Founding Director, Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program

Southern California University of Health Sciences
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Apr 13, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Southern California University of Health Sciences seeks a Founding Director, Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program
Click here to view position profile:
Location: Whittier, California
Note: This position can accommodate partial virtual office consideration 

The Position:
Southern California University of Health Sciences is seeking the Founding Director of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program. This is an exciting opportunity for a leader in Occupational Therapy to develop, launch and administer a new program with an emphasis on integrative health and interprofessional education. This is an administrative position and under the supervision of the Assistant Provost of Academic Initiatives. The Program Director for the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program will demonstrate the academic and professional qualifications and relevant experience in higher education requisite for providing effective leadership for the program, the program faculty, and the students. The Program Director will also provide effective leadership for the program including, but not limited to, responsibility for program accreditation, communication, program assessment and strategic planning, fiscal management, and faculty evaluation. Target start date is August 1-15, 2021. The position can offer partial virtual office consideration. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Promotes the mission, values, and vision of Southern California University of Health Sciences to all faculty, staff, students, and to the community.
  • Promotes effective working relationships among faculty, staff, and students.
  • Possesses and articulates a vision for occupational therapy professional education.
  • Professionally supervises and manages all activities of the program.
  • Serves as a professional and academic role model to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Possess strong team-building skills and the ability to work effectively and collegially with others.
  • Oversees the curriculum content, design, and evaluation process.
  • Teaches within the OTD program.
  • Employs strategies to promote and support professional development.
  • Proves effective interpersonal and conflict management skills.
  • Serves on behalf of occupational therapist professional education, higher education, the larger community, and organizations related to their academic interest.
  • Effectively manages human and fiscal resources.
  • Commits to lifelong learning.
  • Commits to ensuring quality academic programs including alignment with professional organizations and accreditation processes.
  • Engages in ongoing strategic and long-term planning and program quality assurance.
  • Prepares and oversees required program accreditation applications and reports.
  • Maintains program accreditation.
  • Plans, submits, and oversees an annual fiscal year operational budget for the program.
  • Identifies resource/personnel allocations and needs through the determination of an annual strategic plan.
  • Evaluates personnel performance to achieve departmental goals, assist with performance measurement, and strategic planning.
  • Commits to growth in program and developing clinical relationships and affiliations.
  • Completes required institutional, program accreditation, and other reports necessary for the operation and advancement of university programs.
  • Participates on university councils/committees.
  • Performs other duties as assigned. 

Note: SCU does not offer tenure, but can negotiate for a multi-year contract. 

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Must hold a doctoral degree awarded by an institution that is accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). The doctoral degree is not limited to a doctorate in occupational therapy.
  • Must be eligible for occupational therapy licensure in the state of California.
  • Must have a minimum of 8 years of documented experience in the field of occupational therapy that includes clinical, administrative, and scholarship experience.
  • At least 3 years of experience in a full-time academic appointment with teaching responsibilities at the postsecondary level.
  • Must have working knowledge of the ACOTE Standards and Interpretive Guide.
  • Must have effective communication, organization, interpersonal, problem-solving, and advising skills.
  • Experience in educational theory and methodology, instructional design, student evaluation and outcome assessment.
  • Computer skills in a Windows OS environment; proficiency with TEAMS, Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint. 


  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; collects and researches data; uses intuition and experience to complement data; designs workflows and procedures.
  • Design - Generates creative solutions; uses feedback to modify designs; applies design principles; demonstrates attention to detail.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; gathers and analyzes information skillfully; develops alternative solutions; works well in group problem-solving situations.
  • Project Management - Develops project plans; coordinates projects; communicates changes and progress; completes projects on time and budget; manages project team activities.
  • Technical Skills - Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; shares expertise with others. 


  • Customer Service - Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; responds promptly to customer needs; solicits customer feedback to improve service; responds to requests for service and assistance; meets commitments.
  • External Working Relationships – Develops and maintains courteous and effective working relationships with clients, vendors and/or any other representatives of external organizations. 


