Assistant Professor in Legal Studies/Pre-Law/Paralegal, Department of Political Science (R-0837)

Hays, Kansas
Mar 14, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Department of Political Science at Fort Hays State University invites applications for a tenure track position in Legal Studies/Pre-law/Paralegal.  The successful candidate will demonstrate the expertise to prepare students for law school; conduct research reflective of a teacher-scholar; provide quality advising at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; participate in departmental, college and university service activities and engage with the local law community. The person chosen for the position will be expected to provide guidance to the department’s paralegal partnership. In addition, you should be willing to teach some evening or on-line courses and participate in student-related activities, such as a mock-trial team, student clubs, a LSAT prep course, senior capstone and civic-engagement activities. Teaching load: 4/4; introductory, upper division and general education courses. Summer, intersession and eight-week teaching is available and contributes to the department’s accessibility goal for students. Current legal studies coursework assigned to the position include Introduction to the Law, Legal Advocacy, Legal Research Methods, Constitutional Law, American Civil Liberties, LSAT prep course and an upper-division seminar.

The department is developing a new subfield in democratic engagement with the opportunity for course development and leading “high impact” learning experiences like service learning, internships, undergraduate research mentoring and honors programming.  See “The Department/The Opportunity” section below. 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Advanced All But Dissertation (ABD) status for the PhD.  Applicants with later completion dates must demonstrate the timeline for completion through information provided by their dissertation chairperson.    


  • PhD or J.D. The department has a preference for a person with both terminal degrees.   
  • preference will be given to applicants with prior university-level teaching experience and those licensed in the practice of law from any of the 50 states in the United States of America.  
  • evidence of teacher-scholar research potential 

RANK: Instructor without the degree; Assistant Professor with terminal degree. 

APPOINTMENT DATE: August, 2018. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of applications will start immediately and continue until the position is filled.

BENEFITS: Competitive benefit package

This is a teacher-scholar position with the following responsibilities:

  • teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the department’s Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) degree programs
  • participation in “high impact” learning experiences including senior capstone, internships, learning communities and writing-across-the-disciplines
  • student-centered advising in the undergraduate and graduate programs
  • A 4/4 teaching workload involving on- and off-campus learning experiences
  • course development efforts including honors programming, service learning and civic literacy
  • teaching department courses in the university’s general education program
  • scholarship broadly defined including responsibilities for mentoring undergraduate research
  • maintaining an active service contribution to the department, college, university, the discipline and the community-at-large
  • engagement in professional development activities

APPLICATION PROCESS:  To apply for this position, please visit  Only electronic applications submitted through the webpage will be accepted.

REQUIRED APPLICATION DOCUMENTS:  Applicants should submit a cover letter, vita, graduate transcripts, teaching evaluations and names and contact information for three professional references. Applicant documents should be submitted in one PDF.

If you have questions regarding the position, please contact:
Larry Gould, Chair
 (785) 628-4425

“Political Thinking for the Greater Good”.  The department is in a revitalization process called “365 Days of Change.” We are recruiting four new faculty members to fill our 6.5 assigned positions and rethinking strategic direction and vision for our programming. We have already added a new BS degree to our existing BA and initiated brainstorming to create a “degree in three” along with several micro-credentials. Our facilities are in the process of being re-imagined.  To align with this change, we need dynamic, innovative, creative and energetic teacher-scholars who are not afraid of being entrepreneurial. The expectation is that these teacher-scholars will create and lead co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and similar initiatives that will add quality to our curricular learning experiences and better serve our students.  The department has disciplinary connections to units like the Docking Institute of Public Affairs, the Center for Civic Leadership, the Midwest Model United Nations Program, the American Democracy Project and various other campus learning and scholarship opportunities. As you can tell, this is as much an opportunity about you as it is about us.    

“Science, language, fine arts, politics, and music” - The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and its 11 departments offer these and more to Fort Hays State University students and faculty---both on- and off-campus.  Regardless of where your passion lies, the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences will have something you can enjoy and excel in. Higher education is a controlled and concentrated preparation for life, and a liberal arts education is a preparation for living that life to the fullest. The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences strives to develop skills and abilities to work with others and develop the students for a successful life after college.

“Forward Thinking.  World Ready” - Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a highly entrepreneurial teaching focused institution with major operations on-campus, online and in China.  An intellectual description of state, comprehensive regional universities like FHSU is provided in Bruce B. Henderson’s book entitled Teaching at the People’s University. Providing a high-quality education at an affordable price, FHSU is ranked by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the top ten fastest growing universities in the U.S.  It has an enrollment in excess of 15,000 students (Approximately 5,000 on campus, 3,500 in China, and over 6,700 online) and over 380 full time faculty.  Bachelors, masters and professional doctoral degrees are offered through five colleges, the Graduate School, the Honors College, the Virtual College, and various international partnerships.   Fort Hays State University's award-winning Virtual College coordinates distance education to the U.S. Armed Services and students in over 20 countries.  The Virtual College has received many accolades, including U.S. News & World Report Online Programs rankings,, Best Buys in Education, among others.  Students at FHSU may select a major field of study from 32 departments.  FHSU is fully accredited by several national agencies, and is one of six state-assisted institutions of higher education governed by a Board of Regents appointed by the governor of the state of Kansas.  The website ranked the Fort Hays State campus as the safest in the state of Kansas.

The University has rich sports and cultural programming, all of which enjoy tremendous community support.  The Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center is home to the Encore Series, which hosts many travelling Broadway shows, the Hays Symphony, university and other national and world-caliber performances.  Fort Hays State University athletic events provide NCAA Division II athletic entertainment.

FHSU is located in Hays, a vibrant university community of approximately 22,000, located half way between Kansas City and Denver on Interstate 70.  Hays has received numerous recent accolades such as being voted an All-American City, second best city in the state to raise children, and also the third best small college town in America.  It is the regional center for education, health care, professional services, shopping, culture, and recreation for central and the western half of Kansas – serving a population of nearly 400,000.  Hays boasts excellent recreational facilities including the comprehensive Center for Health Improvement, Hays Aquatic Park, the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Smoky Hill Country Club, Hays Municipal Golf Course, an extensive recreational program, and excellent opportunities for walking, running, and biking.  Hays is within 45 minutes of two large lakes providing boating, fishing, and camping. The Hays Municipal Airport provides connecting service to Denver and Chicago with several flights daily.  The community has award-winning public and private schools.  With over 60 restaurants, robust retail outlets, one of the lowest unemployment rates and commute times in the U.S., the city provides a safe, very friendly, low-cost, high-quality living environment.

Notice of Non-discrimination – Fort Hays State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin, color, age, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability or veteran status.

Background Check: Final candidate will have consented to and successfully completed a criminal background check.

Notice to KPERS retirees applying for a position: Recent legislation changes working-after-retirement rules for both you and your employer if you go back to work for a KPERS employer. Please contact your KPERS representative or for further information on how this might affect you.