New York University (NYU), a preeminent global research university, seeks a dynamic and visionary leader to serve as the next dean of the Tandon School of Engineering (NYU Tandon).
Excellence in engineering, science, and technology is core to NYU's mission to be a top international center of scholarship, teaching, and research, and NYU's new president, Dr. Linda Mills, has made clear that investing in science and technology will be one of her four strategic pathways for the future. In 2022, NYU celebrated a collective investment of $1 billion in the Tandon School of Engineering, which has been underway and continues to fund ground-breaking facilities improvements and faculty expansion. President Mills' subsequent announcement signals that additional opportunities and resources for NYU in the realm of engineering, science, and technology are on the horizon. The school is already on an impressive upward trajectory towards becoming an enduring force at the top of engineering. The next dean will arrive at this propitious moment to develop the vision for the future that identifies key niches where NYU Tandon has a strategic advantage, opportunities to build on existing areas of excellence, and the ability to lead the field. NYU Tandon's distinctive assets include its formidable strengths in emerging technologies and entrepreneurship, collaborative activities across the largest private research university in the world, and its location in the heart of Brooklyn's booming tech scene combined with NYU's global reach. New York City's potential to catalyze new partnerships and attract major investment in transformative initiatives is unrivaled, and NYU Tandon strives to leverage these opportunities and its urban identity to achieve a new level of impact. The dean will inspire the internal community and rally external champions of NYU Tandon and NYU more broadly around the mandate to build a distinctive and world-class urban science and technology ecosystem that is a magnet for talent to NYU and makes it a preferred partner for academic institutions, industry, and government.
The roots of NYU Tandon date back to 1854, the founding year for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute, making NYU Tandon the nation's second-oldest school of engineering and technology. The school has been on a remarkable journey since Polytechnic University completed its integration with NYU in 2014. NYU Tandon has experienced a dramatic rise in rankings, research, and student profile. Recent accomplishments include:
Ascending more than 40 places in the US News and World Report and 20 places in the international QS graduate engineering rankings;
Growing research expenditures over the last decade, now totaling $56.6 million (FY22), a 441% increase, with an average annual expenditure per faculty of $595,000;
Generating remarkable student interest that has substantially improved admissions and student success metrics in the past five years: undergraduate applications are up 97%, admit rates have dropped to 9.1%, while average SAT scores have risen 180 points. Six-year graduation rates have increased by 9%. Graduate applications are up 69%, including a doubling of PhD applications;
Dramatically expanding opportunities for student engagement in project-based curricular offerings in research and entrepreneurship and student participation in global opportunities;
Launching a public-private partnership, the Future Labs, in 2009, between NYU Tandon and New York City, which has supported more than 350 startups, seen close to 50 acquisitions and more than $3.25 billion in capital raised, had three companies go public, created more than 5,000 new jobs, and injected over $5.5 billion into the local economy; and
Leading one of the largest K-12 STEM education centers in the country, serving nearly 600 middle and high school students from underrepresented backgrounds annually through project- based learning initiatives.
NYU Tandon is poised to attain new heights, and the dean must be a bold and creative leader to seize opportunities unique to New York City and around the globe. The school is an incredibly dynamic institution that fosters invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and the dean will work with a dedicated community to define the next chapter of its reinvention. One example of creative energy at NYU Tandon is the exciting new partnership, developed in 2022, between NYU and KAIST (the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) to offer dual degree programs and stimulate joint research programs, faculty and student exchanges, entrepreneurial activity, and industrial partnerships. Even more recently, NYU announced a relationship with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur to engage in joint research in areas like cybersecurity and AI. The NYU Tandon dean will also have the opportunity to promote excellence and innovation in collaboration with NYU's other excellent schools and colleges and across campuses within its unique global network, as well as meaningfully engage industrial and corporate partners in collaborative research and educational initiatives. In Brooklyn, where it is the anchor tenant of the Brooklyn Commons (formerly known as the MetroTech Center), one of the largest urban academic- industrial research parks in the United States, NYU Tandon benefits from unprecedented outside investment in the technology sector and numerous incubators nurturing startup activity.
