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Chair of Science

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics - Morganton Campus
North Carolina, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Aug 17, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Academic Administration, Jobs Outside Academe, Educational Service Providers
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Details

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics – Morganton Campus seeks a Chair of Science
Click here to view position profile:
Location: Morganton, North Carolina 

The Position:
The founding faculty of the Durham campus are regarded as iconic figures among alumni, and this position as a founding faculty leader of the brand new NCSSM-Morganton campus will help to shape the unique culture of this new learning community for decades to come. 


  • Reporting to the Dean of Science, collaborate with leadership and faculty across NCSSM’s two residential campuses and the online program to develop and deliver an innovative, challenging academic curriculum, with a special focus on interdisciplinary courses and hands-on laboratory experiences.
  • Provide effective leadership and supervision for the Science department at NCSSM-Morganton, supervising approximately 7-15 department members, chairing departmental meetings, and participating in the Board of Trustees, Foundation Board of Directors, and Instructional Council meetings.
  • Share responsibility for departmental budgeting and purchasing and otherwise lead and support day-to-day activities of the department. This position may require regular travel between NCSSM’s Durham and Morganton campuses.
  • Finalize the outfitting of the Science labs and classrooms. Oversee the purchase of lab equipment and consumables for the biology, chemistry, and physics programs.
  • Determine students’ placement and exemptions in appropriate areas of the curriculum; submit draft schedules of course offerings; consult with faculty about their new course ideas, and keep them on track to submit new course proposals and shape the curriculum.
  • Handle departmental personnel oversight, including hiring, monitoring, and evaluating faculty and staff work plans, self-appraisals, and improvement plans, and ensuring class coverage, etc.
  • Develop and teach innovative and engaging courses in NCSSM’s residential and online programs, with an initial course load of 1 per semester, increasing to 2 per semester in year 3 when campus startup duties have lessened. 


  • Master’s degree in a related academic field (expertise in any natural science discipline including but not limited to biology, chemistry, or physics).
  • Experience with experimental and/or computational scientific research and familiarity with scientific instrumentation.
  • Teaching experience in a related field, preferably with high-achieving secondary students or undergraduates. A proven track record of effective and inspiring teaching. 

Preferred Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent organization, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience with purchasing and budgeting.
  • Commitment to a hands-on lab program, lab safety, active learning, and authentic scientific experiences for students.
  • Experience with hiring committees.
  • Comfort with technology used for hosting virtual meetings and classes and the use of collaborative tools to create and manage documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  • Demonstrated preparation for teaching a diverse student population.
  • Willingness to support the intellectual, cultural, emotional, and social growth of students—a responsibility that transcends a traditional high school or college teaching schedule and requires the commitment to participate actively in the extracurricular life of the NCSSM community.

Click here to see formal job announcement for additional details. 

Why You Should Consider the Opportunity:

  • Public school, public service values: As a public school, NCSSM extends opportunities to students in every corner of North Carolina for the betterment of the state.
  • Leadership role: The Chair will organize and lead the colleagues in its discipline in Morganton and work closely with the dean based in Durham.
  • Professional opportunities: The school offers funding for conference and other professional travel and professional development opportunities, including taking free courses in the UNC System.
  • Academic freedom: Curricular freedom, no state standardized testing, and the support for faculty to publish original research (only if desired).
  • Interdisciplinary innovation: Many courses integrate more than one disciplinary approach, inviting students to make meaningful connections across academic disciplines.
  • Resources: In addition to generous public funding, NCSSM raises millions in private gifts each year through its NCSSM Foundation to further the mission of the school, with funding and endowment earnings supporting each academic department, students with financial needs, participation in academic competitions, and more.
  • Motivated, talented students: NCSSM is training the next generation of scientists. Academically talented students have competed for the opportunity to attend and have persuaded their families they are ready to live independently as high school juniors and as a rule are engaged, curious learners.
  • Collaborative student body: NCSSM eschews class ranks and valedictorians and encourages students to collaborate and support one another rather than compete.
  • Salary: To recruit top educators, NCSSM is in a multi-year process of raising its faculty salaries to be competitive with the highest paying public high school systems in the state.
  • Quality of life: Close professional and school community, low cost of living, friendly community atmosphere, outdoor recreational opportunities, and accessible travel destinations. 

About the Institution:
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) is a world-class public high school with statewide reach empowering students with the skills and knowledge to design their own future. Specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math, and embracing the fine arts and humanities, it challenges 680 talented high school juniors and seniors from across North Carolina through a residential program on its historic campus in Durham—and beginning in 2022, on a new second campus being built in Morganton that will serve 300 more residential students. NCSSM’s extensive online program and summer offerings extend its impact to every corner of the state and to hundreds more students annually. NCSSM embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion, and seeks to recruit employees who share these same values. The residential program intentionally admits half male and half female students, and NCSSM opens its life-changing opportunities to students from all economic circumstances across the state from urban, rural, and suburban communities. Attending is free of cost, inclusive of books, room, and board. To learn more: 

Founded in 1980 as the first school of its kind, NCSSM has become the model for 18 such specialized schools around the globe and is a member of the 17-institution University of North Carolina System. Its 11,000-plus alumni include local and global leaders in medicine, technology, commerce, education, and the arts—a community of problem solvers who build a brighter future. The new NCSSM-Morganton campus will focus on the booming fields of data science and sustainability, preparing the leaders of tomorrow to navigate a future driven by the need to solve the grand challenges of our time, in health, environment, and economic opportunity. 

Faculty at NCSSM become part of a close-knit campus community with colleagues, with students in residence alongside community coordinators, and with student life staff. The resources (including a brand-new campus), academics, and extracurricular opportunities rival those of private boarding schools—but with a public school mission. NCSSM enjoys unique curricular freedom, encouraging faculty creativity and innovation not possible at most high schools. In Morganton, students and faculty will have access to cutting-edge technologies, authentic science laboratories, and hands-on learning as part of NCSSM’s hallmark holistic, interdisciplinary education. 

To Apply:
Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; parties who apply before or by July 19, 2021 will be given first consideration. Interested candidates should submit a resume and letter of interest. 

To apply online, go to: 

For more information or to offer recommendations or nominations:
Arasi Adkins, MA
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: (336) 693-7612

NCSSM is an EEO/eVerify/VEVRAA Employer
NCSSM invites and welcomes all applications for employment within the institution. NCSSM is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. If you are an individual with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process, please contact NCSSM at (919) 416-2662.

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