FI Department Chair
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- Location details
- Richmond, VA
- Up to $110,000
- Position type
- Department chair
- Organization type
- 4-year college or university
- Employment category
- Tenure Status
- Tenure or tenure track
- Academic Hiring Standards
- Hiring standards
Virginia Commonwealth University invites applications for the position of Chair of the Department of Focused Inquiry within its innovative University College. The Focused Inquiry program provides a three-semester, cohort-based sequence of seminar-style, general education courses, required for all VCU students, that integrate writing and communication instruction with an emphasis on Communicative Fluency, Ethical Reasoning, Global and Cultural Responsiveness, Information Literacy, and Problem Solving (Critical and Creative). The Focused Inquiry program provides all incoming VCU students (typically 4,300 a year) with a foundational, engaged academic experience beginning in their first year. The Department of Focused Inquiry includes 65 full-time term faculty on renewable multi-year contracts. Information about the Department, the Focused Inquiry Program, and the FI faculty, may be found at: https://focusedinquiry.vcu.edu/. A recent discussion of the strong positive impact the Focused Inquiry program has had on student success at VCU can be found on the AAC&U Liberal Education Blog.
As a program focused entirely on general education, we seek applicants with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and student engagement, a demonstrated record of teaching first- and second-year students, and a history of academic leadership. The successful candidate will have significant experience in teaching foundational, seminar-style courses, and a deep commitment to interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching, innovative pedagogy, closing equity gaps, and supporting general education. They will also have a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively across diverse academic communities.
A minimum of three years’ experience teaching in an inter/multidisciplinary thematic, skills-based first-year seminar or writing program.
A minimum of three years cumulative administrative experience.
Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
A record of academic performance appropriate for appointment as a term faculty member eligible at the associate or full professor level. (Candidates may be eligible for tenure in an academic department outside of Focused Inquiry and are encouraged to apply for tenure if qualified.)
Doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, EdD, etc.) in a relevant academic discipline (i.e., any discipline that emphasizes problem solving, ethical reasoning, communicative fluency, global/cultural responsiveness, and information fluency).
The role of the Chair is to function as an effective academic leader and vital member of the college’s leadership team while helping to advance the goals of the university, college, and department. The Chair will collaborate with University College programs and initiatives including the Common Book program and the Focused Inquiry Learning Lounge. This will include helping to shape departmental goals and plans, in support of both VCU’s Strategic Plan, Quest 2025: Together We Transform; and the University College’s strategic plan. The Chair collaborates with faculty to advance and shape instructional programs and steward the daily operations of the unit. The Chair also provides professional, intellectual, and administrative leadership and is responsible for evaluating faculty, assigning workloads, allocating resources, and fostering communication between the department, the college, and the university.
The term of appointment for an incoming Chair is three years. Reappointment for subsequent three-year terms is subject to a faculty-wide vote, pursuant to the bylaws of the Department of Focused Inquiry, and the support of the Dean. An outgoing Chair would be eligible to assume a full-time teaching role on a renewable 9-month contract basis at the same rank.
Virginia Commonwealth University, located in Richmond, Virginia, has an enrollment of more than 29,000 students, including over 22,000 undergraduates. VCU’s University College is home to the Department of Focused Inquiry, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, and the VCU Common Book Program. More information about University College is available at https://uc.vcu.edu/.
Applications will be accepted beginning December 1st, 2021. All applicants are required to apply online at www.vcu.scod.com and provide a letter of application, curriculum vitae, a statement of academic leadership philosophy, and the contact information of five professional references. In addition, as part of VCU’s commitment to hire outstanding faculty and staff and to contribute to the campus’ excellence in teaching, research, and service, and to promote the success of all, including, historically underrepresented and marginalized communities and address the needs of our increasingly diverse state and student population, we require that all applicants include a statement of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As a preeminent national, urban, public research university and academic health center, Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to organizational diversity, equity and inclusion – an environment where all can thrive in their pursuit of excellence.
Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (typically between 150-300 words) providing your career aspirations and your contributions toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through this statement, you can share how your lived experiences, and past, present, and future academic and professional activities have or will contribute to VCU’s mission of promoting equity and inclusion.
Note: Examples include working with others to further the goals of equity and inclusion; leading in any capacity that tangibly promotes an environment where diversity is welcomed, fostered, and celebrated; creative activity, research and scholarship that promotes equity and parity; teaching and mentoring students, and/or engaging with faculty and/or staff from traditionally underrepresented groups to create a positive and successful organizational experience.
Position Type: Teaching & Research Faculty
Full time equivalent: 100%
Department: University College
Salary: Up to $110,000