Job Description

The Opportunity

Grand Canyon University seeks applications for an outstanding Dean to lead a growing College of Education (COE). Reporting to the Provost, the Dean will play a pivotal role in fostering growth, maintaining AAQEP accreditation, and deepening relationships with PK-20 school and community partners. This is an exciting opportunity to make a lasting impact on one of the largest educator preparation programs in the country with a rich history of preparing highly effective teachers and school leaders.

Grand Canyon University

Arizona’s premier private nonprofit Christian University, Grand Canyon University (GCU) is located in the heart of Phoenix. Founded by a Southern Baptist Church in 1949 as Grand Canyon College, it eventually transitioned into Grand Canyon University. The university focused on Christian studies, and then began to build a reputation in education, nursing, health care and the fine arts. The university grew its campus student body from fewer than 1,000 students in 2009 to over 19,000 traditional ground students in fall 2017, where the incoming student GPA was 3.5. Currently GCU has 60,000 online students.

The main campus continues to expand beyond 200+ acres with new residence halls, popular eateries, a new engineering building and state-of-the-art facilities like GCU Arena, GCU Stadium and Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark. Not only does GCU serve as an innovative institution elevating higher education, but it invests in revitalizing the local community. GCU is engaged in significant neighborhood revitalization in the area surrounding the main campus.

GCU has a five-point plan to revitalize west Phoenix by 1) Developing a STEM workforce that attracts businesses to the area, 2) Creating jobs for local residents, 3) Supporting K-12 education, 4) Making the surrounding neighborhood safer through a $1.6 million partnership with the Phoenix Police Department, and 5) Helping hundreds of homeowners in the community through a first-of-its-kind partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Christian Identity

GCU’s Christian identity and worldview distinguish the GCU experience in the classroom and beyond. The integration of faith into our curriculum, values and overall college experience shapes students’ character, disposition, sense of purpose and vocational aspirations. These attributes are pervasive, so they connect in many ways to the academic and extracurricular aspects of GCU.

Additional information about the University is available in the following video links:

GCU Campus Overview:

GCU United By Purpose - Community Empowerment:

University Mission

We prepare students to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible leaders. Our academically challenging, values-based curriculum developed from the context of our Christian heritage helps shape leaders and scholars of tomorrow.

The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers a rich mix of more than 200 academic programs across nine colleges: The Colangelo College of Business; the College of Doctoral Studies; the College of Education; the College of Fine Arts & Production; the College of Humanities & Social Sciences; the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions; the College of Science, Engineering & Technology; the College of Theology; and the GCU Honors College. GCU values project-based, hands-on learning versus traditional-style lectures and differentiates itself from other institutions by using out-of-the-classroom methods and industry-driven curriculum to provide real-world, tangible experience, ensuring that its students are ahead of the curve and career-ready when they graduate.

College of Education

For over 60 years, Grand Canyon University (GCU) has proudly maintained its rich heritage as a prestigious teaching college. Our College of Education continues to prepare policymakers, administrators, and educators who strive to deliver quality education and enrich lives across a variety of school and community settings.   

While GCU is committed to nurturing and developing students into outstanding educators, our dedication to their success extends beyond the classroom. We instill the spirit of servant leadership, innovation, and service into each program through One Foundation, our Christian worldview.

The College has plans for continued growth. Currently, the COE students’ study in traditional and non-traditional modalities, licensure and non-licensure programs.  The Dean must have the capacity to "scale up" with high quality to meet the demands of a large, transformative college in terms of programming, curriculum, student academic support, facilities, school and community partners, and personnel.

Responsibilities of the Dean

The COE Dean is the leader for the College and a member of the University’s Academic Leadership Team responsible for oversight of the College, deepening relationships with PK-20 school and community partners, maintaining AAQEP accreditation and Arizona Department of Education program approval, guiding state compliance and fostering growth to address the demand for high quality educators.