The new dean will be a compelling external champion who can broadcast the transformational story of NYU Tandon to the world. With an ambitious agenda ahead, NYU Tandon is looking for a dean who will be energized by the numerous opportunities to forge partnerships and develop philanthropic resources to continue its ascent. The dean will be aided in resource development by the central development office but will play a vital role in generating resources for the strategic plan. In the tenure of the new dean, NYU Tandon will utilize its nimble and inventive culture to become a model for the field by redefining modern engineering education in an urban context, capitalizing on opportunities for cutting-edge programming, and leading the field in research and educational excellence, all while providing unparalleled opportunity and access to a broad and diverse student body.
NYU TANDON SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
NYU Tandon's rise in research, eminence, and impact has been unparalleled. It has jumped 43 spots in the US News and World Report rankings from #80 to #37 in a span of 16 years.
NYU Tandon strives to be a world-class engineering school that puts students first and is a hub for lifelong learning. It supports a culture of inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity (IDBE) that nurtures critical thinkers, entrepreneurs, inventors, and makers and serves as an engine of innovation for Brooklyn and New York City. In 2019, NYU Tandon launched a strategic plan, "The Tandon Torch," organized around its commitment to world-class research, a student-centric culture, community engagement, and excellence in operations. The plan is focused on continuing the remarkable success story and transformation into a leading player in science and technology with a global societal impact. The plan supports research moonshots, fueling engineering breakthroughs in areas such as urban systems, wireless communications, cybersecurity, data science/AI/robotics, health, sustainability, and emerging media, all while leveraging its central position in the heart of Brooklyn and in New York City. These efforts will be enhanced by the opportunities to build in partnership with NYU's top-ten programs in business, education, law, math, and medicine, among others. For example, NYU Tandon's newest department, Biomedical Engineering, has core faculty who hold joint appointments in both the engineering and medical schools.
The global network at NYU also presents numerous opportunities that differentiate NYU Tandon. There is a particularly close strategic collaboration with the science and engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. Global sites and portal campuses spanning nearly every continent provide reach into educational and research activities around the world. NYU is synonymous with global activity, which has made it an obvious and sought-after partner for global universities. The new partnership between NYUand KAIST has opened the door to new relationships with industry and government, and the two institutions are laying the groundwork for a joint campus in New York City, KAIST's first in the United States. All of these pieces have created an exciting foundation for the next dean to advance the school significantly in the next decade.
The space and facilities at NYU Tandon have been undergoing major growth and renovation over the last several years, including major investments in infrastructure. Renovations are expected to continue for the foreseeable future as more modern designed research and education space will be necessary to fuel its growth. NYU Tandon primarily occupies space in or near the Brooklyn Commons in four owned buildings and several leased floors. The university recently acquired an additional 300,000 square-foot building (3 Metrotech) in the Brooklyn Commons that provides an opportunity to address several current space challenges at NYU Tandon. In addition, the burgeoning biomedical program occupies space in Brooklyn and in Manhattan on 1st Avenue along NYU's Health corridor. The school is also partnering with the Grossman School of Medicine in the development of shared laboratory space in Long Island City. The university's investment in Brooklyn has also attracted other schools and programs to the area, increasing NYU's presence and footprint across New York City and providing enhanced opportunities for interdisciplinary and interunit collaboration.
NYU's Office of the Provost and NYU Tandon commissioned a space planning study this past year, and the study identified the space needed to support the ten-year proposed faculty staffing plan and included an approach to optimize experimental, wet, dry, and computational lab space within existing space resources. The acquisition of 3 Metrotech also provides a specific opportunity to establish a "home away from home" for NYU students primarily enrolled at NYU Tandon and co-locate student-centric programming. This will include a modernized engineering library, increased dining facilities, student life and activity spaces, access to career services, and expanded areas to support experiential learning. The space plan presents an extraordinary fundraising opportunity for the new dean to work with University Development on a forthcoming capital campaign.
