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Dean of Academic Innovation

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South Mountain Community College is seeking an innovative, collaborative and visionary Dean of Academic Innovation. This position reports to the Vice President of Learning (chief academic officer) and develops, administers and evaluates instructional programs and services for the main campus, extended campus, off-site and virtual online offerings. The dean will pursue new and enhanced programs to meet the diverse needs of the student body, including diversifying programs. Additional focus is on expanding workforce development and expansion of Career and Technical Education areas to maximize opportunities for the community. The dean serves as a liaison to faculty and administration to create a cohesive, collaborative and rewarding teamwork environment.


New Initiatives, Innovation and Business Partnerships. Champions new initiatives with community and business and leverages resources with grants, community partners, K-12 school districts, business and industry, and university leaders to promote and implement academic innovation.

Collaborative Partnerships. Provides collaborative and collegial leadership with faculty, administration and staff, and gains buy-in with authentic, transparent and honest communication. Advocates for and achieves commitments to collegial, consultative processes of shared governance, community outreach, and workforce program development.

Academic Program Effectiveness and Success. Plans, directs, oversees and evaluates the curriculum programs/services, classroom-based courses and online/hybrid course delivery, working in close collaboration with the college’s five division chairs and with a variety of constituents to develop and design curriculum program review and the preparation of the master class schedule.  Assists in the development, review and implementation of budgets. Provides leadership in the development of creative class scheduling and program development to better meet the needs of students, thereby making courses more accessible.


  • Facilitating the implementation of MCCCD Transformation and Guided Pathways work has started and will impact various aspects of our work
  • Expanding core competencies such as the Early College Programs to maximize outreach and increase overall enrollment in these areas
  • Create bridges and innovate with the Native American tribes specifically with focus on each tribe’s needs
  • Collaborates with Vice President of Learning and faculty leadership to plan and facilitate college-wide initiatives
  • Expand workforce development in a new facility and proactively pursue diversified programming
  • Explore expansion of online learning modality through the eLearning committee


  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution
  • Four (4) years of increasingly responsible instructional, administrative leadership experience in a higher education institution, including at least two years supervision and evaluation of faculty
  • Three (3) or more years of post-secondary teaching experience
  • Experience in virtual learning/online learning
  • Experience in accreditation, curriculum development and delivery formats, assessment, and instructional program evaluation
  • Experience with either transfer education or career and technical/occupational education programs


  • Earned doctorate in higher education leadership or related field from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution
  • Three (3) or more years of virtual learning, virtual campus and online administration
  • Full time teaching experience, especially at a community college
  • Experience with Student Success initiatives such as Guided Pathways, Early College, Dual Enrollment, TRIO
  • Experience serving minority students and traditionally under-served populations
  • Experience in starting new academic or workforce development programs
  • Successful leadership experience establishing and maintaining effective relationships with K-12, 4-year institutions (articulation agreements), community, and business and industry partnerships
  • Experience with Gallup’s StrengthsQuest assessment in credit and non-credit student success programming within higher education
  • Demonstrated experience with and support of Shared Governance as a college-wide decision-making model, accustomed to data-informed decisions
  • Experience working with Native American programs and Tribal education/government
  • Curriculum development experience
  • Interest-based negotiation experience
  • Visionary, transformational leadership that is collegial, innovative, entrepreneurial, motivating, ethical, high integrity, authentic, optimistic, and collaborative
  • Ability to empower the creativity and talent of the academic affairs division

All inquiries, nominations and expressions of interest are confidential and are to be directed to the search consultant. Do not apply through the District job portal. While the position is open until filled, applications received by the soft deadline of March 31 are guaranteed full consideration. 602-553-1066 Marti J. Cizek, President Cizek Associates, Inc. 2415 East Camelback Road, Suite 700 Phoenix AZ  85016

A complete application includes (email transmissions strongly encouraged):

  • Chronological resume
  • Letter of interest aligning experience with the Position Profile
  • References (6 minimum to include direct telephone and email)

South Mountain Community College and the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) are EEO/AA institutions and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

Now – March 31, 2019 Recruitment and advertising. March 31 is the soft application deadline and while the position is open until filled, materials received by this date are guaranteed full consideration.

Week of April 22 Semifinal Candidate Interviews. This is a confidential search process and the identities of those who are interviewed at this time remain confidential – forever.

Early May, 2019 Candidates will be on-site and will participate in a range of activities and meetings including the search committee, direct reports, hiring supervisor, and public forum. Feedback forms will be available.

July 1, 2019 Desired start date of successful candidate.

Role of the Search Committee? The Search Committee’s role includes assistance in identifying and encouraging candidates to apply for the position. The committee develops interview questions, interviews semifinal candidates selected from those recommended by the search firm, and recommends two or more preferred candidates to the College Chief Academic Officer (Vice President of Learning).

Search Committee Composition? The Search Committee is composed of those who represent various constituencies of South Mountain Community College. Every possible effort has been made to ensure that the Search Committee accurately reflects the college community at large.

Is South Mountain Community College using a search consultant? The college has retained Cizek Associates, Inc. as its search consulting firm. Cizek Associates is a national retained executive search and assessment firm headquartered in Phoenix, with additional Midwest and West Coast offices. Serving private and public sector client organizations, the firm has both higher education and private sector specialty practices, which are limited to the recruitment of senior level administrators.