  • Change Management - Develops workable implementation plans; communicates changes effectively; builds commitment and overcomes resistance; prepares and supports those affected by change; monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Delegation - Delegates work assignments; matches the responsibility to the person; gives authority to work independently; sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; provides recognition for results.
  • Managing People - Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; takes responsibility for subordinates' activities; makes self-available to staff; provides regular performance feedback; develops subordinates' skills and encourages growth; solicits and applies customer feedback (internal and external); fosters quality focus in others; improves processes, products and services; continually works to improve supervisory skills. 


  • Business Acumen - Demonstrates knowledge of market and competition; aligns work with strategic goals.
  • Cost Consciousness - Works within approved budget; develops and implements cost-saving measures.
  • Safety and Security –All employees are responsible for observing safety and security procedures as applicable and reporting potentially unsafe conditions to management. 

About the Institution:
Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) is a regionally accredited, nonprofit institution specializing in health care education. SCU is dedicated to its core values of integrative health, evidence-based practice, health equity, and inclusivity. 

The Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) was founded in 1911 as the Los Angeles School of Chiropractic. SCU has added multiple programs over the years and is today a comprehensive health sciences university offering certificate, baccalaureate, and graduate-level education to students interested in pursuing a career in the health professions. SCU has a history of providing the highest levels of patient care and has gained a reputation for excellence in an evidence-informed curriculum. The university holds institutional accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) as well as multiple programmatic accreditations. For more information: 

SCU’s mission is to educate students as competent, caring, and successful integrative healthcare practitioners. Faculty, staff, and students enjoy a collaborative and engaged community that includes an active student association, staff senate, and faculty senate. SCU has been educating practitioners for over 100 years. 

The university is proud of the SCU Health Center, a unique educational health and wellness facility residing in the heart of Whittier, California. Skilled and qualified students provide care under the close guidance of expert, licensed SCU Health System practitioners. The SCU Health Center provides chiropractic, acupuncture, Ayurveda, and urgent care services to address a variety of ailments and medical conditions. Each patient, based on their needs and condition, receives a customized plan that is right for their health and lifestyle. 

The university is committed to providing excellence in academics, service, scholarship, and leadership through its diverse program portfolio.

  • Doctor of Chiropractic
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy (in development)
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (in development)
  • Doctor of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine
  • Master of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
  • Master of Science in Human Genetics and Genomics
  • Master of Science in Medical Science
  • Master of Science: Physician Assistant Program
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
  • Accelerated Science Courses
  • Ayurveda Certificate Program
  • Clinical Internship for Ayurveda Practitioners
  • Sports Medicine Residency
  • Veteran Affairs Residency

The Refreshed Institutional Plan to 2023 provides a sustainable plan for the success and growth of Southern California University of Health Sciences. 

Why Consider the Opportunity:

  • Dynamic university with integrative health emphasis. SCU is experiencing unprecedented enrollment growth, which has led to diversified programmatic offerings with an emphasis on interprofessional education and interprofessional practice.
  • New transformative leadership on campus. The university has hired several new administrative leaders and together they have transformed academic programming, technology, marketing, admissions/enrollment, student services, and more.
  • SCU is a great place to work. SCU is recognized as one of the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Best Places to Work. The university community lives its cores values of kindness, integrity, determination, and humor. The culture is healthy and upbeat. People treat each other with collegiality and respect.
  • Exciting opportunity to build. This program director will build the program from the ground up and hire the Clinical Director, faculty, and staff.
  • Virtual position flexibility. The position can accommodate some degree of virtual office flexibility during the program’s early development and while the university is operating virtually. 

To Apply:
Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and the process will continue until the position is filled. Please submit application materials (CV and letter of interest) by May 23, 2021. To apply online go to 

For nominations or further information:
Laura Woodworth-Ney, PhD
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: (208) 589-8896 

Stephanie Rivas-Fowler
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: (530) 677-9945 

Southern California University of Health Sciences is an equal opportunity employer. Members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

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