FAU Jupiter campus sidewalk


Invitation to apply
Leadership Profile

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) invites applications for the position of Dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College (WHC), located on the John D. MacArthur Campus of FAU in Jupiter, Florida.

A Unique Opportunity for Leadership
Position Requirements and Expectations
Wilkes Honors College and Florida Atlantic University
Apply to be Dean


Student in a lab class


A Unique Opportunity for Leadership

The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College is a public four-year honors college founded in 1999, located on Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter, Florida. Our students receive a rigorous top quality Liberal Arts and Sciences education and benefit from individualized attention that small liberal arts colleges are known for — all at an affordable cost.

Wilkes Honors College (WHC) recently earned the highest rating of 50 public honors colleges in a comprehensive review conducted by Inside Honors. This honor was achieved by maintaining a clear focus on academic excellence, combined with unparalleled research opportunities and access to top scholars for our students.

The ideal candidate for Dean, Wilkes Honors College, will build on these successes with a commitment to strategic recruitment of students and faculty and a vision for program development consistent with the University Strategic Plan, 2025, The Race to Excellence. For more on the strategic plan https://www.fau.edu/strategicplan/index.php

WHC enrolls approximately 500 honors students and has 41 dedicated full-time honors faculty members teaching an interdisciplinary curriculum. We maintain an average 15 to 1 student to faculty ratio.

All students complete an honors thesis or capstone project under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor. Students benefit from WHC’s small class sizes and close mentorship from professors while enjoying the many events, services and support of the larger FAU community.

Thirty National Merit Finalists have attended WHC since 2000. Approximately 70 percent of our graduates go on to top graduate and professional programs, especially medicine and law. Other graduates take challenging and fulfilling jobs in research, teaching, non-profits, government, and business. 

While the cost of college is rising at unprecedented rates, WHC is proud to maintain an affordable in-state tuition. Most students receive a merit-based scholarship, and many receive need-based aid.

Approximately 25 percent of our students are the first in their family’s history to attend college. Twenty-five percent are from underrepresented groups. Forty-seven percent of applicants’ families who completed a FAFSA in 2018 were Pell-eligible.

Endowment earnings totaling $1.3 million annually are distributed as scholarships to our students. Top incoming students are eligible to compete for one of five Henry Morrison Flagler Scholarships worth $72,000 over four years. The majority of WHC students graduate with no student debt.

WHC provides students transformational opportunities. Outstanding arts, humanities, social science, and natural science faculty mentors guide them on their intellectual journey. Our undergraduates have published or co-published more than eighty peer-reviewed publications with their faculty mentors, including essays, poetry, and scientific articles.

Significantly, the MacArthur Campus is home to two of the world’s top-ranked scientific institutions for biomedical research—Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and Scripps Research, Florida. Many of our students work in these research labs and are mentored by faculty and staff. Students also have opportunities to work alongside FAU’s world-renowned scientists at FAU’s Brain Institute and Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention on campus.

Many students are engaged in cutting-edge research and fieldwork through Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and in pathway programs to FAU graduate, medical, and nursing programs. In 2020, WHC will partner with the FAU-Max Planck Academy, the first of its kind in the world, helping to educate the region’s brightest and most motivated secondary school students.

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Position Requirements and Expectations

Opportunities and Expectations

Wilkes Honors College educates tomorrow’s change-makers and works with them to tackle real-world problems through teamwork and applying interdisciplinary knowledge.

We seek a talented leader who can build on two decades of mission-driven success to scale our impact and accelerate our growth.  

In fall 2019, WHC enrolled 209 students — the largest freshman class in its history. It included six valedictorians, five salutatorians, and eleven national merit finalists. Forty-eight percent of the incoming freshman ranked in the top ten-percent of their high school class. With the FAU-Max Planck Academy opening on campus in 2020, we anticipate 35 to 50 high-ability dual-enrollment students to enter WHC each fall.

WHC’s long-term goal is an enrollment of 800 to 1000 students. Groundbreaking for a new STEM building took place in November 2019. A new 165-bed student residence hall will open in fall 2021. WHC’s mission and campus location enable it to offer a student-centric residential experience, fostering close links to faculty.

The Dean is responsible for managing WHC’s enrollment growth while maintaining and enhancing the quality of programs that have helped us achieve the nation’s top rating for Honors Colleges.

