Lewis Honors College Dean Search

In October 2015, the University of Kentucky received the largest single gift in its history--$23 million--from alumnus, long-time donor, and successful entrepreneur Thomas W. Lewis and his wife Jan to create the Lewis Honors College from the previously existing Honors Program.  The University seeks an experienced and visionary leader to serve as the college’s inaugural dean. The Dean of the Lewis Honors College is a full-time appointment, reporting directly to the Provost and serving on the Deans’ Council.

The Dean serves as the academic and administrative head of the Lewis Honors College and is responsible for the leadership and administration of all aspects of the college.  This includes but is not limited to:

  • Communicating with prospective and current Honors College students;
  • Promoting engagement and success of Honors students;
  • Developing the curriculum and ensuring appropriate instructional resources for college programs;
  • Developing co-curricular activities suitable for Honors students;
  • Integrating the Honors College with the other academic colleges and departments;
  • Collaborating with the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management on student recruitment and admissions;
  • Managing the budget and its various funding sources; and
  • Collaborating with the Office of Philanthropy to enhance private funding.

Latest Updates

Provost Tracy provided an update to the campus on May 18:

The University of Kentucky has been conducting a national search for the inaugural dean of the UK Lewis Honors College. A crucial role for our institution, the dean will serve as the academic and administrative head of this new college, and will be responsible for all aspects of its leadership and administration.

Throughout the search process, we continuously sought input and feedback from a broad array of constituencies. During the spring, the search committee recommended four finalists who visited campus, participated in open forums, and met with constituent groups in the UK community. While all are outstanding candidates, feedback did not coalesce around one finalist. Because the inaugural dean is central to the success of the new college and the University, it is appropriate to continue the search process. 

You can read the email in its entirety here.


Position Description 

Serving as the Dean of the Lewis Honors College will require significant experience in senior leadership; thus, the successful candidate must have previous administrative experience in higher education, preferably in an Honors College or Honors Program.  Successful candidates are expected to possess a terminal degree in their field, as well as a distinguished record of teaching, research, and service sufficient to qualify for appointment as a full professor with tenure in a University of Kentucky academic department.  Additional desired qualifications include:

  • A solid record of visionary, innovative leadership in higher education;
  • An established background as an exceptional teacher and scholar;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the promotion and support of diversity and inclusion;
  • Outstanding communication and leadership skills;
  • Demonstrated administrative, budgeting, and governance skills;
  • Interest and ability in fundraising and other activities to enhance the academic and financial strength of the Honors College; and
  • Proven ability to effectively collaborate across campus and relate effectively to a variety of internal and external constituencies.


Search Committee 

  • Claire Renzetti, co-chair
  • Dave Blackwell, co-chair
  • Kristin Ashford
  • Ihsan Bagby
  • Thomas Balk
  • Lisa Blue
  • Rebecca Dutch
  • Jonathan Glixon
  • Hannah Latta
  • Leon Sachs
  • Bruce Webb
  • Lisa Wilson

Contact Us

As with all searches, feedback and input from the UK community is invaluable to this process. If you have any questions or would like to provide comments, contact the search committee at honorsdeansearch@uky.edu