Human Resources

Department Chair, Social Sciences

Apply now Job No: 20226
Department: Social Sciences
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Academic Administrator, Sciences

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University invites applications for the position of department chair. We seek an established scholar and motivated leader committed to innovative research and scholarship, applied teaching methods, and professional excellence to promote our dynamic interdisciplinary department.

The Department of Social Sciences takes a transdisciplinary approach to addressing socioeconomic, technological, and environmental change to create a sustainable, just, and prosperous world. Our faculty are institutional leaders in action-based learning, applied inquiry, and community-engaged research. We offer two graduate programs (M.S. and Ph.D.) in Environmental and Energy Policy and Industrial Heritage and Archaeology. The department's undergraduate majors include Sustainability Science and Society, Anthropology, History, and Social Sciences. Candidates must articulate how their areas of specialization and professional experience will enhance these research and teaching strengths. These areas may include but are not limited to environmental history, public health and policy, climate and society, heritage policy and governance, risk and resiliency, cultural and natural heritage, and the politics and legacies of deindustrialization.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

• Provide leadership in achieving excellence in teaching, research, and service
• Promote a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Department and the curriculum
• Recruit, develop, and retain a strong departmental faculty and staff through active mentoring, conducting performance reviews, and making recommendations on reappointment, tenure, and promotion
• Advance the strategic plans of the Department in alignment with those of the College and University
• Manage the department’s resources (financial, personnel, space, and equipment) effectively to achieve long and short-term goals
• Advocate for departmental interests with administrators, alumni, and potential funders 

•Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work and commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

PhD that articulates with the fields represented within our Department of Social Sciences

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

• Full or Associate Professor
• Demonstrated success in collaborating with colleagues across multiple disciplines
• Leadership in graduate and/or undergraduate program administration and/or curricular development
• Successful record in acquiring and managing external research funding
• Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
• Experience managing organizational budgets

Desirable Education and/or Experience

• Experience in interdisciplinary programs or in trans-disciplinary scholarship
• Experience working effectively within a structure of shared governance
• Experience in educational program development, especially in general education and/or curricula that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion
• Education or work experience in a technological or engineering university

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Candidates must articulate how their areas of specialization and professional experience will enhance the Department's research and teaching strengths listed in the job description summary

•Demonstrated excellence in their field of research
• Demonstrated excellence in teaching
• Strong communication skills

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Alumni relations and fundraising

Language, Mathematics and/or Reasoning Skills


Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

The work environment is that of a typical office and/or classroom setting. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 3 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

11 months



Pay Rate/Salary


Title of Position Supervisor

College Dean

Posting Type

Internal & External

Dependent on Funding


Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)

The review of applications will commence on January 22, 2021. The Committee will give full consideration to applications received by that date. Interested candidates should complete the online application and upload required materials, including: (1) a letter of interest, (2) Curriculum Vita, (3) a statement of leadership philosophy, (4) a statement that describes the applicant’s past efforts and future plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education, and (5) names and contact information for three references. You can find out more about this position, including where to submit your materials electronically at:

Additional Information

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. Applications from women and BIPOC scholars are highly encouraged by both the department and the institution.

Michigan Tech is building a culturally diverse faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from all individuals. We are an ADVANCE Institution having thrice received National Science Foundation funds in support of efforts to increase diversity, inclusion, and the participation and advancement of women and underrepresented individuals in STEM. Michigan Tech actively supports dual-career partners to retain a quality workforce; we offer career exploration advice and assistance finding positions at the University and in the local community  Candidates may be invited to bring a guest to an on-campus interview

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

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