The Dean is responsible for recruiting and retaining faculty, setting and meeting Key Performance Indicators linked to Florida state funding and institutional aspirations, and implementing student success initiatives. The Dean will seek to expand community outreach, ensure compliance with state, university, and SACS regulations, expand marketing and promotional activities, and support faculty commitment to research and inquiry. 

The Dean collaborates with established campus partners during this robust period of enrollment growth and campus infrastructure expansion.

The college has an endowment of $31.5 million, earmarked largely for student scholarships. The new Dean benefits from a history of strong productive relationships with community members who support WHC, as well as an experienced fund-raising staff on campus. The Dean is expected to build on the strength and contributions of the college’s advisory council, increase alumni engagement, and support development initiatives.

All FAU deans are expected to identify and lead efforts to grow non-tuition revenue. The Dean of WHC is expected to seek entrepreneurial opportunities that maximize the college’s access to resources, including adult education and other revenue generating programs.

WHC completed a comprehensive program review process in 2019. The highly positive results affirmed: the strength of programs; the identity, quality and diversity of its students and faculty; research capacity; and administrative leadership.

The program review and subsequent visioning with faculty and staff identified key initiatives that the new Dean will lead:

  • Promote the mission and vision of WHC and enhance its national and local reputation and visibility.
  • Lead WHC in providing the highest possible quality interdisciplinary honors educational and living-learning community experience for undergraduates.
  • Improve WHC retention and graduation rates to match those of aspirational benchmark institutions.
  • Promote pedagogical innovations across campus and the university, seeking external funding for course-based undergraduate research, GTA and post-doctoral teacher training, and other professional development opportunities.
  • Encourage faculty in their pursuits of teaching excellence, research and inquiry; support the expansion of WHC faculty consistent with increases in enrollment.
  • Nurture collaborative interdisciplinary relationships within WHC; with other colleges and schools at FAU; and with community partner institutions, such as Max Planck Institute for Neuroscience and Scripps Research.
  • Implement a curriculum and campus integration plan for dual-enrolled high school juniors and seniors at FAU-Max Planck Academy in collaboration with other stakeholders.
  • Increase the number of prestige scholarship applications generated by WHC students with a minimum goal of twenty-five applications over the next five years.
  • Double extramural funding from 2016/2017 baseline levels through targeted hiring and research support programs.
  • Update and implement the 2017 college comprehensive plan for growth aligned with FAU’s 2025 strategic plan, The Race to Excellence, to balance programmatic needs, research productivity, and student success.
  • Lead and participate in building relationships with donors, alumni, and other constituencies to support fund-raising and other philanthropic initiatives.
  • Represent the college to all of its internal and external constituents.


The successful candidate will possess a terminal degree, a scholarship and teaching record that would support an appointment at the rank of Professor, administrative experience in a higher education context, dedication to excellence in undergraduate education and the mission of an interdisciplinary honors college, strong interpersonal skills, and a commitment to collegial decision-making and fund-raising.

In addition, the successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • A vision for propelling WHC to local, state, and national prominence.
  • The ability to lead and embrace the full array of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, and interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences efforts that the college offers.
  • Unquestioned integrity and the highest ethical standards.
  • A commitment to diversity evidenced by specific initiatives and/or programs focused on the recruitment, development, and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and students; the ability to communicate effectively in a culturally and ethnically diverse community.
  • A collegial and consensus driven management style that respects the good work and people within the institution while promoting development and cultivating academic and professional growth.
  • Exemplary interpersonal and communication skills to effectively work within and outside the college and university.
  • Experience promoting innovative practices in pedagogy.
  • An understanding of the central issues confronting contemporary undergraduate education including funding of public higher education.
  • An innovative and entrepreneurial spirit with initiative and a readiness for action.
  • A record of excellence in problem solving, management, building consensus, decision making, and establishing synergistic partnerships.
  • Familiarity with the challenges and opportunities associated with academic units located on partner campuses.

Governance and Reporting:

The Dean reports to the Provost and serves as the chief executive officer of the college (find an organizational chart for the University at http://www.fau.edu/provost/about/org-chart.php). The WHC Dean appoints the associate deans and chairs in consultation with the faculty. The Dean regularly reports to the faculty on budget, academic issues, and University matters relevant to the faculty and staff.

In the governance structure of the John D. MacArthur Campus, the WHC Dean collaborates with multiple unit leaders including the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Assistant Vice President of Communications, Assistant Vice President for Advancement, Director of Admissions and Enrollment, Director of Students Services and Campus Life, Director of Academic and Enrollment Management Services, and Executive Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to provide a full-service campus experience to students and the surrounding community.

