Dean builds relationships with faculty and staff to support advising and ensure effective coordination with the Division of Campus Life, serves as the primary liaison to academic and administrative units and the University Registrar on advising issues and processes, and advises academic deans and faculty expectations for undergraduate advising with an understanding of students’ multiple, intersectional identities and clear attention to how policies and practices  may affect undergraduates from historically underrepresented and/or other minoritized backgrounds, including first-generation college students, international students, and students with high demonstrated financial need.

Build, lead and mentor a team

The Deputy Dean  leads a team of around 10 academic deans and professional staff responsible for programs, units, and activities within the College’s advising-related functional areas. The Deputy Dean provides leadership to the academic deans and professional staff on the advising team, ensuring that all team members understand their roles and expectations, receive appropriate and timely feedback, and carry out programs and services that advance the College’s pedagogical and student learning objectives, with clear attention to diversity and inclusion, academic excellence, and operational excellence. This leader works collaboratively with the staff to plan and set goals for professional development, and to evaluate performance. The Deputy Dean evaluates the organizational structure of the College and of the academic advising team, advising on realignments as appropriate. Finally, the incumbent ensures that official policies and procedures are clearly documented, interpreted, communicated, and applied in an equitable manner that effectively supports the work and inclusion goals of the College and the University.

Lead and Staff Key College Committees

The Deputy Dean chairs, serves on, or staffs a variety of key committees including, but not limited to, the College Curriculum Council, the Committee on Academic Standing, and the Standing Committee on the Academic Code.

Provide Strategic Planning and Decision Support

Serving as a senior advisor to the Dean of the College, the Deputy Dean will work to develop and advance strategic priorities, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and budgetary oversight within the division. The Deputy Dean will serve as a member of the College’s Senior Leadership team and will represent the Dean of the College in a variety of settings.

Candidate Profile

Ideal candidates have a minimum of 8-10 years of experience, preferably with a record of achievement in positions of increasing scope and management responsibility. The next Deputy Dean will demonstrate evidence of success in implementing or overseeing advising programs for a diverse student constituency. A Master’s degree is required; an earned doctorate preferred. Outstanding written and oral communication skills, discretion, sound judgment, leadership, and team-building skills are essential.

In addition, strong candidates will offer the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Relationship Building and Collaborative Partnership

  • Capacity to work effectively with faculty of many disciplines, with a diverse student population, and with other University stakeholders to advance the College’s and Brown’s missions and the goals outlined in the College and University Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans.
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion and an ability to connect with others and cultivate relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

Content Expertise with a Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Experience with and/or understanding of a range of advising models and frameworks, particularly with an eye toward diversity, equity, and inclusion development and systems and support.
  • A proven track record in furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and supporting students from historically underrepresented and/or minoritized backgrounds.

Administrative Leadership and Team Cultivation

  • A record of building and managing vibrant, empowered teams of professionals from ambitious, individual contributors.
  • A capacity to support engagement and communications across academic and administrative departments, as well as with students and other community constituencies.
  • Experience using data to inform practices and communicating the insights from data to multiple audiences in a way that inspires and supports change.
  • An effective communicator with strong written and oral communication skills to tailor messaging to a variety of audiences, including students, partners, university faculty and staff, and fellow administrators within the institution.
Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


Amy Sugin, Marisa Chock, and Holly Bogo of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this engagement. To express your interest in this role, please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit