Planetarium Director and Astronomy/Physics Tenure-Track Faculty

Job description

Salary Depends on Qualifications
Location Champaign, IL
Job Type Full-Time, Faculty, Tenure-Track
Department Academic Services
Job Number PlanFac11.28.18

Job Summary

One of the largest employers in our area, Parkland faculty and staff are united in their passion for serving students. In addition to competitive salaries and robust benefits, you will enjoy the support, commitment to professional development, and collegial relationships that you will find here.

Parkland College is a fully accredited, public community college established to serve the needs of District 505, the third largest community college district in Illinois. Our college is a center for educational opportunity and community enrichment in east central Illinois and has earned a national reputation for its excellent academic standards, innovative programs, and quality instruction.

At Parkland we celebrate the diversity in both our community and our world. Our goal is to recognize, promote, utilize, and educate one another regarding the unique qualities and shared humanity of our people and cultures.
Parkland is now hiring for FALL 2019. Tenure-Track Faculty teach a full-time load as per the Parkland Academic Employees (PAE) bargaining agreement. They advise and mentor students, and participate in governance of their departments and the college. The Director is responsible for coordinating and implementing the scheduling, curriculum, and technical operation of all academic and special events held within the theaters according to safety codes, budget constraints, and department policies. Contractual load for each semester will be a combination of director and teaching responsibilities. Position requires at least 9 equated contact hours (ECH) overload in summer months to oversee facility operations.
Applicants must submit:

  • An online Parkland College employment application
  • Cover letter
  • Resume or CV
  • Official transcripts from the institution where you received your highest degree.
  • Teaching philosophy

Essential Job Functions
  • Provide classroom instruction in accordance with the stated philosophy, objectives, and established course outlines of the college and conduct academic assessment and program evaluation.
  • Inform students of course regulations, evaluation procedures, and other information pertinent to the course; prepare a course syllabus for each course and post with other course information on college's Learning Management System (LMS) by date set by the College.
  • Maintain regular office hours to ensure availability for student consultation; provides assistance to students in a timely manner.
  • Is available for student advising/mentoring.
  • Participate in the instruction of other classes as needed.
  • Maintain accurate scholastic records of students; submit required reports on student progress according to published deadlines.
  • Participate in student recruitment and retention efforts.
Planetarium Director Functions
  • Work with college faculty and staff to enrich college coursework and programming with planetarium resources and to ensure the smooth operation of the planetarium facilities as an academic lab and community venue.
  • Approve all event scheduling in the Planetarium according to college and departmental policy; provide programing for local school districts as well as after-school weekend, evening, and summer events.
  • Schedule and present planetarium programs for college classes, schools, groups and the public in order to promote scientific literacy in the community.
  • In conjunction with other department faculty, monitor work of students, provide advice and guidance, and ensure students have maximum educational opportunities.
  • Work with Natural Sciences Department Chair, Division Dean, and staff to determine goals, objectives and budgets.
  • Generate attendance and/or revenue through bookings and rentals to foster outreach and fiscal solvency of the facility.
  • Propose rate sheets, standard contracts and other templates as necessary to FAA Department Chair and Division Dean.
  • Partner with the Operations Manager to track revenue and expenditures, scheduling and staffing needs.
  • Recommend budget items needed by the planetarium, work with the department or division office to order and purchase all supplies, and other materials needed for planetarium productions.
  • Use independent professional judgement to evaluate and maintain the equipment needed for the planetarium.
  • Report needed maintenance, repairs and improvements to Physical Plant and Natural Sciences Department Chair to ensure that the planetarium is maintained in an orderly, clean, sanitary and safe condition.
  • Act as primary facility contact for Public Safety and ensure officers are aware of activities in the planetarium as needed.
  • Respond to issues and concerns regarding planetarium venue and programs; provide public information and answer astronomy related science and space technology questions; act as media liaison when needed.
  • Work with Division staff to plan, implement marketing and promotional strategies for the venue, including providing content for website, social media, press releases and publications as needed.
  • Maintain inventories of College-owned equipment, productions, and programming.
  • Monitor adherence to safety codes, budget constraints, and departmental policies.
  • Stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field.
  • Serve as supervisor for Planetarium staff, identifying lines of communication; act as the venue's community, K-12 and transfer institution liaison.
  • Perform personnel management functions in accordance with college policies and procedures and appropriate collective bargaining agreements, including oversight of personnel selection, training, evaluation, and development; ensuring departmental practices are in compliance with college policy; and analyzing and recommending appropriate staffing levels.
  • Foster and maintain a collegial, equitable, and collaborative work environment in which all team members have a shared understanding of the mission of the institution and clear expectations of their responsibilities in that mission and accountability for those responsibilities.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Master's degree in Astronomy, Physics or a related field including 18 graduate semester hours in astronomy or physics. Degree must be conferred by May 31, 2019.
  • Two (2) years experience teaching Astronomy or Physics courses at the college level.
  • Two (2) years experience supporting a planetarium or comparable environment that includes customer services.
  • Knowledge of planetarium practices and operations management.
  • Strong technical knowledge of astronomy and planetarium equipment including fulldome digital projection systems.
  • Pass a background check which includes an employment history and criminal history check with finger printing.
  • Ability to professionally engage in positive working relationships with members of the Parkland College community and members of the public.
  • Excellent interpersonal, presentation, organizational, leadership and supervision skills.
  • Verbal and written abilities sufficient to prepare proposals, effective communication with diverse populations, and perform other duties.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects in a fast pace environment, and to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Functional ability in Microsoft Office Suite applications and database management, and the ability to learn Parkland information systems and new programs as technology changes.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Continuing education or courses in Astronomy, Physics, venue management, or a related field.
  • Community College teaching experience.
  • Three (3) years planetarium experience in a director capacity.
  • Past supervisory experience.
  • Active participation in professional, state, and national organizations.