The Dean also works closely with two campus-based global research institutes — Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and Scripps Research — and FAU’s own programs, including the Brain Institute, the Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention, the Program in Neurogenetics, and the new FAU-Max Planck Academy.

The Wilkes Honors College Advisory Council are 14 to 22 community leaders who sit at the pleasure of the Dean. The mission of the Advisory Council is to provide advice, community perspective, and philanthropic support to the college. Priorities for the board include enhancing philanthropic/financial support for the college’s scholarships, professorships, programs and facilities; promoting awareness of WHC in the broader community; and increasing engagement between WHC and the community.

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Students in Abacoa town center


Wilkes Honors College and Florida Atlantic University

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College

Wilkes Honors College opened in 1999 and graduated its first full class in 2003. Since then, more than 1000 alumni have gone on to do exceptional work in their careers and communities. Nearly 70 percent entered graduate and professional programs in institutions such as the University of Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Cal Tech, Georgetown, and MIT. About 20 percent of its alumni have gone on to graduate programs at FAU, many through accelerated pathways to graduate degrees in business, education, engineering, history, and nursing. The Wilkes Medical Scholars Program awards conditional admission into FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine for WHC students who fulfill program requirements. Other graduates have careers in business, education, health industry, arts, and government.

The distinguished faculty includes 41 full-time positions, including deans and chairs. They offer classes with an average 15 to 1 student to faculty ratio. The all-honors curriculum is comprised of a core and a concentration (i.e., major). It culminates in the production of original honors thesis research or capstone project, presented at an annual research symposium. In addition, students participate in an off-campus learning experiences such as internships or study abroad.

WHC emphasizes broad competency in writing, quantitative reasoning, foreign language, and international, environmental, and ethical understanding. The college’s unique, co-taught interdisciplinary seminars — 5 to 9 credits of which are required for all students — provide an opportunity to think and learn outside of and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. They are designed to enhance independent and critical thinking.

In an honors concentration, students pursue a single area of study in greater depth. Concentrations include traditional majors such as Biology, English Literature, and Psychology and interdisciplinary programs such as Environmental or International Studies, Law and Society, and American Studies. Current concentrations also include Anthropology, Art, Biological Anthropology, Biological Chemistry, Business, Chemistry, Data Analytics, Economics, History, Interdisciplinary Critical Theory, Latin American Studies, Marine Biology, Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences (Interdisciplinary), Medical Humanities, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Med, Spanish, Women’s Studies, and Writing. Students have the opportunity to minor in a concentration area, and with faculty approval, may design independent concentrations in cross-disciplinary fields and fields of study that are not currently offered as concentrations.

Pathway programs are available to highly motivated WHC students with guaranteed admission to FAU graduate programs in Business Administration, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Nursing, and History.

WHC offers students abundant opportunities to conduct research alongside faculty members. They have access to internships at Scripps Research and Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. Students also have research opportunities in FAU labs on campus — at The FAU Brain Institute, Institute for Health and Disease, and the Program for Neurogenetics. Many WHC students conduct research at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, on the northernmost FAU campus, located in Fort Pierce, Florida.  

Ninety percent of incoming students at WHC are awarded a merit-based scholarship based on test scores, academic records, activities, and housing status. All applicants are automatically considered for these awards; a separate scholarship application is not required.

Several scholarships provide top students a full ride, covering tuition and room and board up to $15,000 per year. In addition, many WHC students qualify and receive state-awarded Florida Bright Futures scholarships. WHC students are required to live on campus for the first two years. For additional information, please visit: http://www.fau.edu/honors/index.php.  

Wilkes Honors College Student Demographics

Wilkes Honors College values and seeks diversity in its student body and faculty. FAU ranks as one of the most racially and ethnically diverse universities in the nation. The statistics below reflect WHC enrollments as of Fall 2018:

Female 60%
Male 40%
White 56%
Hispanic/Latino 20%
Asian 9%
African American 6%
Native American 0.3%
Multiracial 5%
In-state 92%
Out-of-state 8%
International 3%
FTIC 77%


The John D. MacArthur Campus

FAU’s John D. MacArthur Campus, also known as the Jupiter Campus, opened fall 1999. The campus presently enrolls more than 1,300 students in undergraduate and graduate programs in WHC and the colleges of Arts and Letters, Design and Social Inquiry, Education, and Science.

