Founded in 1850, Heidelberg University was started by members of the German Reformed Church to serve German immigrants in the region. The campus is as unique and honored as its nationally recognized academic programs. The collage of historic and contemporary architectural styles on the tree-lined campus reflects the diversity of students, faculty, and staff who value a strong liberal arts education coupled with unique professional development opportunities. This private university located in Tiffin, Ohio, is 55 miles southeast of Toledo and within 2 hours driving time of Cleveland and Columbus.

The Position


Heidelberg University invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of dean of the School of Business. Founded in 1850, Heidelberg University was started by members of the German Reformed Church to serve German immigrants in the region. The campus is as unique and honored as its nationally recognized academic programs. The collage of historic and contemporary architectural styles on the tree-lined campus reflects the diversity of students, faculty, and staff who value a strong liberal arts education coupled with unique professional development opportunities. This private university, located in Tiffin, Ohio, is 55 miles southeast of Toledo and within two hours’ driving time of Cleveland and Columbus.


Reporting to the vice president of academic affairs and provost, the dean of the School of Business (the School) provides leadership and direction for all aspects of the School’s academic programs, financial affairs, and human resources through administration and external outreach, with additional responsibilities focused on teaching and scholarship. The dean of the School leads the faculty and staff in a participatory governance environment in accordance with the mission of the institution. The dean serves as the chief academic officer of the School and is responsible for both its long-term strategic goals and all day-to-day activities. The dean works collaboratively with the administration and faculty to further the mission of the School. The anticipated start date for the position is January 2023.

Other specific duties of the dean, as outlined in the position description, include:

  • Providing energetic, visionary, and effective leadership in the areas of strategic planning, faculty and staff recruitment and appointment, and budgetary and administrative oversight.
  • Articulating and participating in strategic and long-range instructional planning for the School; identifying specific strategies and detailing administrative and fiscal provisions to ensure the continued excellence of programs, faculty, and teaching.
  • Partnering with businesses and other external organizations.
  • Building relationships with internal and external partners to advance the mission and vision of the School and Heidelberg University.
  • Overseeing continued ACBSP accreditation compliance and reporting.
  • Working to strengthen relationships both within the School and with other university divisions and departments and fostering a climate of innovation to provide for continued academic enrichment and growth.
  • Promoting the university and business programs and participating in hands-on management and open decision-making.
  • Working directly with administration and faculty to plan for curriculum revisions necessary to build enrollment; setting priorities for resources needs and identifying resources for development through grants.
  • Collaborating with enrollment management and marketing to maintain up-to-date information about the School, and promoting its faculty and academic programs to external stakeholders and prospective students.
  • Developing MBA program components, standards, and qualifications for application and admittance and providing MBA student academic advising as needed to ensure student total success.
  • Appropriately delegating and coordinating programmatic and enrichment activities to encourage faculty and student engagement and involvement in the school.
  • Overseeing the recruitment and performance management of the business faculty and implementing long-range recruiting plans which meet or exceed the university’s recruiting objectives and processes.
  • Overseeing the school’s budget according to university financial guidelines and practices; working closely with the VPAA and VP for administration and business affairs to develop a budget and plan for future academic needs.
  • Collaborating with the senior leadership team and other academic leaders in planning university-wide and department-specific fundraising priorities and goals; working with established fundraising and marketing guidelines set forth by the Office of University Advancement and Marketing, including establishing relationships with donors to support the School.
  • Actively participating in student recruitment and retention initiatives.


The position has been vacant since November of 2021. The previous dean was in the role for two and a half years. The current vacancy is being served by Lisa Kahle-Plasecki and Douglas Woods, who serve as interim co-deans until the position is filled.



