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Associate/Full Professor of Strategic Communication and Director of the MA in Strategic Communi...

Azusa Pacific University
Azusa, California, United States
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Associate/Full Professor of Strategic Communication and Director of the MA in Strategic Communication

Tracking CodeF006 Job Description

Position Tracking Number: F006

School/College: College of the Arts

Department: Communication Studies

Location: Azusa Campus, Orange County Regional Campus

About APU:

Azusa Pacific University is a comprehensive, evangelical, Christian university located 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. As a leading Christian university in California, Azusa Pacific University grounds rigorous academics on a solid spiritual foundation. With an intentional focus on scholarship, faith integration, diversity, and internationalization, APU provides high-quality academic programs within a tight-knit community of disciples and scholars. APU is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an R2 Doctoral University, recognizing APU’s high level of research activity. A leader in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, APU is committed to excellence in higher education. Offering more than 100 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs on campus, online, and at seven regional locations across Southern California, APU continues to be recognized annually as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

The College of the Arts (COTA) consists of 34 academic programs within eight academic departments: communication studies, theatre, design, art, and cinematic arts, music performance, music studies, and commercial music. It is home to 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students, excluding minors, and supports in-person, low residential, and online degree programs on the Azusa Campus and at regional campuses in Orange County, Murrieta, and the Inland Empire.


The Azusa Pacific University College of the Arts, Department of Communication Studies invites applications for a full-time faculty position serving as the Director of the MA in Strategic Communication. The primary responsibilities include management and administration of the graduate online degree, teaching graduate courses in his/her area of specialization, and possibly teaching undergraduate courses across the public relations, communication studies, and journalism programs.

The Department of Communication Studies houses three undergraduate majors - public relations, journalism, and communication management - one graduate program in strategic communication, and one regional center-based degree completion program in digital media. It is home to 10 full-time faculty, nearly 18 part-time/adjunct faculty, and approximately 190 major and minor students. The department engages a nationally competitive forensics team, a national honors society (Lambda Pi Eta), the APU PRSSA chapter, and a student-run PR agency. As part of the journalism program, the department supports a convergent/integrated media environment. “ZuMedia” includes a digital and traditional student newspaper, digital and traditional magazine, a broadcast/online studio, and a podcast/radio station.

Specialization: Strategic Communication and/or Public Relations


This full-time faculty member will serve as program director of the online MA in Strategic Communication degree. Ideally the program director is in residence but based on the circumstance of the candidate and the needs of the program there may be consideration of remote work. The program director will ensure academic excellence, coordinate the curriculum and faculty assignments of the program, promote partnerships that support student learning and enrollment growth, and oversee graduate student academic advising. In addition, this faculty member will teach graduate courses in the degree and may teach undergraduate courses across the department with consideration given to specialization.

In particular, the graduate program director will:

    Advance the APU mission, vision, and strategic plan.Work with the department, College of the Arts, and University Graduate and Professional Center to recruit and retain excellent graduate students.Ensure instruction is conducted with academic integrity and rigor through a robust program of assessment.Ensure program compliance with accreditation standards.Potentially supervise assigned support staff.Participate in faculty recruitment and evaluation.Collaborate with key campus and industry partners.Maintain ongoing relationships with communication industry corporations and professional organizations.Coordinate graduate class scheduling with the College of the Arts Graduate Studies Office and the Graduate and Professional Center. Coordinate full-time and adjunct faculty teaching assignments in the graduate program.Manage the budget of the graduate program.Support student success and retention by working with other team members, faculty and advisors, while maintaining confidentiality of vital information.Other duties as assigned by the Chair and/or Dean.May be needed to work at alternative regional campuses.

Other duties include advising students, participating on committee assignments at the department, college and university levels, carrying out a program of scholarly research, and participating in all faculty meetings. Commitment to the university’s faith statement is required of all candidates.

Level: Associate or Full Professor


Ph.D in Communication (or related field), experience developing or leading a graduate program, and a commitment to teaching excellence, scholarship, and service.


Prior experience teaching at the collegiate or university level required, experience teaching at the graduate level preferred.

Workload: Full-time faculty position.

Hire Date: Applications will be reviewed starting November 1, 2021. The start date for the position is Fall 2022.

Mental Demands:

    Ability to integrate Christian values in all aspects.Ability to engage in critical thinking and exercise independent judgment.Ability to maintain confidentiality and manage confidential information.Ability to collaborate with other faculty and staff and maintain collegial relations.Self starter, ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form.

Additional Information:

Candidates must align with Azusa Pacific University's Christian identity. Faculty members are expected to sign a Statement of Faith (available at, to adhere to the policies outlined in the Faculty Handbook, and to integrate the Christian faith in teaching and scholarship.

Azusa Pacific University is a Christ-centered, multicultural community that values and seeks faculty and staff who are committed to diversity, work effectively with diverse populations, and engage others in ways that honor our rich cultural mosaic and biblical foundation.