The thriving Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Robert J. Huckshorn Arboretum are also distinctive features of the campus.

WHC is fortunate to have a dynamic bio-tech research center on campus. To provide students with elite research opportunities, WHC faculty collaborate with researchers in FAU’s Brain Institute; Institute for Human Health and Disease; and the Program for Neurogenetics, as well as scientists at Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and Scripps Research, two of the world’s leading research organizations on the MacArthur Campus.  

Partnering with Max Planck, FAU is part of two specialized graduate education initiatives: the Integrative Biology & Neuroscience PhD Program (IBAN) and the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Brain & Behavior, which also includes the University of Bonn and the Center of Advanced European Studies & Research.

The campus is also home to the new FAU-Max Planck Academy — the first in the world — which will provide university-level educational opportunities to highly motivated and capable secondary school students.

The campus is in the heart of North Palm Beach County, a diverse and vibrant region of ten communities whose leadership seeks to achieve a sustainable balance between growth and preservation. Residents appreciate the recreational opportunities offered by the lush green spaces, wild and scenic rivers, and blue-water inlets and beaches. The Atlantic Ocean is a short distance from the MacArthur Campus.

Florida Atlantic University: An Overview

Florida Atlantic University, founded in Boca Raton in 1964, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students on six campuses and sites along more than 100 miles of Florida’s east coast. FAU has more than 3,000 employees, including 1,000 dedicated faculty members. It has an operating budget in excess of $850 million. The University has an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion and is conducting millions of dollars’ worth of funded research in important fields such as drug discovery, biotechnology, ocean engineering, and marine science.

FAU is home to ten distinguished colleges that offer more than 180 degree programs in fields that span the arts and humanities, the sciences, medicine, nursing, accounting, business, education, public administration, social work, architecture, engineering, computer science and more.

Wilkes Honors College in Jupiter and FAU in Boca Raton are linked by FAU’s intercampus shuttle service, available to students, faculty, and staff every weekday between 8:00am and 6:30pm.

FAU’s Boca Raton campus offers a broad range of academic programs, activities, and services available to WHC students. The Boca Raton Campus hosts art exhibits, theatre productions, and concerts in its two galleries and theatre. The Student Union hosts student activities and meetings and a 2,400-seat Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium hosts performances from rock groups to the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. Its recreation complex includes an aquatic center, gymnasium, tennis courts, wellness center, track, and a variety of fields for club and intramural sports competition. It is home to FAU's Division I Intercollegiate Athletics program and facilities.

Nearly 3,400 students take classes at Davie, FAU's second-largest campus, co-located with Broward College (BC) in the South Florida Education Center. FAU Davie offers coursework in 30 degree programs through the colleges of arts and letters, business, design and social inquiry, education, nursing, and science.

The University’s Dania Beach campus is home to the ocean engineering research and technology institute known as SeaTech. The Fort Lauderdale campus, located in a vibrant downtown, provides a “real life” urban laboratory for students pursuing an accredited degree in architecture. It is also home to MetroLAB, a collaborative space available for community engagement.

FAU’s northernmost campus is Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, dedicated to exploring the world’s oceans and integrating the science and technology of the sea with the needs of humankind. It provides undergraduate students (including WHC students), graduate students and faculty with a high-tech and dynamic environment.

Student Demographics

Florida Atlantic University students come from all 50 states, every county in Florida and more than 180 countries. With more than half of its student body classified as minority or international students, FAU ranks as the most racially, ethnically and culturally diverse institution in Florida’s State University System. The following breakdown of both undergraduate and graduate student headcounts reflects FAU’s total enrollments as of the Fall 2018 semester:







Black or African American



Hispanic or Latino



American Indian or Alaska Native



Two or more races



Nonresident alien



Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander






Race and ethnicity unknown







In 2018, FAU was ranked in the top 10 four-year public universities in the nation conferring undergraduate degrees to African American students, according to a survey in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. FAU ranks 35th in the nation for conferring bachelor’s degrees to all minorities combined. For conferring bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics in all disciplines combined, FAU ranked 32nd in the nation.

Faculty Governance

The University Faculty Senate represents FAU’s academic community and is responsible for managing the curriculum and certain administrative procedures. The Senate consists of elected representatives of the faculty, with standing committees playing roles in governing academic freedom and due processes, admissions and retention, assessment, athletics, distance education, graduate degree programs, honors and awards, library operations, promotion and tenure, research, and undergraduate degree programs.

