Dean, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health

Position Description Indiana University Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana


Bring on Tomorrow


Indiana University Indianapolis (IU Indianapolis) seeks an accomplished and visionary leader to serve as the next Dean of the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health (Fairbanks, Fairbanks School, or the School).


Since its founding in 2012, the Fairbanks School of Public at Indiana University Indianapolis has quickly established itself as key partner to the State of Indiana and beyond related to public health. The School is dedicated to the pursuit of health for all people and does this by emphasizing the prevention of disease and injury and recognizing the interconnectedness of the physical environment and ecosystem to the health of the community. The Fairbanks School strives to ensure the interests of the public are represented in health policies and practices, and support activities that promote this comprehensive view.


The Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health strives to build upon its strong demonstration of academic and community engaged impact as it enters its second decade. Working in collaboration with an exceptional faculty, staff, student body, and alumni, the next Dean will have an extraordinary opportunity to take Fairbanks to new levels of excellence, visibility, and impact.


Fairbanks is home to 37 full-time faculty and 50 staff and has an annual operating budget of over $17.1M million. In its short existence, the school touts many accomplishments, including being ranked the #67 School of Public Health by U.S. News and World Report. The school is home to four academic departments

– Biostatistics and Health Data Science, Community and Global Health, Epidemiology, and Health Policy and Management. As of the start of the spring 2024 academic semester, 555 students were enrolled in the Fairbanks School, across doctoral programs (111 students), masters programs (230 students), and undergraduate programs (214 students). The School offers three undergraduate majors, seven undergraduate minors and/or tracks, four masters degrees, and four doctoral degrees.


During its decade-plus on the IU Indianapolis campus, the Fairbanks School has developed five centers: Community Health Engagement and Equity Research (CHEER), the Center for Health Policy, the Center for Public Health Practice, IUPUI ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) Center, and the Public Health Training Center. In the most recent complete fiscal year (2022-23), the Fairbanks School received

$12.5M in research awards and annual research awards have well exceeded $10M since 2020.


In addition to traditional federal funding from the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a significant amount of the research work in the Fairbanks School is in partnership with local and state entities such as Marion County, the City of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana. Corporation partnerships include companies such as Eli Lilly and Company and foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the School was a key partner around contact tracing and measurement of disease spread. More recently the School has been regularly sought out by the state for conversations and partnerships, and has significantly increased its funding for public health during the most recent budget cycle.




Since 1969—the year Indiana University and Purdue University came together to create Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)—IUPUI has been recognized for its outstanding teaching and learning, resourceful innovation, commitment to community engagement, research that changes lives for the better, and efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion. The campus and its 206,000 living alumni have long played a critical role in the metropolitan Indianapolis region and across the state.


In June 2023, the Indiana University and Purdue University Boards of Trustees approved a definitive agreement to formalize the separation of IUPUI. The creation of independent campuses will enable the two major research universities to build upon their legacies of excellence and impact to meet the needs of Indiana and its capital city for decades to come. Following a final year of operations as IUPUI, which will serve as a period of transition, IU will officially begin operation of IU Indianapolis on July 1, 2024. IU Indianapolis will be a comprehensive research university with extensive undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs spanning the full spectrum of inquiry, as represented by the diverse array of schools that will constitute the institution.


All academic programs at IUPUI—with the exception of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology and Computer Science within the School of Science—along with 1,308 faculty, 2,195 professional and support staff, and 85% of all current IUPUI students (approximately 23,500 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students) will transition to IU Indianapolis. The schools that will transition to IU Indianapolis include Dentistry; Education; Health and Human Sciences; the Herron School of Art and Design; the Kelley School of Business; Liberal Arts; the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering; the Robert H. McKinney School of Law; Medicine; Nursing; the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs; the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health; Science; Social Work; the Honors College; University College; and IU Graduate School Indianapolis.



IU has defined a clear and ambitious vision for its campus in the state’s capital city: IU Indianapolis will be one of the nation’s leading urban research universities. The university aims to increase the number of graduates to service the State in an innovation-led economy, fuel economic growth in the region and the state, and enhance service to the Indianapolis community and beyond. Aligned with the university-wide strategic plan, the IU Indianapolis 2030 strategic plan is organized around three central pillars, each with


defined goals, objectives, and metrics: Student Success and Opportunity, Transformative Research and Creativity, and Service to Our State and Beyond. The institution has a longstanding tradition of collecting and reporting progress made toward institutional goals, which is presented in annual reports.

