Assistant Professor - Urban Spatial Data Science

Job description

Job no: 498408
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San José
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time

Department Summary

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at San José State University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Urban Spatial Data Science (GIScience). Candidates with expertise in GIScience and one or more of the following areas are encouraged to apply: digital humanities, critical geography, social justice, public health, community development, economic development, and/or international development.

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at San José State University (SJSU), founded in 1970, is home to an interdisciplinary and highly research-active team of scholars and engaged practitioners. The department is in a growing and building phase, having recently expanded to include the Geography program. Degrees offered include a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Geography, a GIS Minor, a Geography Minor, an Urban Studies Minor, and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning (accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board). The department also offers graduate certificate programs, including an advanced certificate in Geographic Information Science.

This position is an excellent opportunity for scholars interested in launching a career at a teaching- centered institution that prepares leaders who affect transformative change and create just, sustainable, and vibrant communities. The department also prides itself on being a national leader in graduating historically underserved students. SJSU has achieved both HSI (Hispanic Serving Institution) and AANAPISI (Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution) status. Moreover, 40% of the SJSU student population are first-generation and 38% are Pell-qualified. As a result, we third nationally in increasing student upward mobility.

For further information about the Urban and Regional Planning Department, please visit our website:

Required Qualifications

  • Successful applicants must have earned a PhD in Geographic Information Science, Geography, Urban Planning, or a related discipline from an accredited institution before they start their appointment in August 2021
  • Applicants should demonstrate an awareness of and sensitivity to serving the educational goals of a highly diverse student body

Preferred Qualifications

Special consideration will be given to candidates who have:

  • Used proprietary and/or open-source tools to leverage the power of big data and advanced spatial analytics
  • Significant programming experience (e.g., Python) and/or experience working with big data and data visualization tools (e.g., Hadoop, R, Tableau, machine learning, agent-based modeling and predictive analytics)
  • Teaching and research/practical experiences in web mapping and web/app development using JavaScript, html, or css for web-based tool developments
  • Interest in leveraging the locational advantages of the Bay Area to work on complex and novel problems in GIScience with an urban/regional focus.
  • Interest in partnering with departmental colleagues on research in one or more of the following thematic areas: housing, public health, land use, environmental planning/policy, economic development, urban design, transportation, participatory planning, sustainability, or immigration/globalization
  • A track record of grant proposal writing and project management experience
  • A demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively, including across disciplines


  • The successful candidate will be expected to maintain a strong record of teaching, research, and service, following the guidelines and norms articulated by the university and by the Department of Urban & Regional Planning
  • The successful candidate will teach a mix of undergraduate and graduate courses in GIScience topics, as well as other courses in geography and/or urban planning
  • The faculty member will share student advising responsibilities related to GIS course offerings
  • The candidate will be expected to maintain an active research agenda. Finally, the successful candidate will be actively involved in shaping the development and growth of the Spatial Analytics and Visualization Center (the SAVI Center at SJSU)
  • Candidate will participate in shared governance, usually in department, college, and university committee and other service assignments
  • Candidate must demonstrate awareness and experience understanding the needs of a student population of great diversity – in age, cultural background, ethnicity, primary language and academic preparation – through inclusive course materials, teaching strategies and advisement.

Compensation - Commensurate with qualifications and experience. See Benefits Summary for details.

Starting Date - August 2021

Eligibility - Employment is contingent upon proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

Application Procedure

Click Apply Now to complete the SJSU Online Employment Application and attach the following documents:

  • Cover letter that describes the reasons you are interested in this specific position
  • Academic CV
  • Two scholarly publications (sole-authored publications preferred) that showcase your research and writing skills
  • Statement of your teaching philosophy, including best practices for supporting historically marginalized students in the field of spatial data science
  • Statement of your research plans
  • Names and contact information of at least three academic references who can speak to your potential for university teaching, research, and service and have agreed to write letters on your behalf
  • For full consideration, please submit your application on or before January 19, 2021

Inquires may be directed to the Department Chair, Dr. Laxmi Ramasubramanian, AICP - [email protected]

The University

San José State University enrolls over 35,700 students, a significant percentage of whom are members of minority groups. The University is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty so our disciplines, students, and the community can benefit from multiple ethnic and gender perspectives.

San José State University is California’s oldest institution of public higher learning. Located in downtown San José (Pop. 1,000,000) in the heart of Silicon Valley, SJSU is part of one of the most innovative regions in the world. As Silicon Valley’s public university, SJSU combines dynamic teaching, research, and university-industry experiences to prepare students to address the biggest problems facing society. SJSU is a member of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.

Equal Employment Statement

San José State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or disability. This policy applies to all San José State University students, faculty, and staff as well as University programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations are made for applicants with disabilities who self-disclose. Note that all San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Additional Information

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.

Advertised: December 12, 2020 (9:00 AM) Pacific Standard Time
Applications close: Open until filled




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Job No:
Posted: 12/13/2020
Application Due: 5/18/2021
Work Type: Full Time