The school is one of the three new academic units being created by the academic realignment that is a key element of the UMKC Forward initiative. The new school will incorporate these departments: Art and Art History; Communication Studies; English Languages and Literature; Foreign Languages and Literatures; History; Sociology; Economics; Political Science and Philosophy; Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies; and Criminal Justice and Criminology.

“The inaugural dean of the new School of Humanities and Social Sciences will play a critical role in setting a strategic vision for cutting-edge liberal arts education at UMKC,” said Jenny Lundgren, provost and executive vice chancellor. The dean will lead the launch of the new school, setting the tone, pace and priorities for its success.”

“The person selected for this position must be strategic in positioning the school to be a leader in student degree attainment and career outcomes, and in producing graduates who are productive members of society well-equipped to be problem solvers and critical thinkers,” she added.

The search committee is chaired by Brian Klaas, dean of the Bloch School of Management. The full roster of the search committee is below. Others will have the opportunity to provide input during the campus interview portion of the search process. The committee aims to conclude the search during the spring 2022 semester, for an early summer start date.

Other search committee members

Ricky Allman, professor, Art and Art History

Ye Wang, associate professor and chair, Communications Studies

Hadara Bar-Nadav, professor, English

Gayle Levy, associate professor, Foreign Languages and Literatures

Debra Leiter, associate professor, Political Science

Lori Sexton, associate professor and chair, Criminal Justice and Criminology

Brenda Bethman, associate teaching professor, Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies

Sirisha Naidu, associate professor, Economics

Michelle Smirnova, associate professor, Sociology

Diane Mutti Burke, professor and former chair, History

Ken Ferguson, Faculty Senate representative and professor of Law

Lawrence Brooks IV, student

Christiana Rangel, student recruitment program manager

J.D. Rios, Hispanic Advisory Board member