IU Indianapolis’s approach to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) centers around creating a welcoming and inclusive environment driven by faculty, student, and staff success. Recognizing the importance of advancing DEI efforts across the entire campus, leadership devised the IUPUI Diversity Plan to guide institutional efforts from 2016-2021. More recently, specific DEI-oriented goals are embedded into each of the three central pillars of the current IU Indianapolis 2030 strategic plan. Further, with guidance from the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the campus has supported each school and unit in the creation of local diversity plans.


With a population of approximately 880,000, Indianapolis, the capital city of Indiana, is the 16th largest city in the United States. Home to several major league sports teams, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Headquarters, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, White River State Park, and numerous museums and other cultural attractions, Indianapolis was recently recognized as one of the top 100 places to live by U.S. News. The state legislature and many companies—including Eli Lilly, Roche Diagnostics, Elevance Health (formerly Anthem), Elanco, and Corteva—are headquartered in the city, creating a rich ecosystem for collaboration and partnership. CNBC recently ranked Indiana as the fifth best state for infrastructure, specifically noting the state’s strategic geographic location, investments in rail lines, access to key ports, good condition of roads and bridges, and widespread access to broadband.


The Dean, reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer at IU Indianapolis, serves as the chief strategic, academic, and administrative officer for the School. This individual is responsible for:

•       Defining the School’s direction and priorities at the highest level.

•       Collaborating and forming strategic partnerships with other IU Schools.

•       Overseeing its growth and development.

•       Managing personnel, budget, and policy.

•       Shaping the experience for faculty, students, and staff.


Direct reports to the Dean include an executive associate dean/chief operating officer, four department chairs, associate dean for research, associate dean for global health, associate dean for population health, a director of development, director of public health practice, executive liaison, and an accreditation consultant.

The Dean also works with the Fairbanks Alumni Board, the Advancement Council, and the National Advisory Council to help guide the direction of the school, engage alumni and donors, and help support curricular innovation.

Key opportunities for the incoming Dean include:


•       Leading the development and implementation of the School’s next strategic plan, focusing on the mission and vision of the Fairbanks School and its future growth as it enters its second decade.

•       Further aligning school efforts toward the key strategic plan pillars of student success, research and creativity, and contributions to the community.

•       Enhancing academic and research excellence, including by recruiting and retaining strong and accomplished faculty members.

•       Increasing enrollment and ensuring student academic success and professional preparation through an innovative curriculum.

•       Deepening the School’s organizational strength and cohesion.

•       Growing financial resources, including in partnership with the IU Foundation, to expand opportunities for students and faculty while making strategic and operating investments for Fairbanks’ future.

•       Strengthening the School’s external position and influence in public health.


For the Fairbanks School of Public Health Dean, Indiana University Indianapolis seeks an exceptional leader who is passionate about the public health mission and broader commitments to enhancing public health for all. IU Indianapolis is open to considering candidates from all parts of the world who may have been shaped by a variety of experiences, including leadership in the academic, private, professional, military, nonprofit, and government sectors.


A PhD in, or related to, the Fairbanks School’s areas of study is strongly preferred. Candidates should have a record of successful scholarship, a demonstrable record of engagement in higher education, or other leadership experiences that would qualify them to hold a tenured faculty position at IU Indianapolis.


While no one person will likely embody all the professional qualifications, skills, experiences, and personal qualities desirable in this role, the successful candidate will bring many of the following:


•       A deep commitment to academic innovation and student success.

•       A highly successful track record as a strategic leader, with excellent capabilities in building on organizational strengths, forging organizational unity, and delivering exceptional results.

•       A leadership style that is adaptable and inclusive, built upon mutual respect, communication, collaboration, and fairness.

•       Thought leadership and experiencing working with cities, states, and/or the federal government to promote public health.

•       Demonstrated knowledge of the opportunities and challenges facing higher education today.

•       Fundraising experience and enthusiasm for building relationships with external stakeholders for the benefit of the school.

•       Financial acumen and proven abilities in budgetary and financial management.

•       An entrepreneurial and creative spirit.

•       A reputation for integrity, transparency, accountability, and enthusiasm.


•       Interpersonal skills that enable effective relationships with all stakeholders, including other University leaders, alumni, advisory boards, professional officials, and leaders in the fields of higher education and international affairs.

•       A proven commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

•       Superior communication skills.





The deadline for priority consideration is March 15, 2024. Review of candidates will continue until an appointment is made.


All applications (including—as separate documents—a cover letter, resume, and list of references) should be submitted online at: https://indiana.peopleadmin.com/postings/22639


All inquiries and nominations should be directed in confidence online to:


IU Executive Recruiting exesrch@iu.edu


Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment based on individual qualifications. Indiana University prohibits discrimination based on age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, disability status or protected veteran status.