Job ID: 196907

Associate Dean for Research

Tennessee Technological University

  • Oct. 13, 2022
  • Associate Dean for Research
  • College of Engineering Dean's Office
  • Tennessee Technological University
    Cookeville, TN
  • Open Until Filled
  • Jul. 1, 2023
  • Associate/Assistant Dean
  • Engineering - Other

Tennessee Tech University (Tech) is seeking an Associate Dean for Research to join a rapidly growing College of Engineering. This position reports directly to the Dean of the College and will play a pivotal role in fostering growth in research and graduate education.

About the College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech

Rated one of the best public universities in the South by a variety of reports and rankings, Tennessee Tech is a public research university classified as R2: Doctoral University with High Research activity and is the state’s only technological university. The College of Engineering is rated a top engineering program in Tennessee by U.S. News & World Report and has a remarkable trajectory in research and graduate education across the state. As the largest college within the university, it has a total enrollment of 2,700 students, seven academic departments, three research centers of excellence, and awards nearly a quarter of the total engineering and computer science degrees from the state’s nine public universities annually. The College offers seven graduate programs and one interdisciplinary doctoral program.

The college is poised for growth in research and enrollment as it adds two new buildings comprising 180,000-square feet to the campus’s engineering corridor: The Ashraf Islam Engineering Building, currently under construction; and the Advanced Construction and Manufacturing Building, planned to break ground in 2024.

The College set a record for total research and development awards in recent years with a current total of $16M in research funding in the last academic year from multiple agencies including National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Air Force Research Laboratory, etc. Three faculty members were successful in securing NSF CAREER awards just in the last academic year.

The College enjoys tremendous support from the State of Tennessee, which has extended substantial strategic investment for the college, support for the two new engineering buildings, annual allocation for establishment and maintenance of a supercomputer in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, doubled annual investment in the Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC), and allocated annual funds in support of the graduate program.

Tennessee Tech is in Cookeville, which was voted the number one greatest affordable college town in the country by Great Values Colleges. Centrally located in Tennessee— approximately 82 miles east of Nashville, 109 miles west of Knoxville, 96 miles north of Chattanooga, and within an hour of 10 state parks—Tech is right in the middle of everything the state has to offer.

Job Responsibilities

The Associate Dean for Research will play an integral and strategic role in providing leadership to advance the quality and stature of the college’s research programs; empowering the faculty and students to achieve prominence; and forging innovative programmatic, educational, and research partnerships both internally and externally. The Associate Dean for Research is expected to:

  • Increase the college's research stature and funding by developing and implementing strategies such as:
    • Developing external and internal partnerships that lead to funding for larger strategic initiatives, especially multi-million, multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary grants;
    • Working with Vice President for Research in interacting with federal funding agencies, and other external constituents;
    • Coordinating programs to promote and recognize research and innovation activities within the college;
    • Providing direction and supervision to the college's centers;
    • Developing mechanisms to identify potential research funding sources (e.g., DoE, DoD, NSF, NASA, federal government, industry, local contracts, public-private partnerships, etc.);
    • Mentoring faculty to develop strategic research initiatives in response to emerging opportunities;
    • Assisting new faculty through engagement and mentorship to establish successful research programs and submit significant research proposals (e.g., NSF CAREER);
    • and supporting faculty in technology transfer and other entrepreneurial activities.
    • Oversee the graduate programs and supporting staff affiliated. Conduct benchmarking against aspirational peers and improve the college’s graduate education stature through strategic efforts. Lead/coordinate the annual evaluation of the graduate programs and generate assessment reports.
    • Provide leadership in effective utilization of college research space and facilities including allocation and renovation.
    • Maintain an appropriate level of teaching and externally funded research activity.

Minimum Qualifications

Earned doctorate or tenured professorship in engineering or computer science discipline closely related to one of the disciplines offered by the College of Engineering at TN Tech; qualified for a faculty appointment at the rank of professor in one of the academic departments in the College; experience in supervising the research of graduate students through a Ph.D.; proven track record of obtaining research funding from multiple major federal agencies such as NSF, DoE and DoD; working knowledge of government and industrial funding sources; proven ability in forming successful research teams and commitment to working collaboratively with people from a diverse range of disciplines and groups; demonstrated commitment to affirmative action and equal opportunity; and superior communication skills and strong interpersonal skills to work effectively with students, faculty, staff, and administrators of the university and external constituents.

Preferred Qualifications

Knowledge of, and experience in, fiscal management and compliance in the oversight of grants, contracts, and major research programs; success as a leader of a department, college, or university level initiative; experience to identify opportunities, establish priorities, and lead innovative strategic efforts critical to the success of the college's research programs; knowledge and experience in managing intellectual property rights and entrepreneurial opportunities including a record of entrepreneurial attainment; experience in planning, implementing, and sustaining comprehensive research centers or programs; experience leading major research thrusts including conducting efforts, obtaining resources and building teams; ability to engage in an appropriate level of teaching and externally funded research activity.


Complete position summary and application procedure available at The application screening date is January 10th, 2022; Open until filled.


  • Tennessee Tech is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.


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