Search Executive Jobs
As a trusted leader in executive search, we are committed to staying at the forefront of emerging trends, best practices, and innovative strategies across the industries we serve.
Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA - United States
The Virginia Tech College of Engineering seeks a strategic, collaborative, and entrepreneurial leader to serve as its Head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This is a unique opportunity to lead a period of growth and ambition for the department, the success of which is inextricably linked to the success of the college and the realization of the promise of the University’s new Innovation Campus.
This year the Virginia Tech Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) was ranked No. 4 in U.S. News and World Report among the best global universities for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the United States, among other impressive rankings. The largest department on the Virginia Tech campus and the 4th largest ECE department in the nation, it includes 90 faculty, 30 staff, and 1,024 undergraduate and 663 graduate students. A collaborative atmosphere and interdisciplinary efforts are hallmarks of the department’s research programs, and the more than 35 research groups, centers, and laboratories grow in reputation each year. Virginia Tech’s research programs in telecommunications, fiber optics, power systems, power electronics, and photonics are often ranked among the top in their fields. In keeping with Virginia Tech’s land-grant focus, the ECE faculty is active in industrial outreach, technology transfer, and continuing education for practicing engineers. Strong ties to industry are reflected in the percentage of industrial research funding and the numerous short courses offered each year. Research expenditures exceeded $32M in fiscal year 2022.
Reporting to the dean of the College of Engineering and serving as a vital member of the college’s senior leadership team, the head will provide leadership and vision for the department, aligning its strategic goals with those of the college and the University. The head will have a unique opportunity to lead and oversee an exceptionally large, complex department during a period of tremendous growth requiring ambition, strategic focus, collaboration, and an entrepreneurial approach. The head will build on the excellence of the department to further elevate undergraduate and graduate ECE education and advance the already impressive impact of its research. In addition, the new head will play a critical role – working collaboratively with College and University leadership – to achieve the faculty recruitment, graduate enrollment, and graduation goals critical to securing the success and promise of the Innovation Campus. Built at the nexus of academia, industry, and government, the Innovation Campus equips students in computer science and computer engineering to solve urgent challenges, alongside leading researchers, industry executives, and national policymakers. While the head will be located at the Blacksburg campus, travel to and in-person engagement with the Innovation Campus is expected.
The new head will be an experienced, innovative, mission-driven leader with a demonstrated track record of elevating ECE education, research, and outreach in a complex environment where shared governance is valued. The head will be a collaborative partner who can build trusting relationships with other leaders, faculty, staff, students, and constituents across the university and drive innovation by garnering credibility and consensus. The head will have a keen sense of future directions of the ECE fields and a passion for influencing their futures. Experience with and a deep appreciation for the needs of industry are essential. The new head will have demonstrated the ability to effect positive change, empower a high-performing leadership team, mentor colleagues and students over the course of their careers, and oversee the financial and administrative operations of a large, complex department with aplomb. The head must fully embrace Virginia Tech’s commitment to increasing faculty, staff, and student diversity, ensuring a welcoming, affirming, safe, and accessible campus climate. Candidates should have professional achievements commensurate with appointment at the rank of Full Professor.
Virginia Tech’s main campus is in Blacksburg, Virginia, which is consistently ranked among the country’s best places to live. In addition, Virginia Tech’s facilities in the Washington, D.C. metro area offer unique proximity to government and industry partners and are expanding rapidly, with the new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, Virginia slated to open in 2024. As the Commonwealth of Virginia’s most comprehensive university and a leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers about 280 undergraduate, graduate, and first professional degree programs to more than 38,000 students and manages a research portfolio of close to $600 million. The University fulfills its role as a land-grant institution by fostering a collaborative environment that integrates technology into all disciplines, so that the Virginia Tech community can serve as a force for positive change around the Commonwealth, the country, and the world. Through experiential learning, future-focused research, and an inclusive, spirited culture, Virginia Tech strives to accomplish the charge of its motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).
WittKieffer is assisting Virginia Tech in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by January 12, 2024. All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited.
Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile, a vision for leading the department, and how you would advance Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community.
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Suzanne Teer, Cathryn Davis, and Maya E. Holt-Brockenbrough, Ph.D. at VirginiaTechECEHead@wittkieffer.com.
Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.
For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the Office for Equity and Accessibility at 540-231-2010 or Virginia Tech, 220 Gilbert Street, Suite 5200, Blacksburg, VA 24061