Communication Studies Online Program Director

The University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Communications & Marketing, Program Administration, Technology, Analysts & Programming
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Position OverviewThe Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas is seeking a 9-month, academic position as an Assistant Specialist (non-tenure track). The Assistant Specialist will be the Online Program Director (OPD) and will direct the Department of Communication Studies (COMS) Online program. The OPD will work closely with the department’s administration, faculty and other teaching staff to develop and implement changes in the online curriculum of the Department of Communication Studies online curriculum. The OPD will also train, supervise, and evaluate a group of communication studies teaching assistants in online teaching, as well as work with faculty on course design and best practices. The OPD oversees the scheduling and maintenance of all online courses and serves as the department’s liaison with the College Online and the Center for Teaching Excellence. In addition to serving as OPD, the incumbent will teach a 2:2 load in undergraduate and graduate courses in an area complementary to those of current faculty. The OPD will also meet standard service and advising requirements.

The University of Kansas is dedicated to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive working and learning environment. In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal education and employment opportunities, the university actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education.

Lawrence, Kansas is a progressive city with a lively arts and music scene, excellent schools, high quality restaurants, economical living, and a diverse cultural mix. Located in northeast Kansas, Lawrence offers easy access to a variety of outdoor recreational venues and the amenities of a major metropolitan area. The successful candidate must have appropriate authorization to work in the U.S. before employment begins.
Job DescriptionTeaching (40%)
  • Teaches two courses/semester
  • Develops and updates syllabi, study guides, instructors guides, test questions, tests, and web-based materials. instructors. Implements the use of technology in the teaching of courses.
  • Advises undergraduate and graduate students, including directing independent studies, and honors theses.
  • Serves on graduate student M.A. and Ph.D. committees and undergraduate honors thesis committees.
  • Holds regular office hours for students involved in classes taught.
  • Adheres to department, College, and university policies and procedures.
Professional Performance (40%)
  • Works closely with the department’s administration, faculty and teaching staff to develop and implement changes in the communication studies online curriculum.
  • Trains, supervises, and evaluates a group of communication studies teaching assistants in online teaching.
  • Works with faculty on online course design and best practices.
  • Oversees the scheduling and maintenance of all online courses.
  • Serves as the department’s liaison with the College Online.
  • Coordinate assessment for online courses, in collaboration with the departments’ Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Supervise courses related to individual area of expertise.
Research (10%)

The Online Program Director (Teaching Assistant Specialist) will contribute to the research mission of the Department of Communication Studies through presentations at professional conferences and publication of works in books, articles, abstracts, or other scholarly works such as the online publication of new active-learning materials in online formats. Possible areas of focus include the scholarship of assessment and curriculum design, the development of new online teaching methods, or online communication more generally.

Service (10%)
  • Member of the department’s general curriculum committee and other committees as needed.
  • Contributes to service in the department, College, university, discipline, and community.
Unclassified Academic Staff members are expected to meet satisfactory standards of performance in all areas of responsibility and to carry out those responsibilities in accordance with the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct,

COLLEGIALITY - All faculty and staff members are expected to act in a manner that promotes collegial relationships and shows respect toward students, staff, and colleagues. Required QualificationsEvaluation of the following requirements will be made through: (1) description of teaching philosophy, (2) letter of application, (3) record of accomplishments and productivity included in C.V., (4) course materials such as syllabi and assignments, and student evaluation data; and (5) contact information provided from three professional references:
  1. Ph.D. in Communication Studies or related discipline is expected by the start date of appointment (August 18, 2022).
  2. Record of excellence in teaching online college-level Communication Studies courses.
  3. Demonstrated ability to direct a Communication Studies Online Program, as evidenced by excellence in teaching and administration of the college-level or by other kinds of relevant teaching and administrative experience.
  4. Demonstrated activity/work in online pedagogical design and improvement in course teaching.
  5. Demonstrated ability to work well with students, faculty, and administrators based on student evaluations and reference information.
  6. Demonstrated ability to be engaged in research through publications, grants, and/or presentations.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience in administering online programs, including course design, assessment, and learning outcomes.
  • At least 5 years previous experience using technology in teaching.
  • Experience with development of innovations that enhance student learning.
Additional Candidate InstructionsTo apply and for more information go to A complete online application will include the following materials: (1) Cover letter; (2) record of accomplishments and productivity included in a CV; (3) a Teaching Statement/Philosophy; (4) course materials such as syllabi and assignments, and student evaluation data; and (5) the names, addresses and contact information for 3 professional references.