The Faculty Governance section of the Faculty Handbook, published annually by FAU's Division of Academic Affairs, informs the faculty of the role of the University Faculty Senate as well as college-level assemblies.
United Faculty of Florida (UFF) is the official collective bargaining agent for FAU faculty. The collective bargaining agreement between the FAU chapter of UFF and the University provides terms and conditions of employment, including provisions on salaries and benefits, academic freedom and responsibility, and intellectual property rights. Membership and dues are optional.

University Finances

Total 2019-20 Operational Budget: $868,175,429
Endowment: $328,834,737 held by the Florida Atlantic University Foundation, Inc. (fauf.fau.edu)
2018-2019 Total Dollars Raised: $38,005,699


Florida Atlantic University Foundation, Inc.: Alumni 160,000

Institutional Governance

Florida Atlantic University is governed by a thirteen-member Board of Trustees, six of whom are appointed by Florida’s governor, five by the Board of Governors plus the student body president and the president of the University Faculty Senate. The gubernatorial and Board of Governors appointees must be confirmed by the Florida Senate.

The trustees are responsible for cost-effective policy decisions appropriate to the University's mission, the implementation and maintenance of high-quality education programs, the measurement of performance, the reporting of information and the provision of input regarding state policy, budgeting, and education standards.


An organizational chart of FAU’s senior administration can be found at: https://www.fau.edu/president/administration.php

Dr. John Kelly, President

John Kelly was named president of Florida Atlantic University January 17, 2014, becoming the seventh president in the University’s 50-year history. President Kelly came from Clemson University, where he held a succession of leadership positions over a 28-year period. Upon his arrival at FAU, President Kelly initiated a year-long collaborative process involving faculty, students, alumni, administrators, staff and friends of the University that culminated in the creation of a new 10-year strategic plan titled “The Race to Excellence.” This comprehensive plan builds upon FAU’s existing strengths and identifies emerging opportunities.

President Kelly’s highlights include a record-breaking $16 million gift from the Schmidt Family Foundation to build a premier academic/athletic facility on the Boca Raton Campus — the largest single gift in the University’s history. He also announced an agreement with Scripps Research and Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience to establish a unique partnership on the MacArthur Campus. The partnerships offer FAU students the rare and valuable opportunities to work side by side with some of the world’s most distinguished biomedical researchers, including Nobel Laureates. President Kelly has also brought the FAU-Max Planck Academy to the MacArthur Campus.

President Kelly has served on the boards of the Administrative Heads Section of the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges (now the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities) and the American Distance Education Consortium.

Dr. Bret Danilowicz, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Bret Danilowicz, Ph.D., was appointed as FAU's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in July 2018. Dr. Danilowicz leads the Division of Academic Affairs and is the institution's Chief Academic Officer, directing the development and delivery of all academic programs at FAU while overseeing the division’s budget and personnel. The Division of Academic Affairs comprises FAU’s 10 colleges that deliver more than 170 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Related areas, such as the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the University Registrar, the University Libraries, the Office of Information Technology, Enrollment Management, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, also come under the division’s umbrella.

Prior to joining FAU, Dr. Danilowicz served for six years as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma State University Prior to that he was Dean of the College of Science and Technology at Georgia Southern University. He also held a faculty position at University College Dublin in Ireland.

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Student drawing in Arboretum on campus


Apply to be Dean

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) invites applications for the position of Dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College (WHC), located on the John D. MacArthur Campus of FAU in Jupiter, Florida.

The ideal dean candidate will build on the successes of the college through strategic recruitment of students and faculty and foster a vision for program development. The successful candidate will possess a terminal degree, a scholarship and teaching record that supports an appointment at the rank of professor, administrative experience in higher-education, and a dedication to excellence in undergraduate education. They will embrace the mission of a public interdisciplinary honors college, commit to collegial decision-making and support fundraising. The candidate must demonstrate a commitment to promoting and retaining diversity and inclusion among students, faculty, and staff. The Dean reports to the FAU Provost located on FAU’s Boca Raton Campus.

Application review begins January 17, 2020 and continues until the position is filled. Applicants should submit a letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile and a current curriculum vitae. These materials should be sent electronically via email to FAU’s consultants, Lucy Leske and Veena Abraham, at FAUHonorsDean@wittkieffer.com.

Florida Atlantic University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

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