Dean of Social Work

Updated: about 16 hours ago
Location: Garden City, NEW YORK
Job Type: FullTime


School of Social Work

Position Prospectus

A growing university with an inspiring mission to transform the lives of its students, Adelphi University, New York, has key elements for success in place: strong leadership, world-class faculty, a compelling strategic plan and an extraordinary commitment to diversity. Now we seek an inspirational new dean to lead our School of Social Work.

It’s an exciting time in the history of Adelphi University, New York. We recently earned five Best College honors from the latest U.S. News & World Report 2020 rankings: Best College, Best College for Social Mobility, Best College for Veterans, Best Value College and Best College for First-Year Experience. We have dramatically improved our position in recently released rankings from the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (up 43 spots), while remaining on the selective Forbes America’s Top Colleges list.

Adelphi’s dedication to diversity and inclusion is being nationally recognized, with two consecutive wins of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, one of just six colleges in the state of New York to be so honored for its innovations in diversity. Due to our innovative approach to mentoring for students of color, first-generation students and LGBTQ+ students, Eduventures named Adelphi one of just four national winners of its 2019 Eduventures Innovation Award.

Adelphi’s School of Social Work is a signature school within the University, ranked in the top 20 percent in the country by U.S. News & World Report in its 2020 rankings.

The dean of the School of Social Work should be a proven, inspirational and collaborative leader capable of bringing a bold, creative vision as well as strong organizational and management skills to the position.

The dean will take the lead while working in a spirit of shared governance with faculty in defining and developing school goals, policies and practices and will play a key role in implementing the University’s long-range strategic vision defined within Momentum: The Strategic Plan for Adelphi University, 2015–2021 — most notably, Adelphi’s focus on academic excellence and its relentless dedication to student success.

The School of Social Work

The School of Social Work was established in 1949 and initially accredited in 1952. Throughout its history, the School has been dedicated to the education of competent and ethical professional social workers, the generation of new knowledge that advances our profession, and providing leadership to address emergent community needs. It has been at the forefront in making education available to students with work and family responsibilities through its innovative program options such as part-time study, weekend and evening classes, an accelerated 16-Month Program, the Advanced Standing program, and the Human Service Professional Program.

Adelphi‘s undergraduate social work program made history in 1969 by creating a continuum from undergraduate to graduate education, which is now recognized nationally as advanced standing.  In addition, through flexible scheduling, the school creates opportunities for upward professional mobility for paraprofessionals working in social, community, and human service agencies, and community college students transferring to Adelphi, as well as students changing fields or returning to school after a lengthy hiatus, to earn a Bachelor of Social Work degree.

There have been many innovative programs over the past seven decades. The School is one of the few programs in the country that initiated a Center for Social Policy and Social Welfare and operated its own social services agency that provided direct practice training opportunities for faculty, students, community professionals and volunteers. One of these programs, the Breast Cancer Support Program and Hotline, still exists today. Founded in 1980, this program was the first in New York State to address the psychosocial issues exclusively associated with breast cancer. Today the statewide hotline receives almost 4,000 calls each year and over 350,000 web site visits. It also provides individual, family, and group counseling and serves as a clearinghouse for breast cancer resources and organizations throughout the state. Students can obtain valuable experience interning with the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, as well as the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, and the Institute for Adolescent Trauma Treatment and Training, all housed at Adelphi’s main Garden City campus.

The student population, with an enrollment of 125 undergraduate and 570 graduate students, is diverse in age, ethnic origin and cultural background, presenting an invigorating atmosphere for learning. Similarly, the school’s 26 full-time and 140 part-time student-centered faculty and field instructors represent diverse personal histories and areas of expertise.

For close to seven decades, the School of Social Work has developed programs that lead and inform professional practice. Today the School grants the Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.), Master of Social Work (M.S.W.), Ph.D. and four certificate programs taught by world-class faculty who are leaders in the social work field. U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked our M.S.W. program as being among the Best Graduate Schools in Social Work, ranked 44 out of 262 schools.

