Kenneth F. Khan Dean, School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Job Posted: 6 February 2019
Company: Cornell University
Closing Date: Until Filled
Location: Ithaca, NY


Cornell University invites applications and nominations for the position of the Kenneth F. Khan Dean of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). The School is recognized as the preeminent institution for industrial and labor relations education and research, and renowned for its commitment to interdisciplinary and multifaceted approaches to studying and advancing the field.

Founded by the New York State legislature in 1945, on the heels of the Great Depression and World War II, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations provided faculty and students a setting in which to grapple with issues creating conflict in the workplace, including the adversarial relationship between labor and management. Today, better known simply as the ILR School, the School has grown into a multidisciplinary social science research and educational institution focused on the world of work. With its commitment to the land grant mission of Cornell University, the ILR School seeks to prepare leaders; inform New York, national, and international employment and labor policy; and improve working lives. The ILR School is world-renowned for its faculty, whose research and education on labor relations, employment, and management inform policies that enhance organizational effectiveness, employee welfare, and economic development. The ILR School offers undergraduate, professional masters, and doctoral programs, as well as career-long learning for professionals.

The ILR School boasts a strong community of more than 95 faculty and practitioners (60 of whom are tenured or tenure-track), 1,000 undergraduate and 200 graduate students, and 120 staff members, as well as more than 13,000 alumni. In addition, more than 20,000 field professionals complete training and professional development every year focusing on management development, conflict resolution, human resources (HR), diversity/EEO, labor relations, union leadership, and executive education.

ILR’s six academic departments encompass the interdisciplinary, social sciences-based field of workplace studies: labor economics; human resource studies; international and comparative labor; labor relations, law and history; organizational behavior; and social statistics.  The ILR School has witnessed an expansion of global initiatives, which include international agreements for research and educational exchanges, student internships, and service learning opportunities, as well as some HR practitioner training. 

In addition to the Ithaca campus, the ILR School has a large presence in New York City, including a new, 40,000 square foot home in the landmarked, former GE Headquarters Building at 570 Lexington Avenue, which serves as home base to approximately 60 faculty and staff. Eight of ILR’s centers, institutes, and programs are either based in NYC or have a significant operation there. The majority of ILR’s professional programs are taught in NYC, as is the Master of Professional Studies graduate degree program. ILR also has a vibrant program in Buffalo, dating back to 1946, when the ILR School opened its first extension office in downtown Buffalo. ILR Buffalo initiatives are uniquely attuned to the remarkable regeneration of the Greater Buffalo economy and its challenges of sustainable development, equitable opportunity, and quality jobs. ILR also maintains a small office in Rochester, NY, which offers labor-focused trainings.

Cornell seeks an established scholar and innovative leader to serve as the Kenneth F. Kahn Dean of the ILR School. Reporting to the Provost, the Dean will provide visionary leadership to propel the ILR School forward. The Dean will have complete line responsibility for personnel, general administration, and management, budget, academic and development functions, and will begin on or around July 1, 2019. The ILR School has an operating budget of $95 million and an endowment of $100 million.

The ILR Dean will be expected to provide bold vision and leadership for ILR in the 21st century to ensure that it continues to enhance its impact on the world of work. S/he will recruit and retain the best faculty and enhance their career development, increase the diversity of the faculty and staff, and further strengthen the social science research reputation of the ILR School. In addition, s/he will oversee the enhancement of the undergraduate curriculum and the expansion of graduate programs, foster interdisciplinary opportunities to collaborate within ILR and across the University, and promote ILR’s innovations and contributions in workplace studies widely. Emphasis will be placed on the development of ILR’s financial resources, especially through fundraising and the development of innovative programs.

The next ILR Dean will be an accomplished scholar with an established record of strong, collaborative, and forward-looking leadership in academia. S/he must be passionate about ILR’s mission and should have experience developing and implementing innovative strategic plans, as well as experience in financial management.  The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in strengthening philanthropic support from individuals, foundations and corporations, or a genuine appetite to engage in such fundraising. S/he should have a strong commitment to scholarly research, undergraduate and graduate education, interdisciplinary partnerships, and diversity and inclusion. A commitment to shared governance is essential. Candidates must possess either a Ph.D. or J.D. and demonstrate a record of scholarly and professional accomplishment to qualify for appointment at the rank of Full Professor with tenure.

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited.  Interested candidates should submit confidentially, in electronic form (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred) a curriculum vitae and letter of interest to:

Dr. Jett Pihakis
Russell Reynolds Associates
[email protected] 
(202) 654-7800

Cornell University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer. The University actively encourages applications and nominations of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities and applications from candidates with diverse cultural backgrounds.