THE ROLE OF THE DEAN
Overseeing annual revenues of roughly $250 million, which is expected to grow significantly in coming years, the dean works closely with the school's vice and associate deans, department chairs, center directors, faculty, staff, students, and the NYU Tandon board to ensure the school's research and teaching activities continue on their upward trajectory. Tandon is still a relatively new part of the NYU ecosystem and is evolving rapidly, creating a unique opportunity for the next leader to shepherd the school to its next level of maturity and success. The next dean will have an outsized impact on the school and also on the development of science and technology at NYU more broadly. Reporting to the provost and the president, the dean will be a key strategic partner with the new administration to set the vision, strategy, and direction of NYU's bold investments in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), leveraging NYU's technical expertise and unrivaled depth and breadth in medicine, law, the social sciences, and fine and performing arts. Exceptional interpersonal skills will be critical as the dean rallies a broad set of constituents across a large, complex university environment around NYU Tandon's ambitious plans. The dean will harness the energy, resources, and existing strengths across the university to drive excellence and build partnerships and collaborations that span disciplines, units, and the globe. NYU currently operates on a modified responsibility centered management budget model in which the dean works closely with central university administration on the plans for Tandon's continued growth and success.
The next dean will position the school as an international presence and leader in engineering excellence both in New York City and globally. This will be evidenced by continued upward momentum in the rankings, expanded research endeavors, and translational discoveries, as well as partnerships with public and private entities in "Silicon Alley" and beyond that will offer opportunities for students and the research enterprise. The dean will leverage NYU's Global Network in addition to opportunities in Tandon's own backyard, with a density of startups, computing and engineering companies, as well as the financial sector in both Brooklyn and Manhattan.
KEY OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE DEAN
Set an innovative and ambitious vision for engineering excellence
The next dean will be a data-driven and strategic leader who can elevate the school's profile and amplify the impact of the NYU Tandon faculty and students. A successful leader will help identify the school's niche in the engineering landscape in an urban context, set out audacious goals, and rally the school community around its bright future. In doing so, the dean will bridge the school's rich history with abundant opportunities on the horizon, especially in emerging areas of technology. NYU Tandon's location near "Silicon Alley" is a distinctive asset that will be crucial to its ongoing success. In advancing excellence in research and impact, the dean will leverage connections across NYU in areas such as computing and biological sciences, among other fields, as well as collaborative partnerships with industry. Building relationships and providing value to the local community will be essential, as NYU Tandon should become even more of a resource for start-ups, entrepreneurial endeavors, and technology innovations happening in Brooklyn and the New York area broadly, as well as a go-to partner for the New York City administration. The dean will play a leading role and partner with other deans across NYU to engage technology experts, governmental leaders, and other academic institutions around a larger vision to reposition New York City as the center of the science and technology innovation ecosystem.
Accelerate growth and impact of cutting-edge research
The next dean will build on the impressive headway made in research activity. The opportunity to hire in areas of excellence will be critical to generating additional capacity as well as furthering industry research opportunities, large-scale federal programs, and state and local research activities. NYU Tandon is pursuing opportunities to seize new sponsored funding opportunities arising from the CHIPS and Science Act and other major national investments, and continuing to organize central strategies to pursue large- scale federal funding will be an ongoing priority. Additional investments in facilities and infrastructure will also stimulate the research programs. There are a number of joint research initiatives underway, and the dean will manage and facilitate additional partnerships with the Grossman School of Medicine, NYU Langone Health, the Courant Institute, the Center for Data Science, the Faculty of Arts and Science, and NYU Abu Dhabi, as well as KAIST, to bolster basic and applied research.
Develop, attract, and strategically steward resources
An important responsibility of the dean is to secure financial resources for the school. To sustain momentum, the school must continue to raise resources from the outside, beyond support from central administration, to fund the many programs, faculty, and facilities needs. The next dean will be a superb relationship builder and aggressive fundraiser, effectively communicating the power and impact of NYU Tandon to continue the school's positive philanthropic trajectory. The dean will team up with new leadership in NYU's development and alumni relations department to identify and cultivate alumni of NYU and Brooklyn Polytechnic, supporters of NYU, and the philanthropic community in New York City and Brooklyn who are drawn to the important work NYU Tandon is doing to stimulate tech in the region. The dean will be a compelling storyteller and bring the accomplishments and potential of NYU Tandon to the world. In addition to fundraising, the dean should pursue second engines of revenue generation in areas like executive education, global education, and continuous learning programs.
