Department Chair

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The Department of English at Virginia Tech seeks applications for the position of Department Chair commencing 1 July 2020.  The department is one of the largest at the university with over 80 faculty across multiple ranks; 350 majors in English language and literature, creative writing, and professional writing; 200 minors, including Language Sciences; and six classified staff members.  In addition to the B.A., the department offers an M.A. in English language and literature, an M.F.A. in creative writing, and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and writing.  There are over 60 graduate students, most of whom are fully funded as Graduate Teaching Assistants.  Through first-year writing, service courses in business and technical writing, and the Writing Center, the department additionally serves thousands of students.


The Chair provides leadership for the department, ensuring that all programs thrive and connecting departmental goals with college and university objectives, such as implementing curricular reform, creating a diverse and inclusive student body, and strategically growing graduate and undergraduate programs.  Responsibilities include oversight of budgets; management of personnel; and stewardship, along with the various program directors, of academic programs.  Other responsibilities include serving as the department’s advocate; taking a leadership role in the shaping of a vision for the future of the department;

coordinating fundraising and development; chairing departmental committees; evaluating faculty and staff performance; and writing/collaborating on departmental reports.  The Chair works to further the department’s commitment to increase the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students and carries forward the department’s diversity plan.  The initial appointment as Chair is for three years.  Rank:  Tenured Professor.  Salary:  The position carries an eleven-month salary plus an administrative stipend.  Salary and stipend negotiations will occur with the Dean upon selection.  Teaching load:  The teaching load is at the discretion of the Chair.


Required:  Candidates must have a record of academic achievement in any subject area covered by the department, including literature, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, professional and technical writing, and linguistics, to merit appointment as a Full Professor at Virginia Tech; demonstrated effectiveness in planning and administration; demonstrated effectiveness in working with diverse groups of students, faculty, staff, and other university constituents; excellent interpersonal skills; demonstrated leadership ability substantiated by at least three years of service as a program director or equivalent level of responsibility; an ability to work collaboratively; a commitment to the liberal arts and the threefold mission of teaching, research, and engagement.  Preferred:  Experience handling budgets and directing personnel.  To apply: Submit applications electronically at, job no. 510894.  Attach a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to the electronic application, and e-mail contacts for at least three references.  Letters should focus upon administrative experience and philosophy, but can also address achievement in scholarship, teaching, and outreach, as well as contributions to diversity and inclusion.  Address queries to Joseph F. Eska at  Applications will be acknowledged via e-mail.  Review of applications will begin 21 October 2019 and will continue until the position is filled.  Initial interviews will be conducted in December via Skype. 


Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who enquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.


Individuals with disabilities who desire accommodation in the application process should contact Patty Morse at; 540.231.8466.  Virginia Tech is a research-extensive university that enrolls more than 30,000 students.

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