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Professor and Director, School of Communication Studies, Summer 2022

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

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Professor and Director, School of Communication Studies, Summer 2022

Knoxville, TN
Open Date:
Jul 16, 2021

The School of Communication Studies, in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s (UTK) College of Communication and Information (CCI), is conducting a national search for the position of Director of the School. A Ph.D. is required for this 12-month position. The successful applicant will hold the rank of Full Professor or meet the University of Tennessee’s criteria for Full Professor upon hire and will be eligible for tenure upon hire. The salary is competitive and based on experience and academic credentials.

Candidates should have strong intellectual, organizational, diplomatic and leadership skills; a strong record of research, teaching and service; the ability to build strong, positive relationships with all members of the School, with other CCI and UTK schools/departments, and the administration of the College and University; the ability to effectively manage School resources and staff; the ability to effectively represent the program externally; and the ability to maintain scholarly activity and actively promote research and scholarship in the School. The Director will provide leadership for the School in relation to the comprehensive academic program of the University, the infrastructure necessary for support of communication studies programs, and through annual review of faculty and staff. For more details, see the UTK Faculty Handbook. Applicants should have knowledge of and a strong commitment to cultivating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The School: The School of Communication Studies includes 28 full-time faculty positions and several graduate teaching associate positions. The School includes approximately 425 undergraduate majors and actively participates in the College-wide M.S. and Ph.D. programs. For information about the School and the College, visit: and

The College: The College of Communication and Information (CCI) consists of four schools: Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Studies, Information Sciences, and Journalism and Electronic Media. CCI has approximately 1,280 undergraduate majors (across five undergraduate majors in advertising, public relations, communication studies, information sciences, and journalism and electronic media), and approximately 420 graduate students (including College-wide M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in communication & information and an M.S. degree in information sciences). The College’s Center for Information and Communication Studies (CICS) provides a wide array of support services for CCI faculty interested in pursuing sponsored research. The Center involves dozens of researchers across various disciplines and agencies to focus the array of talent in CCI, the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and other research institutions in the pursuit and conduct of sponsored research. College-wide research facilities include: the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center, the Scripps Convergence Lab, a User Experience Lab, and a Message Effects/Focus Group Lab.

The College welcomed the arrival of Joseph Mazer as its new dean in July 2021. Dean Mazer leads a community of strategic creative thinkers who are passionate about leading, thinking, and preparing students to understand the role of information and communication in democratic societies. He oversees the College’s four schools. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee, Dean Mazer served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Clemson University, where he also served as a Faculty Fellow in the Office of the Provost. With a steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion, Dean Mazer developed in these roles extensive experience in academic strategic planning and program oversight, as well as a successful record of innovative collaboration with external stakeholders.

The University: The University of Tennessee is the state of Tennessee’s flagship university and its only public Carnegie Research 1 institution. As a land-grant university and as Volunteers, serving our state and nation is key to our mission. UT enrolls approximately 30,000 students at its Knoxville campus. Demographically, 24% of all students identify as non-white, 24% identify as first-generation students, and 29% are Pell-eligible. The University culture is guided by adherence to core values that define the Volunteer spirit and include: seeking knowledge, leading with innovation and integrity, advancing diversity and inclusion, engaging locally and globally, and embracing responsible stewardship of resources.

The Community: Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville has a metropolitan statistical area population of more than 850,000 people. This moderate-sized city has a vibrant nightlife that includes numerous theaters and museums, traditional bluegrass music, a symphony orchestra and an opera company, world-class restaurants, many cultural festivals and a downtown market square. Surrounded by lakes and the Tennessee River, the Knoxville area boasts wonderful year-round water activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming that make for scenic and breathtaking views of the area. UTK is located within easy driving distance to the Great Smoky Mountains, Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville and Cincinnati. It is only a day’s drive to Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C. Knoxville is also home to many leading corporations, including Bush Brothers & Company, Discovery Inc.’s National Operating Center, Regal Cinemas, TVA, Ruby Tuesday, Pilot Flying J, and Alcoa. It also has a number of prominent advertising/public relations firms and is the fifth largest video production center in the United States.


A Ph.D. is required for this 12-month position. The successful applicant will hold the rank of Full Professor or meet the University of Tennessee’s criteria for Full Professor upon hire and will be eligible for tenure upon hire.

Application Instructions:

To Apply: Individuals interested in applying for the position should submit via Interfolio: (1) a cover letter detailing the applicant’s qualifications for the position and leadership philosophy, (2) a vision statement for the School, (3) a statement detailing how the applicant’s teaching, research, and/or service experiences contribute to a culture of diversity and inclusion; (4) a current curriculum vitae, and (5) contact information for five references. Review of applications will begin September 15, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. Send email inquiries to: Beth Foster, Search Committee Chair, College of Communication and Information, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, [email protected].



Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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