Azusa Pacific University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

Azusa Pacific University conducts background checks on all final candidates.

Job Location Azusa, California, United StatesPosition TypeFull-Time/Regular


Working at Azusa Pacific University

Developing disciples and scholars since 1899, Azusa Pacific is a comprehensive, Christian, evangelical university, committed to God First and known for excellence in higher education.

Azusa Pacific University is located 26 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. 

APU is committed to excellence in higher education. Offering over 80 bachelor’smaster’s and doctoral programs on campus, online, and at seven regional centers across Southern California, APU has been recognized asone of U.S.News & World Report's Best Colleges for seven years running.

The origins of Azusa Pacific University go back to 1899 when a group of spiritual leaders from various denominations met in Whittier, California. The first Bible college founded on the West Coast, the Training School for Christian Workers focused on preparing students for service and missionary endeavors. The initial class of students met March 3, 1900, with Mary A. Hill serving as the first president.

The institution then moved three times before settling in Huntington Park in 1907. In 1939, the Training School became Pacific Bible College and offered four-year degrees. Also in 1939, Cornelius P. Haggard, Th.D., emerged as the right choice to lead the school. Haggard’s early years as president were fraught with adversity—enrollment was down and donations from the prior year totaled only $27. Among his many accomplishments, Haggard launched a variety of innovative fundraising efforts, including the annual Dinner Rally that continues today. Haggard served for the next 36 years, achieving many significant milestones along the way. He served for 36 years until his death in 1975.

By the mid 1940s, Pacific Bible College had outgrown its Huntington Park campus. The Board of Trustees decided to purchase a 12-acre school for girls in the city of Azusa. Classes began on the new campus in 1947, and in 1956, the college’s name was changed to Azusa College.

Azusa College merged first in 1965 with Los Angeles Pacific College, a four-year liberal arts institution founded in 1903, and acquired the name Azusa Pacific College. Three years later, the school merged with Arlington College, which was founded in 1954. Having achieved university status, the college changed its name in 1981 to Azusa Pacific University.

After Haggard’s death, Paul E. Sago, Ph.D., became president, serving until 1989. Among his many accomplishments, Sago encouraged the development and growth of off-site educational regional centers throughout Southern California, and presided over the addition of master’s degree programs and the development of schools within the university.

Richard E. Felix, Ph.D., became president in 1990. Felix painted a vision of a flagship Christian university offering men and women an opportunity to earn not only bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but also doctorates. Felix was instrumental in initiating the university’s first three doctoral programs. This growth necessitated a renewed emphasis on the school’s historic Christian mission and priorities for community building and service. Felix reframed these values as the Cornerstones of the university—Christ, Scholarship, Community, and Service—and oversaw the construction of seven new buildings, a doubling of student enrollment, and the quadrupling of graduate programs. He announced his retirement in April 2000 after the celebration of the university’s centennial.

The Board of Trustees unanimously selected Executive Vice President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, to follow Felix as the 16th president of Azusa Pacific, effective November 27, 2000. New programs under his tenure include the Master of Fine Arts, Master of Social Work, and Ph.D. in Nursing. Spurred by Wallace’s vision to be known first as a Christ-centered institution, today Azusa Pacific University seeks to offer transformational scholarship opportunities within the context of life-giving community and is dedicated to the practice of selfless service. This understanding of APU’s Cornerstones guides the university in all its programs and actions.

In addition, Wallace’s vision emphasizes a commitment to partner with the local community and send students out of the classroom to learn. The Neighborhood Wellness Center, for example, is a university-run clinic that brings student nursing services to the public, and the Azusa Reads Program enlists students to teach local children how to read. The High Sierra Semester (formerly Great Works Program) debuted fall 2001, offering students an opportunity to study classic Western art, music, and thought in the scenic setting of the Sierra Nevada mountains. APU also offers the Los Angeles Term, Azusa Oxford Program, the South Africa Semester, and more than 40 other national and international study opportunities.

Wallace has also overseen the completion of the on-campus residence facility, Trinity Hall, and the John and Marilyn Duke Academic Complex, both in 2003. The Duke Academic Complex added additional classroom and office space, and houses the Noel Academy for Strengths-Based Leadership and Education, the School of Theology and its library, and more.

Additionally, in 2009 Azusa Pacific completed the most fiscally significant project in its history with the building of Segerstrom Science Center, a three-story, 72,000-square-foot academic facility located on West Campus. The center includes a 90-seat lecture hall, 23 discipline-specific classrooms, 3 general-purpose classrooms, 37 teaching and research laboratories, nuclear magnetic resonance and electron microscope rooms, faculty offices, and student study and community areas.

Over the years, APU’s athletic programs have also excelled. Currently, the university’s award-winning intercollegiate athletic program consists of 17 teams, including the recent additions of the women’s water polo and swimming and diving teams. Beginning in 2005, the athletics program has won an unprecedented six consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Directors’ Cup awards. APU also belongs to the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC).

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