Dean, Faculty of Arts

Dean, Faculty of Arts{


The opportunity

On its 42-acre campus in the south end of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Saint Mary’s University (SMU) has evolved into a modern, secular, and metropolitan university with the strong traditions of accessibility and community engagement. SMU has a well-established commitment to cultural diversity and encourages and supports the development of a global perspective, developed on campus in the student body, the curriculum, and in teaching, research, and staff communities.

Home to more than 7,000 students from over 115 countries who are enrolled during the academic year and summer sessions, across the Faculties of Arts, Science, Business, Education, and Graduate Studies & Research, and with over 50,000 alumni worldwide, SMU is the second-largest university in Nova Scotia. SMU offers undergraduate degrees, Masters, and PhD programs, in its areas of strengths in the humanities, business, social sciences, and the natural sciences. The university is ranked highly in Canada for research; receiving over $10M annually from external funding sources and is home to eight Canada Research Chairs.

The Faculty of Arts is a vibrant community with 100 full-time faculty, over 2,200 undergraduate students and 9 Graduate programs (including PhD in International Development Studies). The Faculty is home to 11 academic departments, the widest selection of humanities and social science disciplines in the Maritimes. The Faculty is highly interdisciplinary, has a strong research focus and a commitment to graduate students prepared with skills for a promising future. It is the only university in Atlantic Canada to offer a co-op program for all of the Arts majors, along with a plethora of service-learning and international opportunities. Researchers study a diverse range of topics, with a growing focus on community-engaged research and social justice.

It is within this context that Saint Mary’s invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean, Faculty of Arts commencing July 1, 2021, or soon after.

Reporting to the Vice-President, Academic and Research, the Dean of Arts is the Faculty’s lead academic and administrative officer, and a key member of the university’s senior leadership team. The Dean of Arts promotes excellence in teaching and learning, the student experience, and research activities, all while overseeing the Faculty’s financial operations, advancement activities, and community relations and partnerships. The Dean will advocate for and promote the interests of humanities and social sciences and foster a collegial, innovative, and inclusive environment in which world-class research, excellence in teaching and engaged scholarship flourish, and where students, faculty and staff thrive.

Candidates must be accomplished scholars with a record of research achievements, teaching excellence, and academic administrative experience. Candidates must hold a PhD in a related field and be appointable at the rank of full professor. As the ideal candidate, you will support the Faculty in both traditional disciplines and in new and interdisciplinary fields of study across the breadth of its programs and interdisciplinary programs. You will provide sound leadership, and work with faculty, staff and students to build a new strategic plan and bold vision aimed at implementing meaningful institutional change, prioritizing Arts and diverse peoples and knowledges. You have demonstrably advocated for diversity, equity, and inclusion and foster a safe, accessible, and inclusive environment in your institution. The Dean must be collaborative in style to build upon the interdisciplinary nature of the Faculty. The Faculty particularly encourages applications from candidates who are able to contribute to the Indigenization of the curriculum and the University.

The appointment of the Dean is for a five-year renewable term commencing July 1, 2021, or shortly after. Consideration of candidates will begin immediately.

To apply or explore this academic leadership position at Saint Mary’s University further, please contact Jane Griffith ( and Sam Walton ( 

At Saint Mary’s University equity and diversity are integral to excellence and enrich our community. As an institution committed to fostering an environment of inclusion and respect, we welcome applications from women, Indigenous peoples, racialized persons/visible minorities, persons with disabilities and others who might contribute to the growth and enrichment of our community.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. If you require accommodations during the recruitment process, please contact Human Resources at

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