Professor and Department Head, Humanities and Arts

Job description

Professor and Department Head, Humanities and Arts

Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Position Status:

Basic Function:
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) invites applications for the position of Head of the Department of Humanities and Arts (HUA). The new Department Head will have leadership skills that will support the ongoing efforts of the HUA faculty. By building on the Department's existing strengths and facilitating new opportunities in both scholarship and teaching, the Department Head will enhance the reputation of the department both locally and globally. WPI is committed to building a multi-cultural and otherwise diverse educational community, with an active focus on diversifying the faculty, staff, and students.


  • The Head of the Humanities and Arts Department is responsible for the academic operations of the department, professional development of the HUA faculty, and for maintaining the high quality of the department’s programs, facilities, and reputation. The HUA Department delivers exceptional teaching both in the classroom and at off-campus project sites while enhancing the institute’s prestige and visibility via scholarly publications and creative activities. The Department consists of more than 50 full-time faculty in the disciplines of art, art and architectural history, English (including literature, creative writing, rhetoric and writing, and drama/theatre), modern languages (Arabic, Chinese, English for non-native speakers, German, and Spanish), history, international and global studies, music, and philosophy/religion. Every WPI undergraduate completes a sequence of six courses in the humanities or arts as part of WPI’s Humanities & Arts general education requirement, culminating in a final project on a theme of the student’s choice. The HUA Requirement is part of WPI’s nearly 50-year-old undergraduate curriculum—the WPI Plan—which was revolutionary when launched in 1970 and continues to be a national model for the integration of the humanities and arts with STEM fields. All HUA faculty participate in student project advising, often advising interdisciplinary projects with colleagues in technical fields.

    The HUA department offers undergraduate degree programs including a B.S. in Humanities & Arts with concentrations in various disciplines, and degrees in Interactive Media & Game Development, International & Global Studies, Liberal Arts & Engineering, and Professional Writing. The Department also offers minors in Chinese studies, drama/theatre, English, German, history, international and global studies, media arts, music, philosophy and religion, Spanish, writing and rhetoric, and others by petition.

    Founded in 1865, WPI is one of the nation’s first technological universities. A highly selective private university located within an hour of Boston, WPI is consistently ranked among the top 70 research institutions by US News & World Report. The university is home to an innovative and intensive project-based curriculum that empowers students with the knowledge and skills to address real-world problems around the globe. WPI is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community for faculty, staff, and students, where all community members feel a connected sense of belonging. The campus is located close to many of Worcester’s major cultural attractions, including the American Antiquarian Society, the Worcester Art Museum, WICN radio, local theater, poetry venues, and several major music performance halls. HUA faculty routinely advise student projects sponsored by these and other cultural institutions.


  • The successful applicant will have a doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in one of the disciplines listed above and demonstrated abilities in transdisciplinary academic program development and leadership, as well as excellent interpersonal skills. They will have a strong commitment to fostering diversity in all areas of academic life inside and outside of the Department: teaching, scholarship, and service, and as a Department Head, leadership. The new Department Head will also be expected to maintain scholarly activity at a level adequate to the rank of full professor in their respective discipline; however, one does not have to be a full professor at the time of application.

    Applications should include a detailed (1) curriculum vitae, (2) vision statement for the department - articulating both immediate and long-term goals, plan for obtaining those goals, and a statement about the applicant’s leadership style, and (4) statement of teaching interests, and (5) statement of research interests. WPI is committed to recruiting, retaining, and working with diverse student and campus community populations; thus, applicants should describe in their materials how their scholarship, teaching, service, and/or leadership style contribute to diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning and working environments. Applicants should also submit a list of five professional references, at least one addressing leadership experience, who will be available to write on their behalf. Applications from underrepresented minorities in the humanities and arts are especially encouraged to apply. Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.

    Posting Date: 08/30/2018

    Close Date:

    Open Until Filled:

    Special Instructions to Applicants:

    EEO Information:
    We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against applicants due to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status or disability. We are looking for individuals who value creativity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration.

    Criminal Background Check Statement:
    A pre-employment criminal records check is required.

    To apply, visit:

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    Job No:
    Posted: 8/31/2018
    Application Due: 8/31/2030
    Work Type: