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Job ID: 127446

Chair of the Department of Theatre
Michigan State University

Date Posted Aug. 9, 2019
Title Chair of the Department of Theatre
University Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI, United States
Department Department of Theatre
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Aug. 16, 2020
  • Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Administration - Academic Unit

THR Department Chair

Michigan State University invites applications for the position of Chair of the Department of Theatre. The successful candidate must have the necessary qualifications and the ability to be appointed at the rank of Full Professor (12-month appointment, tenured) commencing August 16, 2020. Salary competitive and commensurate with experience.

The Chair of the Department of Theatre will provide visionary leadership, overseeing the academic and artistic efforts of 250 undergraduate majors and minors, 15 graduate students, and 28 full-time faculty and staff. The ideal candidate will be an innovative and inspiring leader and educator with the capacity to take a thriving and dynamic program to new heights. Qualified candidates will balance pedagogy and production in ways that support the department’s creative and scholarly endeavors.

The committee seeks candidates who are eager to explore the following ideas:

  • The role of theatre in facilitating conversations about today’s toughest challenges.
  • The role of theatre in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion locally and globally.
  • The role of theatre in the digital age.
  • Cultivating synergy between arts theory and practice in a program with both pre-professional training and liberal arts education.

Required Qualifications:

  • MFA or PhD in Theatre or related field, or equivalent professional experience.
  • Record of scholarly or artistic achievement commensurate with the rank of Full Professor at Michigan State University.
  • Record of teaching excellence in higher education.
  • Record of effective leadership and administrative experience.
  • Evidence of ongoing creative or scholarly output with a national/international reputation.
  • Evidence of successful collaborative partnerships; such as those with other academic units, the community, and internationally.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Connection to and awareness of trends in the entertainment field.

The chair will oversee everything from department governance to the graduate and undergraduate curricula. The successful candidate for this position will provide visionary leadership and play a major role in generating, directing, and facilitating the departmental mission; operating policies and procedures; faculty, students, and staff development; teaching, research, and outreach programs throughout Michigan, nationally, and internationally; and support for students, staff, and faculty achievement within a culture of inclusion, collaboration, creativity, mentorship, and care. The chair will also play a major role in the development of educational programs within the Department and will be responsible for formulating a plan for the department’s artistic direction and may act as artistic director if qualified.

Review of applications will begin October 1, 2019 and will continue until the position is filled. Applications must be submitted electronically to the Michigan State University Human Resources web site at Posting #595921

Qualified applicants should submit (a) a cover letter outlining your qualifications and vision for the position (b) curriculum vitae © a statement on experience with diversity and an explanation of how you will advance our goals of inclusive excellence and (d) the names and email addresses of 4 potential referees who can comment on administrative ability and/or quality of scholarship/teaching. 3 referees must be of equal or higher rank. References will not be contacted without prior permission from the candidate. For more information, contact the Chair of the Search Committee, Alison Dobbins, or 517-884-7792. For more information about the Department of Theatre go to Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation.

The College of Arts & Letters recognizes that only an academic and organizational culture, which actively seeks out and strengthens diverse voices and perspectives among its members, results in true excellence. We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The College of Arts & Letters is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that intellectual leadership is achieved through open access and pro-active inclusion. The Department of Theatre has a strong institutional commitment to diversity in all areas and encourages candidates from underrepresented groups including the LGBTQIA community. We favor candidates who can contribute to the College of Arts & Letters’ distinctive educational objectives, which promote interdisciplinary perspectives, intercultural understanding, and values diversity and inclusion as essential to achieving excellence.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found Information about the Academic Advancement Network can be found Information about MSU Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, including the Diversity Research Network can be found

The College of Arts and Letters employs 262 full-time faculty with 3100 undergraduates and 259 graduate students enrolled in 24 majors, 36 minors, and 9 graduate programs that are housed in 9 departments and 22 research centers and interdisciplinary programs. These include such outstanding programs as African and African American Studies, American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Jewish Studies, the Center for Gender in a Global Context, and the Center for Interdisciplinarity. The College also has a vibrant mentoring program at the College and Departmental levels. It works closely with MSU’s five international centers that receive Title VI funding and is also a long-time leader in international education sponsoring 70-80 programs each year. In 2019, faculty of color made up 27% of the College faculty and students of color made up 30% of its entering undergraduate class.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Alison Dobbins, Chair of the Search Committee
    Department of Theatre
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, MI
  • 517-884-7792


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