The successful candidate must possess a doctorate or terminal degree in a related academic area, current rank as associate or full professor in an academic discipline represented by the School, and two or more years of experience in a leadership position within an academic department. Preferred qualifications include experience with assessment and knowledge of ACBSP accreditation requirements and procedures and a distinguished record of achievement as a faculty member in research, training, and service.
Strong candidates for the position will possess: the ability to set and advocate sound, strategic academic priorities that support student success for leading to a life of purpose with distinction; demonstrated excellent relevant, interpersonal, written and verbal communication and problem-solving skills; an established management style that builds confidence, promotes teamwork, enhances creativity and motivation, and builds consensus; ability to demonstrate respect for others while building trust and rapport across departments; strong budget and management skills; and the ability to form relationships with internal and external partners to advance the mission and vision of the School.

Desired core values and personal attributes as outlined in the position description:

  • Leadership style: models values of integrity, honesty, humility, transparency, respectfulness, diversity, caring, loyalty, and accountability in all work.
  • Intellectual dynamism: demonstrates mental sharpness, capability, and agility.
  • Self-knowledge: gains insight from successes and mistakes.
  • Personal learning: seeks feedback and counsel to improve managerial behavior.
  • Peer relationships: encourages collaboration and cooperation across the organization.
  • Teamwork: performs most effectively as a hard-working member of a team.
  • Constituency focus: completes work to meet constituencies’ expectations and requirements.
  • Community focus: brings a spirit of enthusiasm and energy to the campus and town.


The School has a vibrant faculty who are excited for a new leader to guide them. The new dean will be a strong partner and collaborator with all academic units as they promote the PlusOneAdvantage to all undergraduate students.

Building the College. As the dean transitions into the position, it will be essential to promote a strong sense of “team” among faculty and support those working relationships that emphasize a collaborative work environment. Transparency, communication, and flow of information were themes that repeatedly arose.

Collaboration with academic units. The new dean will forge significant partnerships with academic departments and the new provost through leadership, collaborations, and community engagement. They will work to promote the PlusOneAdvantage program throughout all academic units.

Strategic planning. The dean must demonstrate a leadership style that is credible and collegial while being highly effective. The dean is expected to develop strategic learning outcomes and focus on students’ academic and personal success.

Trust and confidence of students. The new dean will be charged with relationship building with current students who desire a close connection with the administration.

Change management. The dean will be courageous in advancing new ideas, thinking outside the box, and addressing challenges with creativity and innovation.


At an appropriate interval after joining Heidelberg University, the following will initially define success for the dean of the School of Business:

  • The dean has demonstrated that they are a valuable thought leader, joining the president and other senior leaders in advancing strategic priorities on behalf of the university and its students.
  • The dean is known as an exceptional advocate for students. Student leaders and university colleagues seek their knowledge and support for initiatives that positively affect the student experience.
  • The dean has collaborated in building a campus culture that creates a sense of belonging, support, and inclusion for all students. They have worked in earnest to advance the goals of diversity, equality, inclusion, and social justice for the university.
  • The dean has established significant partnerships with leaders on campus and in the community to enhance student opportunities in academic programs, on-campus engagement, and community involvement. They will have been identified as a connector for all constituency groups internal and external to campus.
  • The dean has cultivated an atmosphere conducive to rethinking and innovation throughout the School.

Institution & Location



The Heidelberg School of Business’s mission is to prepare students to be effective, socially responsible, and ethical leaders, managers, and scholars in the global business environment through experience-based learning that applies business theories and integrates liberal arts with professional preparation.


Heidelberg’s business programs have been awarded full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). ACBSP is the only organization offering specialized business accreditation for all degree levels. ACBSP accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes within the business programs and degrees offered by Heidelberg University meet the rigorous educational standards established by ACBSP.

Click to access School-of-Business-Newsletter-Spring-2022-4-1.pdf


Heidelberg is a student-centered university in Tiffin, Ohio, and has remained a welcoming, enthusiastic community dedicated to helping students live rich and fulfilling lives, personally and professionally, since its founding in 1850.


Mission Statement

Heidelberg University is a community of learning that promotes and nurtures intellectual, personal and professional development, leading to a life of purpose with distinction.