The Adelphi School of Social Work provides student-centered and research-informed curricula, faculty scholarship, and community-centered programs at our main Garden City campus, our learning hubs in Manhattan, Hudson Valley and Hauppauge, and on the campus of the State University of New York’s Orange County Community College. Our five locations, flexible scheduling, as well as courses offered through online or blended formats, attract a diverse student body to the School.

In addition to Adelphi’s traditional and blended M.S.W. program, Adelphi introduced its fully online format in Spring 2016, with 3 students. Three years later, it now enrolls 76 students.

Of course, the School partners with agencies, schools and nonprofit organizations that serve diverse populations. These partners offer our students a wide array of internship and fieldwork opportunities.

Notably, most of our 11,000 alumni reside and work in the metropolitan region and many have attained leadership positions in public and private sector services as well as academic institutions that serve the area. Our alumni constitute a considerable proportion of the skilled professional staff who work in the social service agencies that serve as field placement sites for our students at the BSW and MSW levels.

For detailed information on School of Social Work programs go to the Adelphi website at:

Adelphi University

Located just 23 miles from New York City, Adelphi is a private university in the midst of one of the most dynamic phases of its 123-year history. With robust enrollments, an increasingly diverse student body and faculty, expanding graduate programs, and growing financial and administrative strength, Adelphi is being transformed just as it is transforming the lives of its students through its personalized approach to higher education.

Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university, serving approximately 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, at learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, and online. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness. Adelphi University is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university known for small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning, and innovative ways to support academic and career success. 

With powerful partnerships throughout the New York area, more than 115,000 graduates around the country, a growing enrollment of students from 41 states and 58 countries, and rising rankings from top publications and organizations, Adelphi is strongly positioned for the future. 

The University is an independent, doctoral-granting institution with more than 100 different degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional levels.

Our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing our students with the finest education in the region as well as offering vital services to our local communities. As the University turns its strategic plan, Momentum, into a vision for the future, the University community has come together to accomplish mutual goals centered on scholarship and student achievement.

Adelphi University is comprised of eight colleges and schools:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Education and Health Sciences
  • College of Nursing and Public Health
  • College of Professional and Continuing Studies
  • Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology
  • Honors College
  • Robert B. Willumstad School of Business
  • School of Social Work

From our original Garden City, New York, footprint of three buildings, Adelphi’s main campus has grown to encompass 29 buildings on 75 pastoral acres in the heart of Nassau County.

New York City ranks in the top five of the fastest-growing cities in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau 2016), top five most visited cities (Forbes 2016), No. 1 most economically powerful city in the world (Business Insider 2015), No. 1 most influential city in the world (Forbes 2014), No. 1 city for finance (The Telegraph 2017) and No. 1 best city in the world (Time Out 2016).

Our students, faculty and staff have access to Long Island’s culture, shopping, parks and world-famous beaches. Free shuttles to and from local train stations also make the greatest city in the world just a short ride away. We enjoy trips to New York’s restaurants, Broadway theaters and iconic venues such as Central Park, Ellis Island, Yankee Stadium, the Museum of Modern Art, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center and Barclays Center.

We pride ourselves on meeting the needs of our students. In addition to full-time study, students can enroll in part-time or accelerated programs, participate in our increasing number of online courses or attend classes at one of our learning hubs—our thriving center in downtown Manhattan, a learning hub in Hauppauge and two in the Hudson Valley region.

Academic Profile

The Carnegie Classification identifies Adelphi University as a doctoral/professional university. Adelphi also holds the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

Our academic programs reflect 21st-century curricula and pedagogies. With a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and average class size of 21, our students get personalized instruction and mentorship from their professors, who make use of high-impact instructional practices and seek out opportunities for students to do research and participate in internships and fieldwork.

