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Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education

Position overview

Position title: Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Salary range: $250,000 to $280,000
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: July 1, 2024
Review timeline: First review of applicants begins January 16, 2024. Open until filled.
Position duration: Permanent

Application Window

Open date: November 6, 2023

Most recent review date: Monday, Jan 29, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Sunday, Jun 16, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The University of California (UC), Merced, was created to meet the educational and research needs of the Central Valley and broaden access to the University of California’s world-renowned education and research. We are seeking a new Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education to lead undergraduate education at UC Merced into an exciting new era as it continues to grow, champion inclusive excellence, and distinguish itself within the UC system and among research universities globally. The VPDUE will be joining the university at a pivotal time to support exceptional growth and student success. The VPDUE will need to be a dedicated and enthusiastic academic leader who will work closely with faculty, staff, academic leadership, and the larger campus community to continue to develop the campus as a magnet for high-caliber students from diverse backgrounds, talented faculty and as a respected center for cutting-edge research addressing major global challenges as well as the pressing needs of the Central Valley.

Opened to undergraduates in 2005, UC Merced was the first new University of California campus in 40 years and the first American research university of the twenty-first century. UC Merced now ranks #28 among public universities and #60 overall among national universities and remains the youngest university in the top 100 U.S News & World Report rankings. We are proud that our campus is recognized as #4 in the nation for creating social mobility and #13 for economic diversity in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report. UC Merced achieved R2 classification (“doctoral-granting university with high research activity,” per the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education) in record time and is now setting a very ambitious trajectory towards quickly earning an R1 designation. Since welcoming our first freshman class, UC Merced has grown in enrollment to 9,148 students, including 775 graduate students in its three schools: School of Engineering, School of Natural Sciences, and the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

Declared undergraduate enrollment by school is divided among the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA) (40%), the School of Engineering (SoE) (32%), and the School of Natural Sciences (SNS) (24%) and across 31 majors and 27 minors. Sixty-five (65%) percent of undergraduates are first-generation college students, with 59% Pell Grant eligible. Geographically, 99% of UC Merced undergraduates are Californian, with the Central Valley representing approximately 28% of the population. An additional 35% of students come from Southern California (including Los Angeles and San Diego) and 33% from the San Francisco Bay Area. Fewer than one percent of UC Merced undergraduates are from out of state or from a foreign country.

UC Merced is proud to be a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), with nearly 55% of its undergraduates identifying as Hispanic. UC Merced is also proud of its eligibility status as an Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander serving institution. In 2021, UC Merced was awarded the Seal of Excelencia in recognition of its commitment to the success of Latino students and in both 2021 and 2023 the HEED Award for Excellence in Diversity.

Delivered in fall 2020, the 2020 Project campus expansion nearly doubled the campus’s physical capacity to support enrollment growth to 10,000 students. The university is now expanding its capacity to support 15,000 students within the next decade. The impact of UC Merced’s rapid ascent reaches beyond its campus and continues to transform the region economically, academically, and environmentally. UC Merced maintains a focus on sustainability, research, diversity, and community. It leads the UC system in the percentage of students from underrepresented ethnic groups, low-income families, and families whose parents did not attend college.

UC Merced is becoming well-known nationally for its state-of-the-art facilities and extensive growth plan, its talented and diverse student body, and for its well-established research programs in fields such as agricultural technology; biomedical, behavioral and health sciences; climate science and sustainable systems and solutions; theoretical, computational and data sciences; and inequality, social justice, and policy.

Strategic Plan & Goals
Together with its leadership and community, UC Merced is uniquely poised to impact a rapidly changing world. To this end, Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz led an inaugural long-range comprehensive strategic planning process over a year of thoughtful engagement and refinement by faculty, staff, students, and external community and partners. This strategic plan outlines three mission-driven, intertwined priorities: discovery and the advancement of knowledge, developing future scholars and leaders, and cultivating a culture of dignity and respect for all. The strategic plan reflects UC Merced’s ever-deepening commitment to continuous and iterative transformation toward a socially just, equitable, and sustainable campus and society and to expand and enrich the nature of the campus’s educational offerings and research portfolio. UC Merced will create new and diverse opportunities, empowering experiences for its students who will in turn deepen and diversify leadership across all fields and the nation. The plan includes the ambitious goal of being the youngest university ever to achieve a very high research (R1) designation, which will acknowledge UC Merced’s increasing research prowess and its impact but also support the acceleration and sustain its rise. The strategic plan also elevates the importance of an inclusive workforce and flexible and sustainable infrastructure that evolves with the research and learning enterprise. The full university strategic plan can be found here:

Position Overview
The Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education (VPDUE) is responsible for the University’s campus-wide undergraduate programs, including General Education, first-year advising, the campus-wide honors program, and for coordinating the University’s undergraduate research opportunities. The VPDUE also oversees the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning and summer session. The VPDUE has the responsibility for promoting the academic success of UC Merced’s diverse undergraduate students; contributing to the campus’s efforts to grow enrollment with a focus on retention; advocating for excellence in undergraduate teaching; developing innovative initiatives and procuring external grant funding; supporting the success of a highly diverse, low income and first generation student population; enhancing and assessing the University’s General Education program; developing interdisciplinary academic programs; expanding undergraduate research opportunities and other high impact practices; and working with the faculty and academic leadership to implement the new campus-wide honor program.

These responsibilities will be fulfilled in close collaboration with the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate Division; the Deans and faculty of the Schools of Natural Sciences (SNS), Engineering (SOE), and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA); the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs and Strategy; the Dean of Extension; the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Justice, and Inclusive Excellence; the Vice Chancellor for External Relations and Strategic Communication; the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development; the Academic Senate and other relevant constituents of the university. The VPDUE is an ex-officio member of the Undergraduate Council, a Senate committee that is responsible for undergraduate curricula and policies.