In addition to the materials above, learning about each applicant’s contribution and engagement in areas of diversity is an important part of KU’s mission. As a result, applicants will be presented the following question at the time of application. The response must be within 4,000 characters or less.
  • Describe your experiences working with people from diverse backgrounds, and explain how those experiences reflect your commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Initial review of application will begin November 15, 2021 and will continue until a pool of qualified applicants is obtained.
Contact Information to ApplicantsDr. Adrianne Kunkel
Search Committee Chair
[email protected] Advertised Salary RangeCommensurate with experience Application Review Begins15-Nov-2021 Anticipated Start Date18-Aug-2022


Working at the University of Kansas 

Join the University of Kansas, and you’ll become part of a Jayhawk family that spans the globe. Wear your KU shirt in London, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Nairobi or anywhere else, and you will likely hear a resounding “Rock Chalk!” from a stranger. Of course, the appropriate response is an enthusiastic “Jayhawk!” Because, after all, they’re not really strangers, they’re family.

The Jayhawk community is united by more than 150 years of tradition and by our commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge, transforming the academic experience, and creating solutions through innovative research. KU’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.  

The University of Kansas is the state’s flagship university and one of just 66 invited members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). We consistently earn high rankings for academics and recognition as a premier research university.

KU faculty and staff embrace our role as the state’s flagship university, AAU member and R1 institution that serves the state, nation and world. We celebrate the energy and compassion that infuse the Jayhawk spirit; and, we remain true to KU’s historic values: the elevating force of education, the transformative power of research and the healing power of service.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 

The University of Kansas is committed to a learning and workplace environment that is representative of our nation and global society, accepts and values everyone, appreciates our common humanity and understands that our multiple differences are the cornerstone of academic preparation, professional excellence and distinction. KU must be a place where all people feel they belong and have access to resources and support that help them attain their educational and professional goals.

We recognize there are inequalities and privileges generated by historical and persistent intersecting differences by race, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, abilities, religion, regional background, veteran status, citizenship status and nationality. And we hold ourselves accountable for policies, processes and programs that appreciate these and other differences and create more fair, safe and just learning, working and living environments for KU students, faculty and staff.


KU offers a broad array of undergraduate and graduate study programs, and we fulfill our mission through academic and research programs of international distinction, coupled with outstanding libraries, teaching museums and information technology. These resources enrich the academic experience for students from all 50 states and 112 countries, and provide enrichment resources for KU faculty and staff.


The university attains high levels of research productivity and recognizes that faculty are part of a network of scholars and academicians that shape a discipline as well as teach it. KU staff are integral to our research success, participating in and supporting discoveries that expand knowledge and improve lives.


The university and our employees serve society through research, teaching and the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. KU's academic programs, arts facilities and public programs provide cultural enrichment opportunities for the larger community. And, KU offers educational, research and service programs throughout the state. KU employees are encouraged to participate in and serve the campus and surrounding communities in a way that is meaningful to them.

International Dimension 

KU offers more than 100 programs of international study and cooperative research for KU students and faculty at sites around the world. The university offers teaching and research that draw upon and contribute to the most advanced developments throughout the United States and abroad. At the same time, KU's extensive international ties support economic development in Kansas.


The University of Kansas, our students and employees are committed to excellence. We foster a multicultural, inclusive environment in which the dignity and rights of individuals are respected. Intellectual diversity, integrity and disciplined inquiry in the search for knowledge are of paramount importance.

Our City and State 

KU sits atop Mt. Oread in the center of Lawrence, a town full of natural beauty and culture. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named Lawrence one of the best college towns in the United States. Lawrence is home to more than 100,000 people, and has a charming, Midwestern friendliness that welcomes visitors and celebrates diversity. In addition to KU, Lawrence is home to Haskell Indian Nations University, the premiere tribal university in the United States.

Lawrence’s historic and thriving downtown features restaurants, nightlife and local shops offering unique finds that you won’t find anywhere else. The town has more than 50 parks, an encompassing mixed-use trail, and quick access to biking/hiking trails along the Kansas River and around Clinton Lake. A five-minute drive from Lawrence, Clinton Lake offers fishing, boating, beaches, camping and other outdoor activities.

Located just 40 minutes west of Kansas City, Lawrence offers the appeal of a mid-size, suburban town with quick access to the amenities of a large city, including an international airport. The Kansas City metro area is home to world-class museums and cultural activities, Jazz clubs and other nightlife venues, expansive shopping options, and exciting professional sports with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC.

Kansas is in the center of the country, making it convenient and cost effective to fly or drive to destinations throughout the United States. Far from flat, the Flint Hills, just 90 minutes from Lawrence, offer panoramic vistas that showcase the breathtaking beauty of America.

Making KU Your Home 

Something about Lawrence is magnetic. Long-time residents are never surprised when a KU student or employee from out of state decides to make Lawrence their permanent home. And, even those who do leave often find themselves returning to “the nest” at some point in the future. In fact, Lawrence has been named by several publications as one of the best places to retire.

At the University of Kansas, you’ll join a global Jayhawk family and find a place to call home.

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