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K-State Today

November 29, 2012

Position announcement: Director for American ethnic studies

Submitted by Karin Westman

The College of Arts and Sciences invites applications for director of the American ethnic studies program. The program will grow significantly over the next three years to meet the requirements to become a department and to contribute to the university’s goal of being recognized as a Top 50 public research university by 2025, http://www.k-state.edu/2025.

This is a 12-month, tenure line appointment with a reduced teaching load. Promotion, tenure and reappointment criteria are available at http://www.k-state.edu/academicpersonnel/fhbook/fhsecc.html#70. Start date is July 1, 2013.

Requirements include a strong record of teaching, research and service that focuses specifically on historically underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the U.S. Candidates with a doctorate in ethnic studies or related interdisciplinary field are especially encouraged to apply. Regardless of research field, the successful candidate will demonstrate an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and have a clear and demonstrated understanding of how race, culture, language, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and multiple perspectives in the U.S. context intersect with important elements of inequality and opportunity.

Candidates should also demonstrate academic administrative experience with diverse groups of professionals, a strong commitment to supporting research and scholarship within an interdisciplinary department, and a vision for the program’s future. The successful candidate will also have excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, will be able to exhibit innovative thinking about the program’s ongoing development and resource challenges, and will possess a commitment to working with the dean and college department directors or heads.


The director will:

  • provide leadership for the development of the program according to program, college and university strategic goals;
  • oversee and supervise programmatic functions, such as scheduling, budgeting and personnel;
  • represent the program on and off-campus;
  • mentor faculty members in their research and teaching;
  • teach, advise and pursue focused research interrogating the multiple perspectives and contexts for historically underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the U.S.;
  • foster a sense of community by promoting open communication, cooperation and collegiality among faculty, staff and students;
  • work with the college, Kansas State University Foundation and alumni to attract funds and resources;
  • and relate effectively to individuals of diverse backgrounds.

Required qualifications

  • Doctorate in a discipline with a clear teaching, research and service focus specific to historically underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the U.S.
  • Strong background of interdisciplinary scholarship
  • Excellent leadership and administrative skills 
  • Experience working with diverse groups
  • Qualifications consistent with the rank of associate professor or professor

Preferred qualifications

  • Demonstrated success in a leadership or administrative role
  • Demonstrated ability to obtain and administer external funding, including philanthropic gifts
  • Qualifications consistent with the rank of professor

Department information

Created as a secondary major over 20 years ago, American ethnic studies is a now an academic major with strong support from the college administration. The position of director is one of two hires for 2013, with a third new position anticipated the following year. By the end of spring 2015, the program will have four tenure-track faculty and begin the transition to the status of a department.

Currently, one tenure-track faculty, one interim director and three instructors comprise the core faculty. The program has 19 undergraduate majors and 79 minors in the program. In addition, the program is supported by 27 affiliated faculty from around the university and advised by an 11-member governance board. The program’s core areas of scholarship inquiry may be found at its website, http://www.k-state.edu/ameth/.

College information

The programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, http://www.k-state.edu/artsci/, are central to K-State’s historic and present missions. The college contains 27 departments and programs and offers a number of special programs and secondary majors. With more than 7,000 students, it attracts the largest enrollment of any K-State college. It also offers approximately 85 percent of all freshman courses and 65 percent of all credits taught. The university is aggressively implementing a plan to be nationally recognized as a Top 50 public research university by 2025.

Application information

Review of applications will begin Jan. 14, 2013, and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants must submit: (1) a letter of application that describes their qualifications and background, (2) a one-page statement outlining a vision for expanding the department’s capabilities and productivity, especially in research, scholarship and creative activity, (3) a curriculum vita and (4) the names and contact information for three references. Submit materials -- preference is for a single PDF file -- to Karen Solt, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS  66506-1005. Call 785-532-6900 for questions.  Submissions by email are preferred to solt@k-state.edu. Contact Karen Solt with any questions. Kansas State University is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks diversity among its employees. A background check is required.