Dean, Lyle School of Engineering

  • Southern Methodist University
  • Dallas, TX, USA
  • Nov 10, 2022
Full time Engineering & Applied Sciences Deans & Directors

Job Description


Southern Methodist University

Search for the Dean, Lyle School of Engineering

Dallas, Texas


Southern Methodist University (SMU), the premier private university in North Texas, seeks an inspirational and entrepreneurial leader to serve as the next Dean for the Lyle School of Engineering. This is an exciting opportunity to build a world-class engineering school that is integral to the success of a dynamic university with the size and alacrity to seize new opportunities. SMU is entering the second year of a $1.5 billion campaign to attract and support outstanding students and faculty, to explore new fields with cutting-edge research empowered by future-facing technologies, and to positively impact Dallas and the world beyond. With appointment beginning as early as the spring 2023 semester, the new Dean will have the opportunity to refine and implement Lyle’s strategic vision for future excellence.


With the support of the Provost and a resourceful and deeply invested Board of Trustees, Executive Board, and alumni, the new Dean will oversee the region’s pre- eminent private engineering school. Lyle faculty feature numerous recipients of national and international awards and distinctions. Lyle alumni constitute a strong and well-connected leadership network within a broad range of engineering careers. The Lyle School is committed to the success of a diverse student body: currently 39% of its undergraduate students, 35% of its masters students, and 14% of its doctoral students are students of color and approximately 45% are female.


The Lyle School is one of the university’s largest beneficiaries of the multi-million dollar investment in high performance computing technology and research support. SMU’s NVIDIA DGX superpod, with 100 petaflops of supercomputing power, is a stellar tool for research and positions SMU as world class in terms of next generation AI, AR and VR capabilities. Lyle is working in collaboration with the Cox School of Business and the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences to establish a new Statistics and Data Science Department that will support current emerging on-campus activities in data science. This includes a new Ph.D. in data science, which is scheduled to launch next year. Coupling these investments and developments with 12 faculty searches underway that will form a data science cluster hire in fall 2023 and an endowed data science director position to be filled next year, SMU is well positioned for a bright future in data science with Lyle faculty at the hub.


A landmark $100M gift from the Moody foundation further established the importance of research and graduate education to SMU. Through this gift, SMU launched the Moody School for Graduate and Advanced Studies in fall 2020 and the school is well positioned, both now and in the future, to support graduate studies throughout SMU’s degree-granting schools.


The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (“DFW”), the fourth largest metropolitan area in the U. S., is an ideal location for an engineering school to provide research with impact. Dubbed the “Silicon Prairie,” DFW has become a magnet for company headquarters over the past decade, with 140 headquarters relocations to the region from across the U.S. and abroad, including more than 45 companies moving from California. The Metroplex has surpassed Chicago as the top headquarters location for Fortune 500 companies: 22 now make DFW  their home.




Preferred and Required Qualifications

SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering seeks in its new Dean a prominent and established scholar and academic leader who will be a visible, credible, and effective advocate and promoter for the school, while also overseeing new program development and providing expertise and service in realizing SMU’s ambition to gain Carnegie Classification as a Research I (R1) university. Candidates must possess a Ph.D. or D. Eng., at least five years of experience in academic leadership, and a record of research and scholarship commensurate with the Lyle School’s criteria for tenure at the full professor rank. Competitive candidates will evidence experience in or aptitude for building and growing collaborative and sustainable academic programs; energizing and motivating faculty, staff, and students; engaging and stewarding alumni; cultivating corporate and philanthropic supporters; and realizing institutional commitments to diversity and inclusion. Applications should demonstrate the candidate’s readiness to pursue collaboration across SMU’s other academic units and to lead an engineering school that nurtures high affinity among all its constituents. An aptitude and appetite for generating and sustaining online programs, developing innovative custom academic programs in coordination with corporate partners, capital and facilities fundraising, and raising endowments for named faculty chairs, scholarships, and public interest funding, will be essential to success in this deanship.


Application Details

Southern Methodist University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search:


Greg Esposito, Partner

Debbie Schreiber, Associate

Isaacson, Miller


SMU will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, education activity, or admissions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX1 Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, including the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title IX. The Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

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