All benefits outlined below are described in more detail in the
Parkland Academic Employees (PAE) Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Medical, Dental & Pharmacy Insurance
Parkland currently offers one health insurance plan option to full-time employees. The plan is a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan (QHDHP) with in-network deductibles of $4,000 for single coverage and $6,000 for family coverage. A separate deductible will apply for out of network providers. No monthly premium is charged for enrolling in the medical plan. Prescription benefits are included under the medical plan and are subject to the annual deductible.

A dental plan is offered separately to full-time employees. There is no cost for employee only coverage. A premium of $4.50/month is charged for family coverage. Preventive services are covered at 100%, general services at 80% and major services and orthodontics are covered at 50%. There is a plan year maximum benefit of $2,000 per person as well as a lifetime orthodontic benefit of $2,000.

Schedules of benefits for both the medical and dental plans are available through Human Resources. Employees are not required to enroll in the Parkland College medical and/or dental plans and do have the opportunity to make enrollment changes during Open Enrollment each year or if a qualifying event occurs. Please refer to the Summary Plan Description for more information.

Flexible Spending Account/Dependent Day Care Account
Parkland College provides full-time employees the opportunity to have pre-tax payroll deductions deposited into a Medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and/or a Dependent Day Care Account. Funds deducted for these accounts may only be reimbursed to the employee for eligible health or child care expenses as defined by the IRS. The annual maximum contribution for the Medical FSA is $2,600 and the annual maximum contribution for the Dependent Day Care Account is $5,000.

Enrollment in the Qualified High Deductible Health Plan may make an employee eligible to enroll in a Health Savings Account on an individual basis. Please see a Benefits Team member for more information.

Life Insurance
Parkland provides twice the base salary in basic term life insurance benefits at no cost to the employee. This policy is double indemnity and has portability provisions if the employee separates from employment. During the first 30 days of employment the plan provides a guaranteed issue period where the employee may elect up to $150,000 in supplemental coverage for themselves and $100,000 in supplemental coverage for a spouse, no questions asked. Any coverage above those amounts or after the guaranteed issue period ends, will be subject to evidence of insurability. Child Optional Benefits can also be purchased in increments of $2,500 to a maximum of $10,000. Premium rates for supplemental coverage are available through Human Resources. Coverage is underwritten by Reliance Standard.

Long-Term Disability Coverage
The disability plan pays 60% of base salary after a 90 day elimination period. Coverage is underwritten by the Reliance Standard. This plan is provided at no cost to benefit eligible, full-time employees.

State Universities Retirement System (SURS)
Eligible employees will be certified in the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). A mandatory contribution of 8% will be deducted from gross pay. New members to SURS must choose from one of three retirement options within 6 months of their start date. This is a one time, lifetime, and irrevocable investment election. Failure to make an election within the 6 month time period will result in a default election to the Traditional plan. More detailed information will be provided by SURS soon after your start date. Information can also be found via their website at

In addition to the 8% contribution to SURS, full-time community college employees in the State of Illinois also contribute .5% to the College Insurance Program for retirees.

Additional retirement savings options are available for employees via pre-tax payroll deductions to 403(b) and 457(b) plans. Account applications and salary reduction agreements are available in Human Resources. For additional information, schedule an appointment with the Benefits & Compensation Manager. There is no employer match for 403(b) or 457(b) contributions.

Paid Time Off
Parkland Academic Employees accrue sick and personal leave as defined under the collective bargaining agreement. Sick and personal leave are granted up front at the beginning of the academic year.

Sick leave - 13 days per contract year, granted on the first day of the academic year. Employees starting mid-year will accrue a pro-rated amount for the remainder of the academic year. PAE employees on a 215-day contract will earn 14 days per contract year. Sick leave will be granted to PAE members for summer employment at the rate of one-half day for half-time employment, and one day for full-time employment. Sick leave is not subject to carryover limits.

Personal leave - 2 days per contract year, granted on the first day of the academic year. Employees starting mid-year will accrue a pro-rated amount for the remainder of the academic year. Bargaining unit members on 215-day contracts and those employed during the summer session will be permitted to use one additional day of their sick leave for personal leave purposes. PAE members may accumulate up to 4 personal leave days. Days in excess of 4 will roll to sick leave.

Bereavement leave is available in the event of the death of a member of the employee's family. See the Parkland Academic Employees collective bargaining agreement for more information.

Miscellaneous Benefits
  • Domestic Partner benefits for same and opposite sex domestic partners.
  • Wellness Reimbursement up to $200 per fiscal year for the development of an individualized weight loss or smoking cessation program as needed by the employee.
  • Employee Assistance Program that offers free, confidential counseling services for employees and members of their household.
  • Payroll Direct Deposit
  • Corporate Memberships at local fitness centers including The Fitness Center, Refinery and Mettler Center. Please contact these facilities directly for membership rates.
  • Free use of Fitness Center on Parkland Campus via registration in the non-credit course for Fitness Center use and submission of a tuition waiver.
  • Employee and Dependent Tuition Waivers for eligible Parkland courses.

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Job No:
Posted: 11/29/2018
Application Due: 1/28/2019
Work Type: