Deerfield Academy invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of Academic Affairs
About Deerfield Academy
Chartered in 1797, Deerfield Academy is an independent secondary school that is home to 660 students in grades 9-12. Located in Western Massachusetts, Deerfield is committed to high standards of scholarship, citizenship, and personal responsibility. Through a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, extensive co-curricular program, and supportive residential environment, the Academy encourages each student to develop an inquisitive and creative mind, sound body, and strong moral character. This deep commitment to the student experience is exemplified by Deerfield’s 136 faculty, most of whom live on campus. The student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1.
Set in a historic village bounded by river, hills, and farms, Deerfield inspires reflection, study and play, abiding friendships, and a defining school spirit. A vibrant, ethical community that embraces diversity, the Academy prepares students for leadership in a rapidly changing world that requires global understanding, environmental stewardship, and dedication to service.
About the Role
Reporting to the Head of School, the Dean of Academic Affairs will lead the educational efforts of the Academy. In addition to coordinating the work of the academic departments, the Dean of Academic Affairs will also oversee the Center for Service & Global Citizenship, the Library, College Advising, and the Office of Academic Affairs.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
Guidance of Academic Program
- Develop and oversee the Academy’s academic program, including the learning that happens both inside and outside the classroom;
- Guide the development and implementation of an effective curriculum, including optimal selection of modes of assessments, grading systems, tutoring and support, and policy to promote student cognitive development;
- Create and deliver out-of-class learning experiences that encourage students to adopt a scholarly perspective on the world, such as Deerfield Forums;
- Work with the Head of School to ensure that the Academy’s academic program best serves the students and allows the Academy to be distinctive;
- Manage and chair committees that determine all curriculum matters for the Academy, including the Curriculum Committee, to ensure the development and integrity of the highest quality academic program;
- Act as a liaison among parents, students, faculty, and trustees on academic issues;
- Supervise periodic department review processes, developing an effective template and process to promote best practices and collaboration;
- Work with the Head of School, Dean of Faculty and Strategy, and Dean of Teaching and Learning to develop a newly instituted Professional Learning Committee an annual calendar of sustained professional learning that supports a diverse array of students;
- Develop supportive, sustained process of appraisal and evaluation for academic departmental Chairs;
- Facilitate an annual Chair Symposium to support and develop the work of academic departmental Chairs;
- Lead the Curriculum Committee and promote curricular and instructional leadership among academic departmental Chairs.
Leadership in Academic Affairs
- Manage overall work performance, objectives, reviews, and career development of employees in Academic Affairs, Library, Center for Service & Global Citizenship, and College Advising.
- Supervise, develop, assign salaries for and assess performance of the following direct reports:
- The Dean of Studies, to oversee operational aspects of the Academic curriculum, including academic integrity and academic policy implementation and updating.
- The Dean of Teaching and Learning to ensure Deerfield Academy offers an inclusive curricular program by leading efforts of curricular innovation on behalf of students, and proactively designing and delivering a curriculum of professional learning for teachers.
- The Manager of Student Information Systems, to ensure the creation, maintenance, and auditing of academic student-related information systems and supervising tasks like course requests, grades and comments, transcript generation, etc.
- The Director of Academic Support, to support students with learning disabilities, temporary health issues, and those who are experiencing academic difficulty, providing clarity for Academy policy on accommodations.
- The Administrative Assistant to Academic Affairs, to leverage effective departmental and campus communication and organization, according to academy goals and priorities, including Academic calendar creation and timely distribution of programmatic information to students, teachers, and guardians.
- The Director of Educational Initiatives, Director of the Center for Service & Global Citizenship, to forward the Academy’s Mission by directing the Center for Service and Global Citizenship and overseeing the development and direction of summer programs, including exploring experiential modes of learning, while ensuring coherence with the core of our program.
- The Director of the Library, to oversee the day-to-day operations of the library and manage the staff and program in service of the curricular program of the Academy.
- The Dean of College Advising to assist and educate students and parents about the college application process, including ensuring that colleges understand the value of our program and the capabilities of our graduates.
- An understanding of Deerfield’s distinctive history as one of the nation’s leading residential boarding schools
- Bachelor’s Degree required; Master’s Degree preferred
- 5 – 7 years of combined experience teaching and leading or influencing other teachers
- 3 – 5 years of administrative experience, particularly in academic environments
- Demonstrated commitment to inclusion and viewpoint diversity
- A demonstrated capacity to think strategically and lead professional development efforts
- An exceptional ability to connect with people, work in teams, and establish partnerships with third parties
- A relentlessly student-centered approach to teaching and learning
- Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
- Experience in 9-12 schools and/or college or university settings
- Possess a high degree of energy and flexibility
- Demonstrated success in strategic planning and future-oriented initiatives, as well as previous experience in a curricular review/program analysis
- Broad understanding of and curiosity about the research on high-impact educational practices, including inclusive classroom practice, assessment, and instructional design
- Excellent leadership and communication skills
- Ability to manage and have sensitivity with highly confidential information
- Superior interpersonal, organizational, and managerial skills
- Ability to work effectively with all levels of a socially and culturally rich and diverse independent school, ultimately serving as a role model to promote a positive and productive work climate
- Experienced mentor with the capacity to cultivate new skillsets and mindsets of teachers
- Ability to use data and information effectively in planning and decision-making
- Ability to multi-task effectively
The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated track record of building successful partnerships with faculty, students, and parents; constructing productive learning environments, which support critical thinking and reasoned constructive dialogue; and maintaining an active awareness of the dynamic secondary education landscape, positioning Deerfield to lead and be distinctive.
Anticipated Search Calendar
Application Deadline: 1/4/2022
Semifinalist Interviews: 1/20/22-1/22/22
Finalist Visits: 1/31/22 – 2/4/22
Starting Date: July 1, 2022
Application Requirements and Search Process
DRG Talent Advisory Group is conducting this search on behalf of Deerfield Academy. To discuss this opportunity in more detail, contact our lead consultants:
Andrew Watson Jennifer Fleischer
Search Consultant Search Consultant
Candidates should submit, as soon as possible, materials including the following:
- A cover letter indicating why they are particularly interested in and qualified for the position.
- A current resume.
- A statement of leadership philosophy.
- The names, email addresses, telephone numbers of five references, to include the relationship with the references. (We will obtain permission from candidates, at the finalist stage, before contacting references.)
- Optional: other supporting material (articles, speeches, videos, or letters of recommendation) that would be useful to the Search Committee.
Candidates should upload materials directly on the DRG website by visiting the Deerfield Academy listing at DRG (drgsearch.com).