Department Chair, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Austin, TX
Apr 22, 2017
Institution Type
Community College

General Statement of Job

Provides academic leadership, management, and overall coordination for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (ESS), serves as the budget authority for the ESS, represents the ESS on college councils, committees, and in college processes, as appropriate, uses a collegial process to facilitate departmental decision making, and provides a college-wide instructional leadership environment conducive to student success. Teaches assigned environmental science, environmental technology, or geology courses as qualified.

Position Information
Location Northridge Hours As assigned; Generally Monday-Friday, 8 am -5 pm with some evenings and weekends Salary Salary is assigned according to the Full-Time Faculty Salary Scale. FLSA Status Exempt Reports To Dean, Math and Science Criminal Background Check Pre-employment criminal background checks are required for all Staff and Faculty positions. Pre-employment urinalyses drug screens are also required for all top candidates considered for positions in ACC's College Police department.

Description of Duties and Tasks

Essential duties and responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Provides leadership in developing, evaluating, and maintaining a curriculum that responds to community needs, prepares students for success and meets the requirements of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Co-Board) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • In the area of curriculum/instruction, ensures unit plan development (OIE), Unit-Level Effectiveness Assessment Documentation (ULEAD), GIPWE/ACGM/SACSCOC/Co-Board guidelines compliance, oversees the Environmental Technology internship program, and coordinates textbook selection. May, in conjunction with another level of authority plan, develop, and evaluate curriculum, serve as coordinator for the program advisory committee, ensure instructional program planning (Master Plan), ensure continuous quality improvement in all courses and programs, ensure course master syllabi compliance, and evaluate faculty credentials.
  • In the area of facilities, assigns classrooms in conjunction with Campus Managers and addresses safety issues.
  • In the area of management, develops and approves course schedules in consultation with the ESS faculty. Makes faculty assignments, approves Distance Learning assignments, maintains the faculty eligibility list, hires, supervises, and evaluates laboratory technicians and assistants. Provides leadership for, and approves, professional development activities for the ESS faculty and staff. Selects and supervises Assistant Department Chairs on an annual basis. Develops budget, orders instructional supplies, facilitates ESS meetings, makes and reviews updates to college catalog. May, in conjunction with another level of authority, monitor faculty LEH workloads, recommend canceled classes, monitor office hours, supervise and evaluate site-based support staff, full-time and adjunct faculty, monitor performance improvement, request new faculty and staff positions, recommend members of interview committee for full-time faculty positions, recommend new full-time faculty to Dean and Vice President for final approval, prepare and/or oversee the preparation of required reports (including budget recommendations, student follow-up, release time/stipend reports, faculty LEH, and accreditation reports), oversee approved instructional and operating budgets for assigned areas and functions, and order equipment.
  • In the area of Student/Faculty Issues, approves administration of Course Challenge exams, approves grade change requests, and processes incomplete grade changes. May, in conjunction with another level of authority, approve course substitutions/waivers, address student complaints against instructors, review and resolve on-site student and faculty issues, serve as contact for registration/add-drop issues, approve class limit override and informal class transfers, and address employee complaints against their supervisor.

  • Knowledge

    Must possess required knowledge and be able to explain and demonstrate, with or without reasonable accommodations, that the essential functions of the job can be performed.

    • Environmental science, environmental technology, or geology teaching content.
    • Effective teaching techniques adaptable to a variety of learning styles.
    • Supervisory practices, principles, and methods.
    • Presenting information and summary reports internally and to the public.
    • Understanding of the community college philosophy and mission.
    • College programs, services, and strategic directions.
    • Effective leadership and ethics techniques.
    • Multicultural education programs and systems.
    • Sensitive issues relating to a diverse student body.


    Must possess required skills and be able to explain and demonstrate, with or without reasonable accommodations, that the essential functions of the job can be performed.

    • Maintaining an established work schedule, including some evenings and weekends, and including possible multiple campus locations that may vary by semester.
    • Maintaining confidentiality of work related information and materials.
    • Effectively assisting student learning.
    • Interacting with students of diverse backgrounds.
    • Effectively using interpersonal and communication skills, including tact and diplomacy.
    • Effectively using organizational and planning skills with attention to detail and follow-through.
    • Supervising and coordinating activities of subordinate personnel.
    • Planning, prioritizing, and problem-solving.
    • Planning and managing budgets and manpower needs.

    Technology Skills

    • Demonstrated proficiency using computer applications, classroom or other current learning technologies for effective teaching at the community college level.
    • Demonstrated proficiency using standard office software applications.

    Required Work Experience

    • At least three years of non-teaching, full-time work experience in the field of environmental science or technology.

    Preferred Work Experience

    • Experience in field, classroom and online instruction in the environmental or geological sciences at the community college level.
    • Experience organizing and managing complex, time-sensitive projects which involve the oversight of, or collaboration with, peers.
    • Experience teaching online using Blackboard or other course management software.

    Required Education

    • In accordance with SACSCOC regulations: Master's degree in Agronomy, Biology, Earth Science, Engineering (Environmental, Agricultural or Civil), Environmental or Water Resource Management, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Geological Sciences, Geophysics, Hydrology, Limnology, Marine Biology, Oceanography/Marine Science, Wildlife Ecology, Wildlife Science, or Master's degree with 18 graduate hours in these disciplines from an accredited university. SACSCOC requirements differ depending on the Environmental Science, Environmental Technology, and/or Geology courses taught. Specific requirements by course are listed in the most recent Faculty Qualifications Table at

    Special Requirements

    Licenses/Certifications; Other

    • Reliable transportation may be required for teaching in multiple campus locations.

    Physical Requirements

    • Ability to work, with or without reasonable accommodations, in indoor (office, classroom, and laboratory) and exposed (outdoor) settings.
    • Subject to standing, walking, sitting, bending, reaching, kneeling, pushing and pulling.
    • Occasional lifting of objects up to 10 pounds.

    Other Preferred Qualifications

    • Experience with, or training in, the design of college courses in environmental and geological sciences.
    • Experience using innovative teaching techniques and social media to improve student success.
    • Demonstrated skills in effective communication and program outreach.


    • Provide resources for safe operation of units. Provide financial and human resources to help eliminate identified safety hazards. Create and support a workplace safety culture by leadership and example.

    ACC Benefits Overview

    Full-time Faculty and Staffing Table employees who work in full-time and/or part-time positions at the College are eligible for ACC medical benefits effective the first of the month after their first 60 days of employment. Benefits include medical, dental, life insurance, short and long term disability, retirement plans and AD&D.

    ACC does not participate in Social Security. ACC participates in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and the Optional Retirement Program (ORP-Faculty Only). Part-time and Hourly employees participate in the ACC Money Purchase Plan (ACCMPP) as a retirement program required by Federal law.


    The above description is an overview of the job. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of duties and responsibilities of the job, nor is it intended to be an all-inclusive list of the skills and abilities required to do the job. Duties and responsibilities may change with business needs. ACC reserves the right to add, change, amend, or delete portions of this job description at any time, with or without notice. Employees may be required to perform other duties as requested, directed, or assigned. In addition, reasonable accommodations may be made by ACC as its discretion to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    Austin Community College provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.


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