Adelphi University has been nationally and internationally recognized and cited by several well-respected organizations. Here are just a few of our accolades:

  • The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Forbes named Adelphi a top choice for quality education.
  • The 2020 U.S. News & World Report listed Adelphi as a Best College, Best College for Social Mobility, Best College for Veterans, Best Value College and Best College for First-Year Experience.
  • Money magazine honored Adelphi as a Career College of Distinction and a Money magazine Best College.
  • Readers of the Long Island Press voted Adelphi’s president, Dr. Christine M. Riordan, the Best College President in 2019.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranked the School of Social Work in the top 20 percent of social work graduate programs nationwide.
  • The Center for World University Rankings placed Adelphi fourth in the world for psychology/psychoanalysis.

There are 349 full-time faculty members who teach at Adelphi; nearly 90 percent have earned the highest degree in their fields. Adelphi faculty members regularly collaborate with colleagues and students in their research, often across disciplines, schools and colleges.

Students and faculty need state-of-the-art resources to reach their goals. That’s why the University has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure. We’ve renovated our facilities, upgraded technology and classrooms, dramatically improved our library facilities and collections, and invested in new equipment. An ambitious campus expansion project over the last decade resulted in the completion, opening, and enhancement of the following buildings:

  • Adele and Herbert J. Klapper Center for Fine Arts
  • Adelphi University Performing Arts Center
  • Alice Brown Early Learning Center
  • Center for Recreation and Sports
  • Nexus Building—the state-of-the-art new home of the College of Nursing and Public Health as well as the Office of Academic Services and Retention and the Office of University Admissions

In addition, our Manhattan Center has been renovated and re-envisioned for a new cohort of international students, and our Ruth S. Harley University Center is undergoing a complete renovation to double our dining and gallery spaces while offering modern and accessible meeting, event, academic and lounge space.

Student Profile

As of Fall 2019, there are close to 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students attending Adelphi University. Nearly 23 percent of our undergraduates live on campus.

Our student body reflects the diversity of the New York metropolitan region.

  • Our students come from 41 states and 58 countries.
  • Nearly 15 percent of our graduate students are international students.
  • 40 percent of the student body are of color.
  • Approximately 30 percent are first-generation students.
  • Adelphi is a Yellow Ribbon school for veterans.
  • Students of all abilities and learning styles are recognized and respected through several unique and renowned support, mentoring, and pathway programs as part of our world-class academic experience.

Our diverse community of students share a commitment to academic success, an appreciation of their access to faculty members who give them the personalized attention they desire and a willingness to make a real difference in the world. Students work closely with faculty and peers as well as with members of local communities on projects, research and fieldwork. Adelphi students are making their mark across academic fields and country borders.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity encompasses the range of human differences that includes age, gender, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, belief systems, thought styles, military experience and education. At Adelphi, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. We believe diversity is a powerful driver of innovation and open discourse, and that students, faculty and staff grow when in a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone is accepted, supported and respected.

We have made great progress as a model of diversity and inclusion. We recently appointed our first vice president for diversity and inclusion. Recently, Adelphi initiated the groundbreaking Diversity Certificate Program for faculty and staff, a program that local public schools are emulating. We continue to grow our mentoring programs for students of color, veterans and the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2016, Adelphi University saw the largest increase in students of color in our history. We built upon this success, revising our recruitment strategies to attract diverse faculty, students, staff and administrators. As a result, in 2017 and again in 2018, we welcomed exceptionally diverse groups of new faculty; a cohort composed of nearly 50 percent faculty of color. Initiatives by the University’s Diversity Committee and the Athletics Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Council have increased openness and understanding on campus and won awards from national organizations, including a prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity, four and a half stars and Premier Campus designation from the Campus Pride Index, and recognition of President Christine M. Riordan as one of the “Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond” by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Additionally, the University is making our campus facilities more gender inclusive and accessible to those with both physical and mental differences.

University Leadership

President Christine M. Riordan, PhD

Adelphi University President Christine M. Riordan, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in leadership development, team building, and diversity and inclusion, and is recognized for her groundbreaking initiatives to personalize and transform the higher education experience. Since beginning her appointment as Adelphi University’s 10th president in 2015, Dr. Riordan has launched a remarkable turnaround strategy that has resulted in Adelphi recently enrolling the two largest first-year classes in our history.

