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Department Head of Education Reform and 21st Century Endowed Chair in Education Policy

University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Commensurate with education and experience

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The University of Arkansas seeks applications for the position of the Department Head of Education Reform and 21st Century Endowed Chair in Education Policy. Reporting to the Dean of the College of Education and Health Professions, the Department Head and Endowed Chair in Education Policy leads one of the most productive and best-resourced departments of Education Reform in the country. The Department Head holds a 21st Century Endowed Chair in Education Policy during their term(s).

The Department of Education Reform (EDRE) in the College of Education and Health Professions (COEHP) at the University of Arkansas was established in 2005 through a $10 million gift from the Windgate Foundation that was then matched with $10 million from the University’s Matching Gift Program established by a bequest from the Walton Charitable Trust. EDRE’s mission “is to advance education and economic development by focusing on the improvement of academic achievement in elementary and secondary schools. EDRE produces unbiased research findings leading to direct intervention programs in public schools and is committed to providing research that will directly inform policymakers, scholars, parents, teachers, administrators, and the public to positively influence the future of schooling in Arkansas and the nation.”


EDRE currently comprises eight faculty members, six of whom are in tenure-line positions and five of whom, appointed between 2006 and 2018, hold thematic Endowed Chairs. Two research faculty members lead the work of the Department’s Office of Educational Policy (OEP). In the 2021-22 academic year, EDRE had 12 doctoral students in residence.


Since EDRE’s founding, its faculty and researchers have produced 1,937 work products related to the Department’s mission, consisting of 17 books, 254 peer-reviewed journal articles, 230 book chapters or invited journal articles, 135 working papers, 203 policy reports, 100 policy briefs, 85 appearances before Congressional or legislative bodies, 14 appearances as expert witnesses in court cases, 546 conference presentations, and 305 policy talks or briefings. Collectively, they have also received 48 honorific awards. This record of scholarly productivity has landed EDRE among the top five academic departments in the country in its area of Educational Evaluation and Research, according to the national database Academic Analytics. The Department ranks first in the nation in honorific awards and second in the generation of journal articles.


Among other programs and projects, the Department has since 2013 been responsible for managing the Arkansas Teacher Corps, which recruits, trains, licenses, and supports Arkansans as empowered teachers facilitating excellent, inclusive education. EDRE is also home to the Office for Education Policy (OEP). OEP bridges the gap between research and practice by helping to produce and translate research findings into actional insights to improve Arkansas PK-12 education.


The Department Head is responsible for providing intellectual and administrative leadership of the faculty, staff, and students in teaching, research, and service; managing and coordinating the department’s human and fiscal resources; advancing the department’s mission and founding goals; maintaining an active research agenda in the area of education policy with an overarching goal of improving K-12 education/schools; communicating evidence-based best practices with education leaders and policymakers; representing the department to state and federal agencies, private organizations, partners, and collaborators; and 7) serving as a liaison for the department to the college and university.


The Head serves at the pleasure of the COEHP Dean in a renewable five-year term. The Head’s underlying faculty appointment as a full, tenured professor in EDRE is a 9-month faculty position. The Head may use funds from their endowed chair for salary to pursue research and provide service to the department over the summer.  The Head holds the 21st-Century Endowed Chair in Education Policy during their tenure as Head.


Minimum Qualifications


  • Earned doctorate in a field applicable to education policy and/or education reform from an accredited institution of higher education Proven leadership and administrative skills Exemplary record of research, teaching, and service relative to rank Established record as a scholar consistent with an appointment to the rank of tenured full professor at the University of Arkansas; associate professors advanced in rank are encouraged to apply Demonstrated commitment to improving the quality of K-12 education and a vision for applying that commitment in Arkansas Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Preferred Qualifications


  • Experience conducting research in K-12 schools Experience translating research findings to K-12 educators and policymakers to implement and improve evidence-based practices Experience securing and successfully administering external funding Demonstrated ability in developing successful partnerships Strong commitment to high-quality graduate education

More information is available here:


The College of Education and Health Professions has engaged Opus Partners ( to support the recruitment of Department Head & 21st-Century Endowed Chair in Education Policy. Craig Smith, Partner, and Marisea Rivera, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Candidates should send their CV, an introductory letter of interest addressing the qualifications established for the position, and contact information for five references to [email protected] or [email protected]. Opus Partners will not contact references without candidate approval. Nominations, recommendations, and inquiries should go to the same address. Every effort will be made to ensure candidate confidentiality.


Criminal Background Check, Sex Offender Registry


The University of Arkansas is committed to providing a safe campus community. It conducts background checks for applicants being considered for employment. Background checks include a criminal background check and a sex offender registry check. For certain positions, there may also be a financial (credit) background check, a Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) check, and/or drug screening. Required checks are identified in the position listing. A criminal conviction or arrest pending adjudication or adverse financial history information alone shall not disqualify an applicant in the absence of a relationship to the requirements of the position. Background check information will be used in a confidential, non-discriminatory manner consistent with state and federal law.


The University of Arkansas seeks to attract, develop and retain high quality faculty, staff and administrators who consistently display practices and behaviors to advance a culture and climate that embeds inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, please visit: Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


The University of Arkansas is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University welcomes applications without regard to race/color, sex, gender, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran or military status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. 


Persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment. All applicant information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.




Founded in 1871 as a land grant institution, the University of Arkansas is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among the top two percent of universities in the nation with the highest level of research activity. Ten colleges and schools serve more than 27,100 students with more than 200 academic programs. University of Arkansas students earn nationally competitive awards at an impressive rate and represent 50 states and more than 120 countries.

Located in the stunning Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas campus, known for its spectacular views and ample green spaces. Fayetteville is considered one of the country’s finest college towns, and the surrounding northwest Arkansas region is regularly ranked one of the best places to live in the U.S. Some of the nation’s best outdoor amenities and most spectacular hiking trails are within a short drive of campus.

As an employer, the University of Arkansas offers a vibrant work environment and a workplace culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance. The benefits package includes university contributions to health, dental, life and disability insurance, tuition waivers for employees and their families, 12 official holidays, immediate leave accrual, and a choice of retirement programs with university contributions ranging from 5 to 10% of employee salary.

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