Department Head, Spanish and Portuguese

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona seeks an established scholar with strong administrative experience who can provide energetic and visionary leadership as head of one of the largest departments of its kind in the country.

In addition to representing the Department, the head will report to the Dean of the College of Humanities and will work collaboratively with the Dean, college administrators and other college heads and directors to help shape the "humanities" in the 21st century. The University of Arizona has been recognized by the Department of Education as an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution and the Department is actively committed to this mission.

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is widely recognized as a leading and innovative research and teaching department. Located in the Southwest borderlands but with a global scope, the department is committed to social justice values, to inclusive and transparent governance, and to making meaningful and transformative contributions to the diverse communities we serve.

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers a variety of academic programs. At the undergraduate level, students may specialize in Hispanic Linguistics, Hispanic Literature, Spanish and Portuguese, or Translation and Interpretation. At the graduate level, we offer degrees in Hispanic Linguistics, and literary and cultural studies of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian world. The Department houses some of the largest and most recognized programs in the country such as the Spanish Basic Language Program, the Portuguese Program, the Heritage Learner Language Program, and an online Spanish program. It is also a leader in community outreach and study abroad.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; sick leave and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocations services, please visit

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversees teaching and curriculum development, as well as assessment plans, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, including the large Basic Language program, and chairing dissertation committees and mentoring/advising doctoral and master candidates.
  • Supports faculty, regardless of rank and status, graduate students, and staff professional development.
  • Plans, oversees and administers academic budgets, and secures internal and external funding for students, staff and faculty.
  • Sets and advances a long and short-term academic strategy for the Department in line with the College and University strategic plans and directions.
  • Plans and oversees the recruitment and retention of undergraduate students (including majors and minors), graduate students, and faculty in the Department.
  • Plans and oversees fundraising and alumni relations for the Department in collaboration with the Dean and Director of Development.
  • Fosters a culture of sponsored research and innovation in the Department.

Leadership and Management Style

The successful candidate will have a record of accomplishments in many of the following areas:

  • Cultivating, modeling and maintaining a positive and respectful environment and practices supportive of the professional activities, goals and achievements of students, faculty, and staff, regardless of rank and status.
  • Identifying and promoting opportunities for potential growth of the unit.
  • Demonstrating commitment to transparency and fairness in decision-making processes.
  • Maintaining an inclusive, collaborative and accountable governance style.
  • Communicating and meaningfully engaging with diverse populations in the Department, the University and the community at large. 
  • Supporting, rewarding and promoting visibility of scholarship and innovative pedagogical practices among faculty in the various disciplines of the Department, regardless of rank and status.
  • Promoting recruitment and retention.

Minimum Qualifications

  • An earned doctorate in Spanish and/or Portuguese or related fields (open specialization) with scholarly credentials commensurate with appointment at the rank of Full Professor at a Carnegie Research Intensive Institution by August 2021.
  • Documented record of excellence in and commitment to teaching and curriculum development at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, including the Basic Language program.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral & written) in both English, and in either Spanish or Portuguese.
  • Demonstrated record of promoting inclusivity and diversity. 
  • Inclusive and collaborative decision-making and management style.
  • Demonstrated record in effectiveness in planning, budgeting, and personnel management at a program level requiring high-level abilities or organization and prioritization.
  • Proven effectiveness in planning, overseeing and administering academic budgets, and in securing internal and external funding for students, staff and faculty.
  • Demonstrated Strong leadership skills with goal-setting and results-oriented disposition.
  • Demonstrated record of recruiting and retaining majors, minors, graduate students, and faculty.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in inclusive leadership in a PhD granting program with a diverse student body.
  • Productive and forward-thinking research profile.
  • Proven record of collaborating with, and supporting, the welfare and professional development of faculty, graduate students, staff/administrative members.
  • Documented record of excellence in chairing dissertation committees and mentoring/advising doctoral and master candidates.
  • Effectiveness in developing and sustaining appropriate and transparent structures for management, consultation, decision-making and communication with staff, faculty and students.
  • Experience fundraising and generating revenue through community outreach venues, donors, and alumni.
  • A resourceful mindset to develop innovative, interdisciplinary and/or collaborative programs on and off campus.

Contact Information for Candidate

Mary Portillo
Business Manager, Senior

Special Instructions to Applicant

Please submit the following:
1. Cover Letter
2. Curriculum vitae
3. Diversity Statement (upload it to one of the Additional Documents slots)
4. Vision and Leadership Statement (upload it to one of the Additional Documents slots)
5. Writing samples (no more than 2, must be combined into one document, upload it to one of the Additional Document slots)

After submitting your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for three professional references within the HR system. The three professional references that you list will receive an email that will ask them to provide a letter of reference for you. The reference letters must be uploaded in the job site/HR system.

Review of applications will begin December 11, 2020 for a start date of August 15, 2021.

Visit to apply.

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Similar searches: Full-time, Department chair, 4-year college or university, Arizona, Humanities, Language teaching, Portuguese, Spanish