Dr. Riordan has published more than 60 academic and business press articles, is authoring a book on leadership and is a frequent speaker on leadership and overcoming challenges. She has been interviewed and written articles for media outlets such as The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, HuffPost, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, CareerBuilder and Psychology Today.

Dr. Riordan serves on the board of directors of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RMAX) and is chair of the nominating and governance committee and serves on the compensation committee. She previously served on the audit committee. She is on the board of directors of the Long Island Association (LIA), a leading business organization on Long Island. She is also a trustee of the Long Island Regional Advisory Council on Higher Education (LIRACHE) and is a member of the President’s Advisory Council at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Riordan is also chair of the President’s Council for the Northeast-10 Conference.

Executive Vice President and Provost Steve Everett, DMA

A widely respected and extensively accomplished composer, conductor and professor of music, Dr. Everett was appointed provost of Adelphi University commencing July 1, 2018. Prior to joining Adelphi, Dr. Everett was dean of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and professor of music at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In that role, he oversaw four schools with numerous programs as well as the Gallery 400 art gallery, the renowned Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the university’s UIC Innovation Center—an exciting interdisciplinary research center and incubation hub that bridges research and education with industry.

His work at the University of Illinois at Chicago was preceded by 23 years at Emory University in Atlanta, where he served as assistant vice provost for academic affairs, among other leadership positions. At Emory, he also served as president of the University Senate, chair of the Faculty Council, chair of the Department of Music and interim director of the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Dr. Everett also co-chaired the university’s Commission on the Liberal Arts, a task force created to explore innovative ways to enrich the liberal arts experience. In 1998, Dr. Everett received the Mayor’s Fellowship in the Arts, awarded by the City of Atlanta, the city’s highest recognition of artistic achievement.

In addition to these accomplishments and honors, Dr. Everett has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, a guest composer at numerous conservatories around the world and a noted researcher. As a result of two medical research projects, he was awarded a courtesy faculty appointment to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Everett earned his doctoral degree in composition from the University of Illinois and received two master’s degrees, in music theory and trumpet performance, from Florida State University.

Momentum: The Strategic Plan for Adelphi University 2015–2021

Momentum, the University’s Strategic Plan, is guiding dynamic growth and development across all facets of the University. Centered on six transformational goals, Momentum seeks to advance around:

  • An Emphasis on World-Class Academics - Adelphi already offers the intellectual rigor and talented faculty that create a unique educational experience. We will enhance the value of an Adelphi degree by deepening the caliber of the teaching, the programs, and the research and creative work in order to increase the impact of every student’s (and professor’s) years with us.
  • A Relentless Focus on Student Success - As we grow, Adelphi will continue to set the standard for committing to the individual student—and growing their intellectual curiosity, ability and potential—in order to produce generations of curious, compassionate, successful people.
  • A Model of Diversity and Inclusion - Adelphi’s reputation as a community that values, welcomes and inspires every individual—among our students, faculty and staff—will grow on a national level.
  • A Powerfully Connected University - We will extend the reach and resources of our community through a potent network of relationships. We’ll bring together faculty, staff, families, alumni and business and industry partners, maximizing our traditional associations here on Long Island as well as in the great city that is our neighbor.
  • Financial and Operational Strength - Growing stronger means growing smart by incrementally improving existing resources and operations, while integrating new and complementary ones, to form a seamlessly high-functioning, highly regarded enterprise.
  • Global Recognition and Renown - We will become an outstanding private university, known everywhere for our academics, our four exciting New York locations and our experiential learning. Rankings, awards and media coverage will advance both our brand and the Adelphi Advantage, all around the world.