Search Firm Contact Information: Cizek Associates, Inc. 602-553-1066 Marti J. Cizek, President

Why is the College using a search firm? South Mountain Community College is using a search firm for a number of reasons including assistance in identifying and proactively recruiting talented candidates for the Dean of Academic Innovation position – especially those candidates who are not currently looking for a new position – and in screening and evaluating potential candidates in partnership with the Search Committee. The search firm also assists with many other aspects of the search process, including the development of the Position Profile, advertising and recruitment materials, search process timeline, document preparation, assistance to the Search Committee in the execution of its responsibilities, the evaluation of potential candidates, and thorough background and reference checking.

All inquiries regarding this search are to be directed to the search firm whose responsibility it is to identify and attract the best possible candidates for the position, respond to all nominations and advertising inquiries, screen and evaluate backgrounds and credentials guided by the Position Profile and make recommendations to the Search Committee regarding those candidates best qualified for the Dean of Academic Innovation position.

What will the Search Committee and the search consultant do to ensure a diverse candidate pool? South Mountain Community College and Cizek Associates are committed to identifying a diverse pool of candidates. Cizek Associates has a rich diversity network, has experience and a strong track record recruiting diverse candidates, and will provide critical access for any successful diversity recruitment effort.

How does someone apply for the position? The soft application deadline is March 31, 2019. View the Position Profile and How to Apply, which contains all application information.

How do you nominate someone for the position? Please get your nominations, recommendations and referrals to the search firm in advance of the application deadline. You may nominate someone for the position by providing his/her name and contact information to the search consultant. The search firm will then contact the individual and discuss the position using the position profile as a guide and assess the person as a potential candidate. All nominations will be treated with the level of confidentiality requested by the person offering the nomination, recommendation or referral. This means you can nominate someone anonymously.

How will we know how the search is progressing? This is a confidential search process. Confidentiality ensures the integrity of the search and provides the search firm the greatest flexibility in attracting the widest range of qualified candidates for the position. Please refer periodically to this search website for any important updates.

The work of the Search Committee is also confidential and members will not be able to share with you details of their meetings and discussions, but will respectfully refer you to this website.

All inquiries should be directed to the search consultant.

Where is the position being advertised? College and District websites The Chronicle of Higher Education Diverse Issues in Higher Education

EEO Statement The committee will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information or veteran status when making screening or selection decisions. Diverse and inclusive, the District encourages interest from all protected class applicants.

Confidentiality Maricopa Community College Board Policy (6 A 12) on Ethics states “employees are responsible and accountable for their personal and professional actions as they carry out their assignments.”

Information pertaining to the employee selection process is confidential. Discussion of committee deliberations and determinations with anyone other than fellow committee members and authorized administrators is considered professionally unethical.

It is recommended that you refer applicant or media inquiries regarding employment processes to your Employee Services representative.

Non-Relative Association Committee members should present any relationship/knowledge of an applicant to the committee for complete disclosure. If by virtue of a current or former friendship or other association with an applicant, a committee member cannot consider all applicants fairly and impartially, the member should not participate in the selection proceedings.

Hiring of Relatives An employee may not initiate or participate in any institutional decision involving a direct benefit to a member or members of his/her immediate family (Board Policy 13.1), including serving as the immediate supervisor. Such involvements include, but are not limited to, participating in recommendations regarding initial employment, retention, or promotion.

CONSULTANTS Cizek Associates, Inc. 602-553-1066 Marti J. Cizek, President

South Mountain Community College (SMCC) is a comprehensive community college offering transfer, general education, and a range of programs and certificates that address workforce needs, reflecting the diversity of the surrounding community – a rich mix of rural, urban, and suburban neighborhoods. Students arrive from Phoenix, Laveen, Tempe, Guadalupe and the surrounding areas to attend classes at the main campus or the additional site in Guadalupe. Approximately 6,000 students are enrolled at SMCC, with more than 75 percent of these students identifying as a minority. As such, SMCC has been federally designated as a Minority Serving and Hispanic Serving Institution. Small, personalized classes are offered days, evenings and online, and are led by an engaged and accomplished faculty with career and academic counseling to enhance a holistic student experience. SMCC is a Strengths-Based Institution, helping students first determine their own personal strengths, and then strategizing with them to maximize those strengths within academic and career choices. Unique, noteworthy and/or nationally recognized programs include the Story Telling Institute, the Foundations Academy, the growing fields of Network Security, Programming, the Bilingual Nursing Fellowship Program, Early College, and the Community Entrepreneurship Center. SMCC is the founding college within the District of the ACE program. The award-winning South Mountain Community Library is a state-of-the-art facility created in partnership with the City of Phoenix. SMCC is an active participant in the HLC Open Pathways process for reaffirmation of accreditation in 2019-20. The college is widely known as being an open and friendly institution. It is a college with a big heart – welcoming, engaging and helpful.

Recently, student engagement at South Mountain scored above the national benchmark in all five areas: active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction, and support for learners, with the largest increase in academic challenge and student-faculty interaction. The Aspen Institute has named SMCC a Top 150 Community College for three consecutive years. The college has been a Bellwether Award Finalist for its Developmental Education Initiative and Community Entrepreneurship Center/Initiative.

SMCC is a Maricopa Community Colleges institution. The Maricopa County Community College District (Maricopa and the District) is the premier community college district in the nation, consistently cited for innovation and best practices. Known widely as the Maricopa Community Colleges, the system was created in 1962 and has grown to become one of the largest community college districts in the United States with ten individually accredited Colleges and numerous educational centers, all dedicated to educational excellence, student success and meeting the education and work force needs of businesses and citizens of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area which includes university transfer and general education, workforce and economic development, developmental education, community development and civic/global engagement. Eight Maricopa Community Colleges are named among the Aspen Institute’s top 150 community colleges in the United States, the signature acknowledgment of high achievement and performance recognizing exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earning, and access and success for minority and low-income students of which South Mountain Community College is a recipient.