Associate Professor/Professor and Department Chair, Higher Education

Job description

The University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education (MCE) invites applications for a senior colleague in the Higher Education Department to serve as Department Chair with the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. This is a tenure-line position. We seek a candidate with knowledge and understanding of higher education and its implications across the P-20 educational spectrum. Located in the city of Denver, the University of Denver (DU) is the oldest and largest independent university in the Rocky Mountain Region, and enrolls approximately 12,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate, and professional preparation programs. DU is classified as a Doctoral/Research University with high research activity, that emphases a teacher/scholar model. Based on the previous U.S. Census, Denver is quickly becoming one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the U.S. Census data show that Denver’s population includes 11.1% Black or African American, 31.7% Hispanic or Latino, 2.8% Asian American and Pacific Islander, and approximately 1% Native American residents. Situated in this vibrant metropolitan community, the University is committed to building and sustaining a culturally diverse faculty, staff, and student body. Visit to learn more about DU.

The Higher Education Department is in the Morgridge College of Education (MCE), which currently enrolls about 900 students in its 24 degree (MA, MLIS, EdS, EdD, and PhD), licensure, and certificate programs. Higher Education offers master’s and doctoral degrees. More than 9,000 MCE graduates live throughout the U.S. and the world (please visit The Higher Education Department’s mission is three-fold, to:

  1. Conduct equity- and social justice-based research about persistent and/or timely problems facing postsecondary education;
  2. Prepare social justice professionals for careers in postsecondary education related to administration, policy, teaching, and research, as well as careers in public and private agencies of higher education, for-profit and not-for-profit settings, and in a diverse and changing world; and
  3. Provide meaningful service to the University of Denver and broader Colorado community in matters pertaining to postsecondary education, especially related to equity, diversity, and social justice.

Our students consist of over 140 diverse scholar/practitioners who are enrolled full- and part-time and who are seeking to expand and deepen their knowledge and expertise with the goal of becoming agents of change in higher education. The Higher Education Department is an “Inclusive Excellence Unit” ( and supports the concept that inclusiveness and excellence are one and the same. Students, staff, and instructors from diverse social and cultural backgrounds who become part of the Department bring unique gifts, talents, and experiences that make tremendous contributions to the engaged teaching, learning, and climate of the Higher Education Department. 

Position Summary

We seek equity-minded candidates with research and teaching interests that focus on one or more of the following: historically marginalized identities - including Black, Indigenous, students of color, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, among others; broad access institutions; community colleges; minority serving institutions; or faculty and/or students who serve in these institutions. This position requires an innovative and critical thinker who values our mission of serving the public good and is capable of working within a dynamic, inclusive environment. Responsibilities for all tenure-line faculty members in the Higher Education Department include: maintaining an active research agenda, securing external funding, teaching graduate level courses, advising graduate students, directing and serving on dissertations, supporting the administration of academic programs in higher education, and other duties as assigned by the College leadership. The ideal candidate demonstrates experience and versatility in inclusive pedagogy. We are especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion through their teaching, research, and service.

Responsibilities for department chair include communicating the department’s views to the college community and the college community concerns to the department. The chair represents the department and serves as a leader in the college. As such the incumbent must advocate for their department while also keeping the best interests of the college in mind. The department chair is provided with course releases as the following responsibilities require additional time. They are also given an administrative stipend as recognition of their additional responsibilities as well as partial compensation for work that must be conducted during the summer months. In consultation with department members, the department chair has the primary responsibility and authority to:

  • Provide leadership toward the achievement of the highest possible level of inclusive excellence in the research, teaching, and service activities of the department.
  • Develop and articulate the goals of the department and maintain a climate that is inclusive and encourages faculty engagement, participation, collegiality, and innovation.
  • Support the strategic goals of the college through all of the department’s programming decisions.
  • Establish and maintain departmental budget priorities and allocations.
  • Formulate and communicate recommendations for hiring, tenure, promotion, retention and evaluation of faculty, including adjunct, and departmental support staff.
  • Ensure that faculty members in the department are good citizens of the college and are fully engaged in departmental and general faculty duties.
  • Continue to develop the department's academic programs in alignment with the mission of the college and in alignment with evolving accreditation requirements.
  • Assist with the active recruitment of a diverse student body by creating and maintaining a productive partnership with the admissions office.
  • Respond to questions and suggestions from members of the department, including academic and staff personnel and students. The chair has the responsibility to take appropriate actions as required and in accordance with the policies and rules of the college.
  • Manage and maintain schedule of courses for each academic year.
  • Engage in departmental and general faculty duties.

Required Qualifications

  • An earned doctorate in Higher Education or a related field.
  • A strong commitment to social justice and experience working with diverse populations.
  • A strong commitment to advancing higher education’s public purposes.
  • Prior experience in teaching, research, service, leadership, and administration equivalent to the role of a senior faculty member and department chair.
  • An established research agenda grounded in equity and the study of higher education organizations and systems with the demonstrated ability to inform and influence current higher education policy, practice, and research.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A strong interest in working with community stakeholders and partners that connect higher education across P-20 settings.
  • Although we are interested in diverse methodological traditions, candidates with expertise in critical quantitative methods are especially desirable.
  • Previous experience securing external funding.
  • Prior professional and administrative experiences within a higher education related setting.
  • Value of praxis-oriented pedagogical practices.

Application Deadline 

Application review will begin immediately. Applicants are encouraged to submit materials by November 16, 2020 for best consideration. Early submissions are advised. Applications will continue to be reviewed until position is filled.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted. Inquiries about this position can be made to the search chair, Dr. Maria Salazar ([email protected]).

Salary Range
Salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected candidate balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.

Please include the following documents with your application:

  1. Cover letter outlining research and teaching experience as well as philosophy for academic leadership.
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Two representative writing samples
  4. One-page statement on how the applicant’s research, teaching, service, and administrative roles specifically address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.
  5. Names and contact information of three referees that can provide letters of recommendation.

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.




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Job No: 493283
Posted: 10/22/2020
Application Due: 12/21/2020
Work Type: