Chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages


The Department of Modern and Classical Languages (MCL) at George Mason University invites applications for the position of the department chair. This is a full-time, nine-month, tenured faculty appointment. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.


About the Department

MCL is the center of the multilingual and global community that distinguishes George Mason University. Our programs emphasize languages as local, national and worldwide phenomena: cultural practices that may be rooted in regional contexts such as ethnic communities or nation-states but that also arise in the globalized structures of meaning and power.


The Department offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of languages: Arabic, Chinese, Classical Studies, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Persian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish. From our basic language offerings to our undergraduate and graduate courses in linguistics, literature, and cultural studies, our integrated curriculum fuses students’ acquisition of linguistic proficiency with their development of cultural knowledge and critical thinking. We offer five undergraduate major concentrations (Arabic; Chinese; French; Korean; and Spanish), eleven minors, and one Master’s program with four concentrations (Spanish; French; Spanish & French; and Spanish/Bilingual-Multicultural Education).


We offer both study abroad and local field study options, including community service-learning, for students to immerse themselves in real-world language environments. The university also has a satellite campus in South Korea that offers unique opportunities for collaboration.


The faculty of the department has received numerous awards and distinctions, from university teaching awards to national grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Studies Association, to fellowships abroad, to international prizes in poetry. We publish widely within the fields of theoretical and applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, teaching with technology, film studies, gender studies, cultural studies, literary studies, and modern language pedagogy, among others. Our undergraduate and graduate students go on to work in a variety of fields. Their advanced multilingual and multicultural competencies serve them well in our local communities and in the global sector.


About the Position:

The Chair provides leadership to the department in order to facilitate the achievement of college and university strategic objectives. The Chair will serve a four-year term beginning August 25, 2021. The position is potentially renewable. The standard duties of a department chair are outlined in the Faculty Handbook, section 2.12: The Chair is responsible for overseeing all departmental operations and plays a key role in collaborating across disciplines to promote the study of languages and cultures, particularly in promoting intercultural competence at the university. The Chair reports to the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.



  • Strategic enrollment management, budgeting, and academic planning; 
  • Management of and consultation with faculty and staff; 
  • Advocacy for the department; 
  • Strategic development of existing and new programs; 
  • Promotion of a culture of excellence and respect.


Required Qualifications:

  • Terminal degree in an area related to language, literature, linguistics, or cultural studies;
  • Eligibility for appointment with tenure at a Research I university, with record of genuine excellence in scholarship and high competence in teaching;
  • Commitment to actively supporting diversity, collegiality, inclusiveness, and working with diverse communities;
  • Experience in academic administration.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A tenured faculty member at the rank of full professor; 
  • Experience with curriculum development and online instruction; 
  • Record of program-building and collaboration across disciplines and/or academic units;
  • Commitment to fostering a culture of research and teaching excellence; 
  • Innovative approaches to program building and disciplinary growth; 
  • We welcome applications from candidates working in any language. We are particularly interested in applications from candidates with expertise in Arabic, Chinese, Classics, Japanese, Korean, Russian, or Spanish.


Special Instructions to Applicants: 

For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number F037CS at by completing and submitting the online application by January 4, 2021. In addition, candidates must upload the following documents via the online application portal:

  • Cover letter (2 pages max); 
  • Research and teaching statement (as Philosophy of Teaching Statement) (3 pages max);
  • Curriculum vitae; 
  • Leadership statement to describe your leadership philosophy, style, and experiences (as Other doc) (3 pages max);
  • Diversity statement (as Other doc) (2 pages max); 
  • A list of four professional references with contact information. 


Special Notice:

Due to COVID-19 and state travel restrictions, the whole search process will be conducted virtually.

For questions, please contact Dr. P. Daniel Chen, Higher Education Program Director and Search Committee Chair, at or call (703) 993-6363. Visit for more information about the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. The starting date for this position is Fall 2021. Review of applications will begin on January 4, 2021, and continue until the position is filled.


George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.

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