These six goals are touchstones for all aspects of the University and are grounded in concrete initiatives designed to produce measureable results in our dedication to transform the lives of our students. Read more about the Momentum plan at

Dean, School of Social Work - Position Summary

Reporting to the provost, the dean of the School of Social Work is responsible for the administration and leadership of the unit and works collaboratively with other deans on Adelphi’s academic team.

Through the University’s shared governance structures, the dean oversees all curricula within the School, program development, faculty recruitment and support, and student recruitment and retention. The dean collaborates with the Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, and works with the academic administration in the College of Arts and Sciences, Adelphi’s professional schools and the College of Professional and Continuing Studies to develop and implement interdisciplinary and inter-professional programs and initiatives.  The dean also oversees assessment and accreditation-related activities, budget preparation and oversight and supervision of support staff.

The successful candidate must meet the requirements of a tenured full-professor at Adelphi.

Necessary Leadership Qualities

  • A record of progressively responsible academic and administrative leadership roles in social work higher education including demonstrated ability to manage a complex academic organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to build a strong community by engaging faculty, staff and other internal and external partners to work collaboratively and effectively.
  • Understanding and appreciation of faculty governance.
  • Ability to collaboratively develop and implement strategic plans, act as an advocate for these initiatives and serve as the primary communicator of the results of the vision and planning to the Adelphi community, regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Strong communication and perceptive interpersonal skills, including the ability to express respect for disparate viewpoints.
  • A leadership style defined by respect, transparency and empathy.
  • A demonstrated ability to act as an advocate and ambassador for the school to develop alumni and community relations and to build the endowment, generate revenue, and bring recognition to the school.
  • A commitment to cultural diversity, equity and inclusion in creating a rich school and university environment.

 Experience/Knowledge in the Field                                           

  • Notable experience and expertise with professional B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. degree programs, as well as innovation that responds to the changing landscape for social work institutions, social work education, and higher education generally. 
  • Deep commitment to social justice in social work education and practice.
  • Emphasis on practice-focused education, with a central goal to train knowledgeable and skilled professionals.
  • Strong ongoing academic, research or creative scholarship in the field of social work.
  • A past or emerging record in externally funded research and/or mentoring social work scholars to secure external funding.    
  • Experience mentoring and evaluating faculty for appointment, award of tenure and promotion.
  • Commitment to global engagement.
  • Significant familiarity with national social work accrediting bodies and standards.
  • Knowledge about licensing requirements and experience supporting students in successfully passing professional certification examinations.
  • Commitment promoting faculty development.
  • Experience in advancement and fundraising activities related to the School of Social Work, and in acquiring funding to support all facets of the School, including student success.
  • Administrative acumen, including knowledge of financial planning and budgets, tactical planning and implementation.
  • Willingness to foster advantageous collaborations across the University and with other institutions, organizations and consortia, in order to expand the reach and influence of the school of Social Work.

Collaboration, Management and Organizational Skills

  • Evidence of excellent organizational skills including a clear sense of goals, timeliness and transparency.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, retain and reward high-quality faculty and administrators, and a flexible, engaged and open management style that delegates authority, empowers others and sets high expectations.
  • Ability to confront challenges and make difficult decisions, negotiate conflicts and demonstrate and promote integrity and high ethical standards within the institution.
  • Ability to engage effectively with the student community.
  • Ability to work with the Provost, deans, and executive leadership on the formulation of a vision, policies and implementation strategies to ensure that the School of Social Work will meet the University’s educational, research and administrative goals.

Successful candidates will demonstrate an authentic sense of humanity, care and respect for all individuals within the university and its communities, value and exhibit honest and ethical behavior, and be willing to listen to and consider differing points of view.

Information for Candidates

The search committee will begin to review applications on November 15th. This position is anticipated to begin in the Summer of 2020. The salary and benefits will be competitive.

For best consideration, please send all nominations, inquiries and expressions of interest in confidence electronically, to the search committee chair at:

Adelphi University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to building a diverse workforce. It strongly encourages applications from women, underrepresented groups, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and veterans. Adelphi University is an EEO/AA employer.

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