Workplace Diversity


companyUniversity of Kentucky
locationFayette County, Lexington, KY, USA
PublishedPublished: 12/24/2023
Education / Training
Full Time

Job Title

Requisition Number

Working Title
Director, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce

Department Name
8W200:Patterson School Of Diplomacy

Work Location
Lexington, KY

Type of Position

Position Time Status

Tenure Track Status
Tenure Track

Required Education

Master Degree, PhD or terminal degree in chosen discipline

Required Related Experience

Applicants should possess outstanding academic and professional accomplishments in international politics, economics, law, culture, health, environmental studies, or other fields related to international scholarship to warrant appointment as a tenured, full-time faculty member at the rank of full professor at the time of application.

Required License/Registration/Certification


Job Summary

The University of Kentucky invites nominations and applications for the Director of the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. Since 1959, the Patterson School has prepared future leaders for rewarding careers in international affairs. With a tradition of leadership and innovation, and a commitment to excellence, the Patterson School is keenly focused on what is required to prepare international policymakers to meet the demands of the 21st century.

The Patterson School’s hallmarks have been its intimate size, its selectivity, and its combination of diplomatic and studies of international commerce. With a faculty dedicated to providing an unparalleled learning experience, we ensure students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to have an impact on the world stage. Patterson graduates seek more than just a profession; they want to change the world.


Founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution adjacent to downtown Lexington, UK is nestled in the scenic heart of the beautiful Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. From its early beginnings, with only 190 students and 10 professors, UK’s campus now covers more than 918 acres and is home to more than 30,000 students and approximately 13,500 employees, including more than 2,300 full-time faculty, and operates an annual budget of nearly $3.9 billion. UK is one of eight universities in the United States that has colleges of agriculture, engineering, medicine, and pharmacy on a single campus, leading to groundbreaking discoveries and unique interdisciplinary collaboration.

The state’s flagship University consists of 16 academic and professional colleges where students can choose from more than 200 majors and degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Graduate School prepares the next generation of business, industry, and academic leaders. Supporting and emboldening the university’s scholarly community is a comprehensive research library system made up of nine facilities, including the world-class William T. Young Library.

The student body is diverse, representing more than 90 countries, every state in the nation, and all 120 Kentucky counties. The University continues to attract the best and brightest from Kentucky and beyond.

In the last several years, UK has received nearly 100 national rankings for excellence in academics, research, health care, and economic development. U.S. News and World Report ranks several of UK’s graduate programs among the nation’s best. The University of Kentucky earned 28 Top 10 rankings and 50 Top 25 rankings over the last several years.

An R1 institution, the University of Kentucky supports and empowers innovative research in all forms practiced across its diverse campus, varied disciplines and more than 70 centers and institutes. UK faculty, staff and student researchers create, discover and apply new knowledge, and explore the most complex problems facing Kentucky, the nation and the world. The University’s collaborative, cross-disciplinary research environment provides a rich training ground for the next generation of thinkers, creators and leaders. Landing 61st nationally in the NSF HERD R&D rankings, and 40th out of all public institutions on total R&D expenditures, the University of Kentucky’s FY22 total R&D expenditures was $476.5M.


Surrounded by rolling hills and scenic horse farms of the Bluegrass, Lexington, Kentucky is known for its natural beauty and moderate weather.

At over 320,000 people, Lexington supports myriad cultural attractions, including an opera, multiple ballet companies, Broadway theater productions, a philharmonic orchestra, and countless art galleries. The city is alive with talented bluegrass, country, jazz, blues, and rock musicians. Sports fans are blessed with the finest college basketball team in the history of the sport, SEC football and baseball, minor league baseball, and the nearby Cincinnati Bengals and Reds.

The Bluegrass offers a wide variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, ranging from canoeing on the nearby Kentucky River and hiking in the famous Red River Gorge to biking through horse country. White water rafting and spelunking are also within easy striking distance. More leisurely pursuits include afternoons at Keeneland Racetrack, making the rounds on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail or skating downtown at the outdoor ice rink.