Opportunities and Challenges

With a focus on student success and serving the needs of our PK-20 schools, the Dean will have a primary responsibility for deepening robust partnerships with PK-20 school and community partners, for developing innovative programs to meet the increasing need for highly effective educators and for leading the College on a path to continuous improvement in strategic and entrepreneurial ways.

GCU delivers programming online in addition to face to face offerings on our traditional campus. As such, the Dean will need to understand, have experience and operate comfortably in both modalities.

Furthermore, the Dean will be a key player in the University’s effort to revitalize the neighborhood in the area surrounding the main campus in West Phoenix, with special emphasis on PK-12 school support and improvement.   

The Dean is the principal spokesperson and advocate for the College. The Dean is responsible for the oversight of the College’s academic programs and is supportive of strong student outcomes and achievement. The Dean is accountable for the review of curricula and programs, staffing, budgeting, oversight of all operational functions of the College, alumni cultivation, research, grant development and fundraising.

Knowledge and experience sought by GCU

The GCU/COE community seeks an entrepreneurial leader with strong academic credentials and understanding of higher education at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He or she will have a robust background in PK-20 education, able to make connections and build relationships with school and community partners to scale. In addition, he or she will be collaborative, organized, approachable, a leader of faculty with a vision for the Education Programs and ideas for growth, and the ability to execute on those ideas.

GCU operates with a "matrix model" of leadership, which involves extensive collaboration, cooperation, and sharing of expertise across departments to make informed decisions. To be successful, administrators must embrace this interconnected model and integrate within a brisk, results-oriented and productive work environment.

The ideal candidate will have comfort and compatibility with the mission of the University, with the capacity to lead imbuing the Christian faith into all walks of the COE programs.

Qualifications for the position

  • An earned doctorate from a regionally accredited institution, preferably in one of the disciplines represented in PK-20 Education.
  • Significant teaching and leadership experience in both K-12 and Higher Education; minimum of 5 years.
  • Thorough familiarity with academia.
  • Demonstrated pursuit of the integration of faith-in-learning in and out of the classroom.
  • Financial acumen.
  • Demonstrated evidence of team participation and leadership.
  • Ambitious and creative, possessing an appetite for calculated risk-taking.
  • Desire and ability to work in an extremely dynamic, fast-paced, entrepreneurial institution.
  • Demonstrated success in leading successful innovative efforts.
  • Preference for successful experience in both traditional and online delivery of academic programs.
  • Preference to current credentialed educators at the Administrator level and above.
  • A passion for students, student nurturing, holistic student development, and student success.
  • Demonstrated effort with compliance with College/School specific accreditation requirements and standards.
  • Strong analytical skills including ability to think synthetically and analytically with the ability to communicate complicated information in a comprehensible manner.
  • Strong and effective oral and written communication skills with ability to articulate university’s and school’s mission and strategic goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior congruent with GCU’s pillars and mission with a commitment to Christian ideals and philosophy.
  • Provide a positive example to students by supporting the University’s Doctrinal Statement, Ethical Position Statement and Mission of Grand Canyon University.


GCU's Christian worldview has shaped the university's mission and growth for more than 65 years. As a Christ-centered higher education institution, GCU integrates faith, learning and work to connect the GCU community with distinct Christian principles and strong central values. The University values diversity among its students, faculty and staff, and invites applications from all qualified individuals, including minorities, females, individuals with disabilities and veterans. At GCU, working professionals may find their purpose in ways marked by compassion, service, integrity and concern for the common good.

Employment is contingent upon the satisfactory outcome (as determined by the university) of pre-employment screening activities, including a background check.

For assistance with your job application please use our External Candidate Job Application Guide.

All staff and faculty candidates will be asked to review GCU’s staff or faculty expectations as part of the application process.

If you’re looking for jobs in admissions/enrollment, accounting, curriculum development, financial aid, human resources, information technology, marketing or other student service-related jobs at Grand Canyon Education, Inc. Visit our partner’s site at for more information.

Posted 30+ Days Ago

Full time


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