Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor and Department Head, Social Science and Policy Studies

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Professor and Department Head, Social Science and Policy Studies

 Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) invites applications for the position of Head of the Social Science and Policy Studies Department (SSPS).  The new department head will have leadership skills that will support the ongoing efforts of the SSPS faculty to enhance the reputation of the department and its positions nationally, and globally by building on its existing strengths, and facilitating new opportunities in both research and teaching.   Successful applicants will have a Ph.D. in social science (Anthropology, Economics, Human Geography, International Development, Learning Sciences, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology) or a closely related interdisciplinary field such as policy studies, and demonstrated abilities in transdisciplinary academic program development and leadership, as well as excellent inter-personal skills.  He or she will have a strong commitment to foster diversity.  The new Department Head will also be expected to maintain scholarly activity at a level adequate to the rank of full professor in their respective discipline; however one does not have to be a full professor at the time of application.

The Department Head of Social Science and Policy Studies Department is responsible for the academic operations of the department, professional development of the SSPS faculty, and for maintaining the high quality of the department's programs, facilities, and reputation.  The WPI SSPS Department (www.wpi.edu/+SSPS) has experienced considerable change—it has doubled in size—in the past 10 years in its programmatic and research capacity including a dynamic new program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Global Public Health, cyber security, and the addition of lab space for our behavioral scientists in economics, psychology, and the learning sciences.  Major areas of research include behavioral/experimental economics, international development and governance, learning sciences, social psychology, technology and food policy, and urban sustainable development.  SSPS attracts a small, but engaged. body of undergraduate and graduate students(MS/Ph.D.) who are supported by 11 Tenure/Tenure Track faculty and 4 Non-Tenure Track full-time faculty.

The SSPS Department promotes interdisciplinary and high quality teaching.  The department offers a number of majors including Economics, Psychology, Society, Technology, Policy and is the home department for the interdisciplinary program Environmental and Sustainability Studies.  The department also supports interdisciplinary minors in Law and Technology and Global Public Health.  While there are a number of social science majors who comprise a significant part of the department’s teaching effort, all WPI students are required to fulfill a Social Science requirement.  The SSPS faculty maintains a diverse portfolio of research with expenditures totaling over $500,000 annually from funding sources such as the National Science Foundation,, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and private foundations, such as the Engineering Information Foundation.  SSPS Department faculty have a national and global reach in their collaborations, including local collaborators at Clark University, right in Worcester and UMass-Amherst, to nationally recognized universities such as Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University, University of Virginia, UCLA, and international collaborators from Auckland University (NZ), the University of Hong Kong, KU Leuvan (Belgium), Freiburg University (Germany), the University of Luxembourg, the University of Manchester (UK), and Thamassat University (Thailand).

Founded in 1865, WPI is one of the nation’s first technological universities. A highly selective private university located within an hour of Boston, WPI is consistently ranked among the top 70 research institutions by US News & World Report. The university is home to an innovative and intensive project-based curriculum that empowers students with the knowledge and skills to address real world problems around the globe.

Applications should include a detailed curriculum vitae, a vision statement for the department, and statements of teaching and research interests.  The applicants should also submit a list of five professional references, at least one addressing leadership experience, who will be available to write on their behalf.  Please send all application materials via Debbie Ofcarcik (dofcarcik@wpi.edu).   Applications from underrepresented minorities in the social sciences are especially encouraged to apply. Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against applicants due to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status or disability. We are looking for individuals who value creativity, diversity, inclusion, and collaboration.

For additional information on this position, please contact: Professor Alex Smith at adksmith@wpi.edu orProfessor Robert Krueger at Krueger@wpi.edu