Graduate College of Social Work

Dean, Graduate College of Social Work


As the only graduate college of social work in the fourth-largest city in the United States, the GCSW offers a range of academic courses, diverse field practice education sites, numerous community projects, and a number of cutting edge research centers. More than 500 human service agencies interact with student workers and the GCSW’s Office of Field Education has affiliations with approximately 475 nonprofit and governmental agencies and organizations. The GCSW's faculty includes a diverse group of scholars whose work is recognized worldwide. Their practice experiences and research expertise reinforces the GCSW’s long-standing commitment to peace and justice. The GCSW is further distinguished as being the only school of social work in the world to have a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate on its faculty.

Since its founding in 1967, the graduate program has evolved over time to its current standing as a nationally recognized Graduate College of Social Work. The College’s academic offerings include the MSW and PhD with dual degree opportunities in business (Masters of Business Administration), law (Juris Doctorate), and Public Health (Masters in Public Health). Additionally, the College offers specializations in Gerontology, Health Disparities, Political Social Work, and Social Work Practice with Latinos. The Master of Social Work program has continually maintained its Council on Social Work Education professional accreditation since 1970. UH's GCSW MSW curriculum offers students a unique experience in that the first semester of full-time coursework is at the foundational level with the following three semesters of coursework being at the advanced level. This allows for more focus on the development of advanced practice skills. Additionally, the proximity of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, provides significant potential for interprofessional education to increase the national recognition of the GCSW’s MSW program. The opportunity exists for UH to further establish itself as a leader in educating hospital/gerontological social workers and attract the best qualified students from around the country to its programs.

The College is housed in its own four-story building on campus and includes twenty-two full-time faculty and sixteen adjunct faculty. Almost 350 students are enrolled in the MSW program with an additional 40 students in the PhD program. Students come from all walks of life, numerous states, and a number of international countries and they reflect the broad racial and ethnic diversity of our greater community.

The College of Social Work offers wonderful international experiences including field placement opportunities and travel courses. Recently, students have traveled to England, Scotland, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Turkey and mainland China for course work. To support the many international initiatives, the College has formal exchange agreements in place with City University of Hong Kong and the University of Wales.

More than 3,000 individuals have received their MSW degree from UH. The GCSW alumni continue to make significant differences in their clients’ lives, help formulate just social policies, while advocating and promoting justice for all people, no matter their stage in life. For more information about the GCSW, please visit

GCSW Mission

The GCSW provides exceptional education for advanced social work practice, research and leadership through teaching, advancing knowledge and community engagement to achieve social, economic and political justice.

The University

Founded in 1927, the University of Houston (UH) is the leading public research university in the vibrant, international city of Houston, now the fourth largest city in the US. UH is a member institution of the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical complex, and has forged more than 300 partnerships with corporations and government agencies, including more than 30 major energy exploration and energy service companies based in Houston. Each year, UH educates more than 40,750 students in more than 300 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, on campus and online. UH is currently the second-most racially and ethnically diverse major university in the US. Each year, UH awards more than 8,000 degrees and has more than 200,000 alumni many of whom remain in Houston due to its rapidly expanding job market, one of the fastest growing in the US. The University of Houston is the flagship of The University of Houston System serving more than 65,000 students enrolled in four universities, two branch campuses and four regional teaching centers in the greater Houston areas. The University of Houston System has a $3.1 billion impact on the greater Houston area annually.

The University of Houston is designated as a Research University-very high research activity (RU/VH: Tier One) by the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching. Faculty and students conduct research through more than 30 research centers and in every academic department. UH research regularly breaks new ground and opens doors to new ways of understanding the world. The university’s total research expenditures rose to $113.7 million last year. In 2008, UH received $1.1 million in royalty and licensing income and in 2012 that amount increased to $12.5 million. Bringing new discoveries and highly trained graduates to a rapidly changing marketplace in the medical, energy, and other fields is a top priority for all UH academic programs.