This position is a full-time (1.0 FTE) position.

Key Responsibilities:

50% Leadership

The Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education will:
• Provide vision and leadership for the diverse staff in the Division of Undergraduate Education and oversee all aspects of its operation in support of the campus’ Strategic Plan.
• Provide vision and leadership for undergraduate education and student success with a focus on equity, justice, and inclusive excellence in support of the campus’ Strategic Plan and the majority minority students served by UC Merced.
• Provide identity-aware leadership in support of undergraduate students from minoritized backgrounds, creating a sense of belonging, familial support, and recognition of the community wealth our students bring to campus.
• Continue to raise the national and international profile of UC Merced’s undergraduate academic enterprise in significant and measurable ways.
• Provide leadership and collaborate on generating federal, state, foundation, and corporate funding for undergraduate education and student success programs.
• Serve as the focal point for external relations related to undergraduate education and student success (e.g., community, industry, media, government) in coordination with the Vice Chancellor and Chief External Relations Officer.
• Participate in campus-wide and system-wide policy and program discussions. Initiate and guide the development of policies that positively and significantly affect undergraduate education and student success.
• Advise the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost on a wide range of issues related to undergraduate education.
• Anticipate needs, identify critical issues, and promote best practices in service of continuous strengthening of student learning and student success, with equity, justice, and inclusive excellence as a core guiding principle.
• Handle sensitive issues with diplomacy, tact, and confidentiality.

50% Administration, Programming and Organizational Change

The Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education will:
• Collaborate with deans, vice provosts, the Academic Senate, and other campus leaders to implement curricular and organizational innovations that enhance the quality and reputation of the undergraduate student experience, grow undergraduate enrollment, promote the campus goals for student success and equity, justice, and inclusive excellence, and advance the campus’ Strategic Plan.
• Envision, design, and implement major initiatives that encourage faculty innovation in teaching, student engagement in learning and participation in undergraduate research, internships and other high-impact practices, staff improvements in student services, strengthened student retention, and other programs that enhance student success and equity, justice, and inclusive excellence.
• Use state-of-the art predictive analytics to continuously measure the effectiveness of programs and policies designed to enhance teaching, learning, student success, and equity, justice, and inclusive excellence, and engage with other institutions to further the development and implementation of best practices through data sharing and data-informed, collaborative decision making.
• Discontinue or recommend discontinuing ineffective policies when appropriate.
• Ensure compliance with all administrative policies and procedures, including human resources.
• Effectively allocate and manage resources for the Division, including staff/personnel, space, and finances.
• Rigorously pilot-test novel approaches to promoting undergraduate student success for students from minoritized backgrounds.
• Communicate effectively and regularly with faculty and staff on best practices to ensure student success and engage them in this effort.


Basic qualifications

General Profile:
All candidates for this position should hold a distinguished record that would justify a senior rank faculty appointment at the University of California. In addition, candidates should have demonstrated academic leadership. Candidates should have experience and demonstrated success with acquiring extramural funds, a record of working effectively to support and promote the success of students reflecting our population, including low-income, first-generation students from diverse ethnic/racial communities. The successful candidate must have the demonstrated ability to develop programs that support a culture of academic excellence for all.

Required Skills, Knowledge, Abilities, and Competencies
• Ability to envision, design and implement major initiatives that encourage faculty innovation in serving our majority minority students through teaching, student engagement in learning and participation in undergraduate research, internships and other high impact practices, staff improvements in student services, and other programs that enhance student success and advance UC Merced’s goals for equity, justice, and inclusive excellence.
• An academic record meriting appointment at the level of Professor or Teaching Professor at the University of California, Merced.
• Relevant leadership experience (e.g., as a dean, associate dean, department chair, in a senate leadership role, or as a center director or equivalent).
• Demonstrated ability to create an inclusive environment within a unit and in cross-campus settings.
• Exceptional organizational, written, and oral communication skills; excellent political acumen, diplomacy, and negotiation skills.
• Demonstrated acumen in budgetary and financial affairs.
• Experience in garnering extramural funding for research or teaching.
• A commitment to exploring the use of information technologies, online education, and technology-enhanced pedagogies (including artificial intelligence) for improved student learning and success.
• Ability to work across colleges and units to bring stakeholders together in pursuit of campus-wide goals, including extramural funding opportunities from federal and state agencies, foundations, and donors to enhance teaching, learning and student success.
• Ability to continuously measure the effectiveness of programs designed to enhance teaching, learning and student success, and to engage with other institutions to further the development and implementation of best practices in these areas.
• Ability to work effectively as a member of a leadership team.
• Ability to proactively identify and resolve organizational problems; excellent skills in analytic and strategic thinking
• Demonstrated dedication to leading an equitable and inclusive workplace and fostering the success of a diverse student body.
• Proven collaboration abilities in a complex and/or decentralized environment with various stakeholders in order to achieve support for and move forward projects and initiatives through relationship building, motivation, influence, and transparency.
• Strong management ability to lead, assess, and support professional staff, to motivate subordinate management to develop and achieve goals in alignment with mission.
• Experience fostering interdisciplinary research and education
• Experience working with the Academic Senate, preferably in a leadership role.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion. Please review the UC Merced Diversity Statement Guidelines and UC’s Commitment to Diversity

  • Statement of Research & Teaching

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
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About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced is committed to interdisciplinary excellence in research and teaching as well as to diversity, equity and inclusion. Ranked as one of the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements. This includes the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs:

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