Vision Statement

Heidelberg is a welcoming, student-centered university where in-class and out-of-class learning is seamless and continuous. The undergraduate and graduate curriculums effectively integrate liberal arts and professional preparation across disciplines to prepare students to be global citizens who think critically, communicate effectively, and serve thoughtfully.

Strategic Plan

Meeting consistently since November of 2020, the Strategic Growth Action Plan team created the enclosed plan to accomplish four overarching goals to help achieve the Mission and Vision:

  • Heidelberg Value – Gain Competitive Educational Market Advantages
  • Enrollment Growth – Expand Student Educational Opportunity
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity – Become A More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Learning Community
  • Financial Sustainability – Strengthen Resilience for University Sustainability


The DEIC encourages Heidelberg University to become more welcoming and vibrant for all persons, preparing all community members for global citizenship, deepening their appreciation for diversity, and promoting multicultural awareness through intentional educational, cultural, and policy changes.


Robert H. Huntington – President

Dr. Robert H. Huntington became the 14th president of Heidelberg University on July 1, 2009. Since his arrival, he has prioritized strengthening Heidelberg’s core student mission of educational excellence, full engagement, total success, 4-year graduation, and preferred placement. Heidelberg has become more contemporary and relevant for students, focusing on the needs and priorities identified in the Academic Strategic Initiatives for Improvement Plan (ASIIP) and the Academic Strategic Programs Prioritization Plan (ASPPP).

During Dr. Huntington’s tenure, Heidelberg has introduced critical new student programming and resources with the implementation of the AIM Hei Faculty-Student Mentoring Program for all first-time students, and enhanced student resources through closer collaboration of the Owen Center for Teaching and Learning and the Stoner Health and Counseling Center. The Heidelberg faculty will introduce a new Integrated Studies General Education program in Fall 2022.

In recent years, Heidelberg has launched a series of highly innovative, market-driven initiatives, including the Heidelberg Tuition Guarantee, the Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, the HYPE Career Ready® Program, and the PlusOneAdvantage® Tuition-Free MBA Program, setting the university apart and giving students significant opportunities and life advantages as they prepare for their post-graduation careers and lives of purpose with distinction.

Bryan D. Smith – Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost

Bryan D. Smith was named vice president of academic affairs and provost in September of 2021 after serving in the interim role since July 2020. Smith, a nearly lifelong Tiffin resident who enrolled at Heidelberg as a first-generation college student, graduated with his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology in 1991. He went on to earn his PhD in chemistry from the University of Wyoming in 1997. After teaching at Terra State Community College, he returned to his alma mater in 2006, joining the chemistry faculty.

Currently, Smith holds the Susan Wolf Endowed Chair for the Dean of Natural Sciences and continues to teach chemistry. In addition to teaching, advising, and research, Smith has served on numerous Heidelberg committees, including his selection by his colleagues to be one of the first faculty representatives to the Board of Trustees. He was among the early developers of the HYPE Career Ready® and Placement Program and partnered with Professor Jerry McDonald (now retired) to develop Heidelberg’s Exercise Science major.

Additionally, in partnership with faculty leadership, Smith has continued to lead the work on implementing the Academic Strategic Program Prioritization Plan and played an integral role in supporting the development of the Integrated Studies General Education Program.

Benefits Overview


For information about the benefits offered at Heidelberg University, please visit:

Application & Nomination


The review of applications will begin on August 26, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Laura Puckett-Boler at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

Visit the Heidelberg University website at

 Heidelberg University is a student-focused community with a commitment to the achievement of diversity among its faculty, staff, and students. Preferred candidates value, demonstrate, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 Heidelberg University is a student-focused community with a commitment to the achievement of diversity among its faculty, staff, and students. Individuals who value, demonstrate, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion are preferred candidates for Heidelberg’s vacant positions. Additionally, we are seeking faculty and staff members who are interested in positively contributing to vital University initiatives in student recruitment, engagement, retention, success, persistence, graduation, and placement.


About Heidelberg University

About the School of Business

About Tiffin, Ohio