UH is only one of three Tier One public research institutions in the nation designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and is also designated as an Asian-American Serving Institution. For more information about the University, please visit

Position Summary

The next Dean of the GCSW will be a visionary leader and strategic thinker who will bring innovative thought, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a reputation for working collaboratively with both internal and external constituencies to the position. The Dean will build upon the GCSW’s long-standing commitment to achieving social, economic and political justice by developing and executing a compelling new vision for the College.

As Dean the successful candidate will lead and leverage the critical and unique role of the College in contributing to and promoting UH’s vision for excellence. The Dean will further the GCSW’s mission by engaging with students in advancing scholarly inquiry, cultivating critical and creative thought, and generating knowledge.

The successful candidate will have the extraordinary opportunity to join one of the most ambitious institutions in higher education and lead a College that enjoys a national and international reputation. In their role as Dean, the candidate must embrace intelligent risk taking while inspiring faculty and staff to proceed along a trajectory that is bold and transformational.

The new Dean will serve as the Chief Academic and Administrative Officer of the College and will work in collaboration with twenty-two full-time faculty and sixteen adjunct faculty and manage a budget of $6.4m. The Dean will also assume a leadership role in developing a new and dynamic strategic plan for the College and garner the resources to make the plan a reality.

The new Dean will enter an environment ready for change and will play an important role in not only the GCSW, but UH and the city of Houston. There are opportunities to build and foster relationships with the community, local government, and nonprofits. The new Dean will lead the further development and expansion of the GCSW’s commitment to service locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition, the Dean will strengthen existing relations and develop new partnerships that will result in a robust network of productive relationships.

The Dean will promote and strengthen the GCSW’s identity by fostering a shared sense of mission and culture among all College constituents and partner with a motivated faculty that is exceedingly collegial—both interpersonally and intellectually. He or she will continue to enhance a culture committed to distinguishing itself locally, nationally, and globally—further strengthening the University’s Tier One status.


Excellent interpersonal skills will be exceedingly important as the next Dean of the GCSW will be tasked with formulating and advocating a compelling strategy for increasing scholarly productivity and grantsmanship with the goal of further enhancing UH’s position as a Tier One research university. The new Dean will be charged with leading the expansion and refinement of the GCSW’s programs as the College prepares for re-accreditation in the coming years. Demonstrated leadership skills, a history of working collaboratively with diverse groups, and an understanding of the GCSW’s mission and culture are essential.

The successful candidate will:

    • Possess an earned doctorate in a relevant field from an accredited university;
    • Possess a keen political acumen and the ability to work within a University System in transition;
    • Possess a high level of energy, enthusiasm, and entrepreneurialism. The Dean must be passionate about the GCSW’s mission and its commitment to its students and social, economic and political justice;
    • Serve as an advocate on behalf of the GCSW and its faculty and demonstrate the ability to present and support a dynamic vision to external constituencies;
    • Understand the importance of promoting and fostering a culture that embraces academic excellence and service;
    • Possess substantive clinical and research experience;
    • Demonstrate experience developing new revenue streams including private fundraising, solicitation of grants and contracts, etc.;
    • Have a track record of working in institutions committed to serving urban and diverse populations;
    • Have a commitment to a participatory management style that encourages and empowers subordinates; the ability to delegate, to mentor, to oversee without interfering, and to provide critical feedback;
    • Have an understanding, appreciation, and experience in the enhancement of an academic unit’s research capacity; the Dean will work closely with faculty to develop research activity to secure increased levels of external support from federal, state, and private sources;
    • Have a track record as a creative problem solver and leading and managing change;
    • Demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity in all its forms; nurturing an environment that supports and enhances the diversity of the students, faculty and staff.
How to Apply

The Search Committee will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applicants must submit a current curriculum vitae and a letter describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Submission of materials via e-mail is strongly encouraged. Nomination letters should include the name, position, address and telephone number of the nominee. All applications and nominations will be handled in confidence.

Applications and letters of nomination should be submitted to:

Alberto Pimentel
Managing Partner
Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates
1111 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 106
Monterey Park, CA 91754
323-260-7889 (FAX)

Refer to code “UH-GCSW” in subject line

Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action:

The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.