Be a magnet for top talent to recruit, retain, and develop exceptional faculty and staff
The next dean will oversee a period of extraordinary faculty hiring. The NYU Tandon faculty has undergone a large transition due to ongoing retirements, and combined with an influx of new lines, the dean will have an outsized impact on shaping the future identity of the school. Similar trends are present among NYU Tandon's staff, and the dean will need to ensure that the school has a high-performing team to deliver on its holistic mission. The dean will determine where to hire faculty, striking the right balance between growth in prioritized areas or special niches with a comprehensive plan to ensure all departments are supported and have a strong profile. The dean will need to consider hiring at all levels, including the creation of new endowed chair positions and other senior hires. Continued support for excellent administrative staff for Tandon's departments and programs is also critical. The dean will demonstrate exceptional judgment in faculty hiring and should pursue opportunities for joint appointments with other schools, where appropriate, and advance the goal of ensuring that the faculty and staff better reflect the diversity of the student population.
Advance and accelerate progress in inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity
The next dean will build on strides to enhance IDBE at NYU Tandon. The school is proud of its historic commitment to increasing access to science and technology education and careers. For example, its success in attracting women into engineering programs has positioned NYU Tandon as a national leader, but there still is more work to be done to increase representation of historically marginalized groups at the student, staff, and faculty levels. Beyond representation, the new dean will embrace and carry out a commitment to diversity as core to excellence. They will leverage new NSF AGEP and ADVANCE grants to sustain and enhance IDBE work, as well as support current programming while innovating and executing new initiatives to both attract and retain underrepresented populations in the NYU Tandon community. The dean will promote and uphold a culture of belonging on campus, ensuring that the research and educational experiences are broadly inclusive and welcoming. The dean is expected to bring a deep-seated commitment to IDBE and a record of successful action and courage, both personally and professionally, in this work. They should be a thought leader in word and action and bring a working theory of change to advancing IDBE grounded in a science and technology context.
Enhance the educational mission, student experience, and student success
The new dean will ensure that NYU Tandon has ample resources to enhance the educational experience and quality of life for its students. This includes attending to issues such as advising and support services, graduate student funding, and access to affordable housing. The dean will support student success initiatives at both the school and university levels to attract students, create space to support students on campus, allow for flexibility in the curriculum, and promote interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities. Continuing work to increase the graduation rate is a critical measure of success. The next dean will also explore novel pedagogies and ensure that the engineering curricula remain on the cutting edge of 21st-century global engineering.
The successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications, professional experiences, and personal attributes:
Creative and visionary leader with proven ability to execute ambitious goals and bring a forward-looking perspective on trends in science and technology;
An exemplary record of scholarly achievement;
Distinguished record of leadership impact and administrative accomplishments in a large, complex organization overseeing academic activities is preferred, and/or a record of outstanding professional achievement and extensive business experience in C-suite leadership;
Demonstrated ability to generate resources, including a strong record of fundraising from public and private sources and revenue generation;
Proven commitment to inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity, including the recruitment and retention of an excellent and diverse faculty, staff, and student population;
Evidence of ability to establish high-impact collaborations with industry, capitalizing on NYU's location in one of the most exciting urban centers in the world;
A collaborative champion and strong institutional citizen who will partner with the president, provost, deans, and others to stimulate cross-university programs and institutional innovation and impact;
Ability to develop, articulate, and communicate a clear vision for the future of research and education in engineering, science, and technology;
Ability to engage and inspire the NYU Tandon community, including cultivating a robust leadership team and fostering career development of faculty and staff; and
Demonstrated intellectual breadth and a record of promoting interdisciplinary activities and large-scale research programs.
NYU has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this important recruitment. Please direct all inquiries, nominations, and applications electronically and in confidence to:
John Muckle (he/him), Partner
Elizabeth Dorr Weithman (she/her), Managing Associate
Melissa DePretto Behan (she/her), Senior Associate Isaacson, Miller
In compliance with NYC's Pay Transparency Act, the annual base salary range for this position is $600,000 - $750,000 for a 12-month appointment. This pay range excludes any additional items such as incentives, bonuses, clinical compensation, or other items. New York University considers factors such as (but not limited to) scope and responsibilities of the position, candidate's work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, as well as market and organizational considerations when extending an offer.
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