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Director of the Iowa Reading Research Center, Open Rank Faculty

The University of Iowa College of Education
Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, seeks a Director for the Iowa Reading Research Center (IRRC). 

This is an open-rank tenure-track faculty position.  The faculty member will serve as the Director of the IRRC.  The Director will be a full-time member of the College of Education faculty in the Department of Teaching and Learning on a 12-month appointment.  Opportunities for teaching, advising, and research will be available to the Director. The director of the Department of Education or the director’s designee, in consultation with the University of Iowa (host of the IRRC) and the IRRC Advisory Council, shall select, determine the compensation of, and annually evaluate the director of the center.
The Director will work directly with The Iowa Department of Education, The University of Iowa, and the IRRC Advisory Council to meet the purpose and mission of the Center as outlined in Iowa Administrative Code.  The Director will manage and oversee all aspects of the IRRC to achieve its mission and purpose.

The purpose of the Iowa Reading Research Center is to improve the literacy proficiency of pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade students. To that end, the work of the IRRC is done in five main categories:
1.    Conducting research in practical settings to evaluate the effectiveness of literacy practices and the usefulness of assessments for guiding literacy instruction.
2.    Developing and disseminating research-based instructional strategies and interventions that are replicable and sustainable by Iowa schools and AEAs to improve student reading, comprehension and writing. 
3.    Facilitating professional learning for educators on literacy instructional strategies and related topics online through eLearning, and in-person at workshops and conferences.
4.    Collaborating with the Iowa Department of Education, Area Education Agencies and local education agencies to provide technical assistance involving planning and implementation to address a specific literacy issue.
5.    Offering family resources to help family members and caregivers take an active role in their children’s literacy skill development; assisting families affected by a reading disability through assistive technology consultation and eLearning.
All efforts of the Iowa Reading Research Center are conducted in collaboration with educators, parents, community representatives, the Iowa Department of Education, University of Iowa, and policymakers. Results have a direct application to literacy policy and education in Iowa.

Salary is highly competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. If qualified, the chosen candidate may be eligible to be named to the Emma Holmes Distinguished Professorship. Excellent benefits.

Required Qualifications 
1.    A terminal degree in education or related field, with specific expertise in reading.
2.    Established record of research relevant to education, with specific areas of expertise in reading instruction at-risk readers and/or literacy education.
3.    Demonstration of knowledge, skills, and experience to lead explicit, systematic, and sequential early literacy instruction for Preschool-3rd grade reading.
4.    Demonstration of knowledge, skills, and experience to support the full spectrum of literacy instruction and ELA from pre-kindergarten through Grade 12.
5.    Evidence of excellent teaching skills in teacher education in higher education.
6.    Experience teaching, advising, and mentoring graduate students in research and practice.
7.    Experience obtaining and managing externally-funded research projects.
8.    Able to demonstrate collaboration with stakeholders and colleagues who have a variety of professional responsibilities (e.g. educators, community organizations, caregivers, local education agencies, legislators, state department of education colleagues, and university colleagues).
9.    Knowledge and experience promoting evidence-based literacy instructional practices for diverse learners (English learners, students with disabilities, gifted students, etc.).
10.    Demonstrated commitment to recognizing literacy learning as a basic human right and engaging in equitable literacy education.
11.    Demonstrated commitment to working with culturally, linguistically, racially, and socioeconomically diverse populations.

Desired Qualifications 
1.    Established record of expertise in reading disabilities, and/or dyslexia.
2.    Experience leading professional and classified staff.
3.    Experience working with large budgets.
4.    Experience collaborating with state and national experts to achieve Center objectives.
5.    Experience working with families and communities to promote literacy through school and community partnerships. 
6.    Familiarity with state-level literacy development efforts.
7.    Experience leading professional learning for educators. 

1.    Implement all provisions of Iowa Administrative Code 281.61; 279.72; 272.23; 256.32a, and any other State of Iowa governance requirements.
2.    Direct all day-to-day operations of the Iowa Reading Research Center.
3.    Serve as a statewide expert and advocate for evidence-based literacy instructional strategies which may include participation and/or appearances at conferences, meetings, or other events across the state. 
4.    Teach courses (including summer sessions) in face-to-face, online, and/or hybrid formats for the Department of Teaching and Learning and Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement program.
5.    Serve as chair and member of dissertation and comprehensive exam committees for graduate students.
6.    Work collaboratively with leaders from Iowa’s educational systems (higher education and pre-kindergarten through Grade 12), state government (executive and legislative branches), local education agencies, and community groups to help coordinate all components of Iowa’s comprehensive literacy initiative.
7.    Contribute service in the University of Iowa College of Education, such as the Administrative Council, and in the Department of Teaching and Learning. 
8.    Engage in at least 4 hours a semester of collaboration with teachers in contributing to instruction in K12 classrooms (required of all teacher education faculty).
9.    Integrate research into the design of best practice strategies to promote literacy development statewide.
10.    Advocate for effective literacy education for pre-service teachers.
11.    Oversee the process for determining evidence-based intensive summer literacy programs. 

Salary is highly competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. Excellent start-up package, benefits, and research support. 

Negotiable start date.

Candidates should submit an application letter addressing all qualifications noted above, curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference.  Finalists may be requested to supply additional information to determine appropriate faculty appointment.  To apply for this position, go to our website at and choose requisition number 74716.  Address inquiries or nominations to Kathy Bertsch, [email protected], and Catherine Welch, [email protected]

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

About the University and Surrounding Community
The University of Iowa (UI) is a world-renowned institution located in Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature that is recognized as one of the country’s most livable communities. With more than 70,000 residents, Iowa City is an attractive haven for scholars, scientists, artists, writers, and professionals of all kinds. Highlights of living in Iowa City include outstanding schools and libraries, a lively downtown offering an array of events focused on arts, learning, and cultural development, and the unique charm of a vibrant college town connected by easy travel to larger cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis. Iowa City and UI are intertwined for the betterment of the university and the surrounding communities.

We are committed to recruiting and retaining innovative and diverse faculty and staff, which involves providing opportunities for employees to “Build a Career and Build a Life” in the Iowa City area. The University offers several benefits to support faculty in achieving a healthy work/life balance including domestic partner benefits, family caregiving leave, flexible spending accounts for dependent care and health care, and an automatic tenure clock extension when a minor child is added to the family. For more information about local work/life resources, including dual-career support, please see:

About the Department of Teaching and Learning
The Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Iowa includes over 35 faculty members and 900 students with over 450 students majoring in Elementary Education. The Department houses nine teacher elementary and secondary licensure programs, multiple MA/MS/MAT programs, and 25+ endorsements in Teacher Education. The Teacher Education Program implements Core Principles that focus on equity in education. The department also has four PhD programs (Special Education; Literacy, Culture, and Language Education; Mathematics Education; Science Education).

About the College
The College of Education offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including licensure, endorsement, and certificate programs, many of which are regularly ranked among the best in the nation. Students study with our world-renowned faculty who are leaders in their fields. Our college is comprised of four departments: Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, Psychological and Quantitative Foundations, Counselor Education, and Teaching and Learning. The College houses several Centers that support work in critical areas of education, including UI REACH, Iowa Reading Research Center, Scanlan Center for School Mental Health, and the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. The College is guided by a Strategic Plan which includes actively engaging with diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. The College works intentionally through our Anti-Racism Collaborative.
The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences.

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