In addition to being the world center of the thoroughbred racehorse breeding industry, central Kentucky is home to major corporations such as Ashland, Yum!, Toyota USA, Alltech, Lexmark International, Tempur-Pedic International, and Link-Belt. Nevertheless, Lexington maintains the ambience and charm of a university town, with the offerings of a much larger city.


Padraic Kenney began his role as the Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost of Graduate and Professional Education at University of Kentucky in October 2023. He previously served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and for the Social and Historical Sciences at Indiana University (IU). At IU, he led in various roles, including Chair of International Studies and Director of the Russian and East European Institute. In 2016, he served as President of the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

An internationally prominent historian and researcher, Dean Kenney’s research focuses on the dynamics of communist societies, especially Poland; on democratic revolutions in contemporary history; and on human rights. He is primarily interested in understanding how groups of people and individuals without power manage, survive, resist and protest in hostile regimes.


The vision to create a school of diplomacy and international commerce came from Dr. James Kennedy Patterson, the first president of the University of Kentucky. Long an advocate for greater American engagement with the world, Patterson saw the 1898 Spanish-American War as evidence that a new school was needed that “shall have for its special object the preparation of young men for the diplomatic and consular service of the United States. It shall also provide special training for those who may seek employment in extending upon rational and scientific lines the commercial relations of America.” Patterson took as his model the programs then being established in Europe and at Harvard, Chicago, Georgetown and Yale.

The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce provides an exceptional master’s degree program that prepares future leaders for rewarding careers in international affairs. The professional master’s program offers concentrations/majors in four areas: diplomacy; international commerce; international organizations and development; international security and intelligence.

The Patterson School program is focused and flexible. Core courses ensure students acquire a strong foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge. Faculty concentrate on developing students’ analytical, professional writing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. In addition, an appreciation of international business is increasingly essential to any professional education. At the Patterson School, students are exposed to how major corporations operate in the 21st century. Students engage with key corporate leaders working at the forefront of globalization to Lexington, and they also travel as a group to headquarters, manufacturing, and operating facilities of leading multinational corporations.

With a faculty dedicated to providing an unparalleled learning experience, we ensure students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively maneuver on the world stage. Patterson School faculty are a mix of exceptional scholars and practitioners with decades of experience in diplomacy, commerce, business, defense, development and intelligence. They know firsthand what is needed to succeed in the international arena.

The Patterson School averages 70 full-time, resident master’s students with only 35 new students admitted each year. Keeping the program small, select, and focused allows for an exceptional level of attention, instruction, and interaction. The focus is directly on the students, with seminars, conferences, speaker series, exercises, simulations, and events specially crafted to develop their full potential.


As Patterson enters its seventh decade, the strategic goals remain clear. A focus remains on world class master’s level education and the selectivity of its student cohort. At the same time, the School is committed to significantly increasing the financial support available for students and further enhancing the quality of the program. Integral to this vision are:

  • Attracting students of ever-greater diversity and excellence.
  • Integrating innovative technologies to transform learning experience and school operations.
  • Expanding the range and quality of corporate, governmental, and military co-curricular activities.
  • Developing strategic partnerships with additional public and private sector actors.
  • Expanding our outreach activities to benefit UK, the community, the Commonwealth and the nation.


The next Director will join the Patterson School at a moment of incredible opportunity to define the next chapter and expand the vision for the School. Reporting to the Dean of The Graduate School and Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, the Director oversees an approximate total of ten faculty and staff.

The Director will provide administrative leadership, academic vision, and will engage a diverse faculty to create a productive, collegial environment that advances the school’s goals. The Director will bring fresh ideas to raise the national and international profile of the Patterson School, deepen collaborative partnerships across the University and strengthen the curricular profile of the School to benefit the University of Kentucky, the community, the Commonwealth and the nation.


