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Assistant Professor - Special Education

The University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

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Faculty Jobs
Education, Special Education, Teacher Education
Position Type
Tenured & Tenure-Track
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

Position OverviewThe University of Kansas, Department of Special Education is recruiting applicants for a full-time, tenure track, academic year (9-month) position, in our nationally ranked Special Education program, beginning August 18, 2023. The Department is interested in recruiting a scholar and teacher with a focus in evidence-based practices for one or more of several areas typically associated with high incidence disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities or autism) or to align with the department’s new undergraduate elementary education unified program, with a focus on core content instruction in inclusive settings. The position is at the assistant rank. We are particularly interested in early career faculty and candidates with experience with externally-funded research who can collaborate with current special education faculty.

The successful candidate will contribute to a rich tradition of conducting influential research; securing external funding; teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses; mentoring and advising students; and providing university, state, and professional service. Successful candidates must have a strong interest in and commitment to both research and educator preparation.

As the flagship research institution in the state, our students come from diverse regional, national, and international communities. As a Department and University, diversity, equity inclusion and belonging are an important part of our culture and university strategic plan. Applications from members of underrepresented groups are encouraged, noting the value that differences bring to our organization, students, staff, faculty, and community. The successful candidate must be eligible to work in the U.S. by the effective date of the appointment.

The University of Kansas is a Carnegie doctoral/research-extensive university with a $1.4 billion endowment and a faculty of 2,600. Current enrollment is 28,500 (19,000 undergraduate), with students drawn from 110 nations and all 50 states, 20.6% of KU students are members of minority groups. The 1,000-acre main campus is in Lawrence, Kansas the center of a vibrant and culturally-rich community — a quintessential college town. Visitors, students, and new employees from outside the area enjoy discovering the many wonders of Lawrence, including a thriving downtown, diverse local and regional events, area lakes, vibrant arts and music scenes, and an indelible history. Home to nearly 95,000 people, Lawrence is located 45 minutes west of Kansas City and 30 minutes east of Topeka, the state capital. Along with the music, arts, culture and sports experiences offered at KU and in Lawrence, the short drive to Kansas City provides quick access to historic jazz clubs, museums, world-class music and theatre venues, and professional sports teams.

KU has 21 programs ranked in the U.S. News & World Report top 25 among public universities, including #1 rankings for graduate programs in special education and public administration.

In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the university actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education. KU’s vision is to be an exceptional learning community that lifts each other and advances society. The Jayhawks Rising Strategic Plan was developed around three Institutional Priorities: creating a clear and ambitious direction to fulfill our mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world. Additional information is available at Job DescriptionAt KU we make it our mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world. We aspire to be an exceptional learning community that lifts each other and advances society. KU’s strategic plan Jayhawks Rising is focused on objectives to accomplish this vision through three mission-based priorities of student success, healthy and vibrant communities, research, and discovery.

Allocation of Effort

Develop and maintain an active scholarly research agenda and participate in research and grant activities (.40 FTE).
  • Create and implement scholarly work related to identifying, implementing and evaluating effective instructional practices for children and youth with high incidence disabilities and their families;
  • Produce research leading to new insights and advances for publication in refereed journals or other scholarly outlets;
  • Participate in and present original research at scholarly conferences and conventions;
  • Mentor master’s and doctoral students in the development of research skills and in production of scholarly products; and
  • Obtain external funding for research initiatives in collaboration with colleagues.
Teach undergraduate and/or graduate-level courses in special education, advise undergraduate students, masters, and doctoral students (.40 FTE)
  • Advise, mentor, and teach undergraduate and masters students working toward a degree (B.S. or Masters) in the Kansas Elementary Education Unified (blended Elem/HI/LI) educator license, or Kansas High Incidence endorsement;
  • Advise students working toward doctoral degrees in Special Education;
  • Collaborate on the ongoing development and continuous improvement of the innovative undergraduate blended Elementary/High Incidence/Low Incidence licensure program and graduate High Incidence educator endorsement program;
  • Serve on master’s theses, master’s projects, and doctoral committees.
Contribute to professional service at all levels (e.g., department, school, university, state and national) (.20 FTE).
  • Collaborate with Department of Special Education, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, and School of Education and Human Sciences (SOEHS) faculty to ensure effective undergraduate and graduate-level recruitment, advising, and educator preparation;
  • Collaborate with Department of Special Education and SOEHS faculty, interdisciplinary university researchers and other stakeholders to ensure program quality, maintain state and national accreditation, and facilitate ongoing program and researcher agendas;
  • Participate in Department of Special Education, SOEHS, and University committees, faculty meetings, and retreats to ensure KU programs meet all professional standards and program quality expectations;
  • Collaborate with local, state, and national stakeholders to facilitate ongoing communication, advocacy, research initiatives, and educator preparation; and
  • Effectively work with culturally, ethnically, linguistically marginalized populations.
Required Qualifications
  1. Earned doctorate in Special Education or related field from an accredited institution with specialization in evidence-based practices and inclusive practices for students (children and youth) with high incidence disabilities, by the date of hire;
  2. Evidence of successful experiences supporting elementary-aged children with disabilities and their families;
  3. Established record or evidence of strong potential of a line of research that leads to a competitive record of scholarship, research, and external funding;
  4. Established record or evidence of strong potential of successful teaching, advising, and mentoring of undergraduate and/or graduate student in research and practice;
  5. Established record or evidence of strong potential to form collaborative partnerships with community programs, schools, relevant state departments, professional organizations, families, and/or others serving children and their families.
Preferred Qualifications
  1. Evidence of three years’ experience teaching children with and/or at-risk for disabilities in inclusive K-6 settings and in the provision of specialized, personalized instruction.
Additional Candidate InstructionsScreening of applications begins November 1, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. A complete application includes an online application, with the following attached;
  • Curriculum vita
  • Letter of application that identifies professional interests generally and specific interests and background relevant to this position. Within the letter, explicitly address teaching and research.
  • One-page teaching statement.
  • One-page research statement.
  • A list of three professional/academic references with contact information
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 prompt 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, inclusion and belonging.
Applicants are also encouraged to include or expand upon how they have contributed to building a culture of belonging through DEI initiatives within the required application materials provided.

Only complete applications will be considered. Other documentation may be requested from candidate finalists. Finalists will be required to submit to a background investigation. The preferred position starting date is August 18, 2023.
Contact Information to ApplicantsCommittee Chairperson: Suzanne Robinson, Ph.D. ([email protected]) Advertised Salary Rangecompetitive salary, commensurate with qualifications and experience, and excellent benefits Application Review Begins01-Nov-2022 Anticipated Start Date18-Aug-2023


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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