The next Director will be energized by the following opportunities and challenges, among many others:

Raise the visibility and reach. The Patterson School has an opportunity to improve its visibility in an increasingly competitive field of international affairs master’s programs. The Director will be a visible presence internally and externally to articulate the distinctiveness, value, and impact of the master’s program with the goal of broadening our appeal to prospective students and deepening collaborative partnerships on the University of Kentucky campus. The Director will also be a recognized voice and scholar in thought partnership around local and national policy conversations.

Deepen connections with a highly engaged alumni base. Alumni are critical to the success of the Patterson School. The alumni network is central to providing mentorship, experiential learning, and employment opportunities for students. The Director will play an active role in nurturing and facilitating relationships with the alumni community and will explore structures and frameworks to engage alumni like tailored programming and the creation of an alumni advisory board.

Continue to evolve the academic program The Director will provide leadership for the hiring, development, management, evaluation and goal setting for academic faculty and staff. In nurturing tenure and non-tenure track faculty in various career paths, the Director will provide support and reduce barriers for career development and progression. In this leadership role, the Director will advocate for evolving pedagogies and support an environment of continuous improvement to maintain and strengthen the Patterson School’s position amongst similar programs

The Director position includes a nine-month contract with the expectation of an additional two months of summer administrative duties between the non-contract period of May 15 through August 16.

The Distribution of Effort (DOE) will reflect responsibilities for administration, instruction, research, service and professional development as follows:

50% Administration

25% Research

15% Instruction

5% Service

5% Professional Development


Salary is competitive and includes a Director’s stipend, compensation for summer engagement and a generous benefits package.


Applications should include a letter of interest and a current curriculum vitae. All applications must be submitted directly to the University of Kentucky here:

The executive search firm of Storbeck has been selected to recruit for this position. To be considered, you must complete the UK application and contact Storebeck through:

Holly Jackson, Managing Associate

Kamilah Allen, Senior Associate

Storbeck Search Diversified Search Group

All nominations, inquiries, and applications will be handled in a secure, sensitive, and confidential manner.

The position will remain open until filled.

Skills / Knowledge / Abilities

Does this position have supervisory responsibilities?

Preferred Education/Experience

The successful candidate will demonstrate many of the following skills, attributes, or experiences:
  • Superb cultural competence, as demonstrated through successful global work, travel, and communication.
  • An unwavering commitment to the student experience, adept at addressing the diverse needs of University of Kentucky’s student population.
  • Robust understanding of international affairs and future directions influenced by emerging trends such as global security, sustainability, geo-politics, regional development issues, etc., reflecting an appreciation of scholarly and practitioner perspectives of the field.
  • Superb communication skills, and the ability to serve as the public face of the Patterson School in a wide variety of settings.
  • A record of achievement in furthering inclusive excellence, including a proven ability to recruit, retain, and support diverse faculty, staff, and students.
  • Experience establishing and overseeing strategic partnerships.
  • Exceptional cross-cultural communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to deliver subject matter expertise and/or represent an organization and its priorities.
  • A record of forging strong professional partnerships with a variety of public and private organizations, both nationally and internationally.
  • Ability to collaboratively lead a complex organization with multiple and engaged stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, senior University administrators, alumni, donors, advisory board members, trustees, and NGO/industry partners, by means of innovative and entrepreneurial management.
  • Familiarity with and/or a desire to employ new approaches to alumni engagement.
  • A transparent, collaborative, servant leader, rooted in integrity and yielding trusting relationships with all constituencies.
  • Financial acumen, including experience managing complex resources and budgets.

Deadline to Apply

Open Until Filled

University Community of Inclusion

The University of Kentucky is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce by ensuring all our students, faculty, and staff work in an environment of openness and acceptance. We strive to foster a community where people of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can feel secure and welcome. We also value the well-being of each of our employees and are dedicated to creating a healthy place to work, learn and live. In the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our students, employees, patients and visitors the University of Kentucky is a Tobacco & Drug Free campus.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly encourage veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and all minorities to consider our employment opportunities.

Any candidate offered a position may be required to pass pre-employment screenings as mandated by University of Kentucky Human Resources. These screenings may include a national background check and/or drug screen.