Department Chair - Master of Social Work Program


Job Description Summary:
Samuel Merritt University’s Master of Social Work program is seeking a qualified and experienced candidate to serve as the inaugural Chair. This program falls under the College of Health Sciences (CoHS). The Chair advocates for the mission of the program and acts as its representative to the administration and outside constituencies. Also, the Program Chair acts as a mentor and facilitator for the faculty and staff within the department and as an administrator of the department in accomplishing necessary managerial tasks. This position reports directly to the Dean of CoHS.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Job Duties and Accountabilities:

An Asterisk (*) denotes an “essential job function” for ADA purposes.

All items listed below are considered “essential job functions” for ADA purposes

Teaching Responsibilities


MSW courses, as assigned

Develop and articulate departmental goals.

Program Responsibilities


Engages in all aspects of WSCUC and CSWE accreditation process at the college and program level;

Convenes and leads the Accreditation Steering Committee

Guides the collection, analysis, and use of data for program improvement and candidate success;

Works collaboratively with department chairs, program coordinators, and student services offices to ensure full compliance with the program standards

Promote the academic quality of the department and discipline.

Supervise, evaluate and mentor all department faculty members and support staff.

Develop a 5-year plan for the program and contribute to the development of the College’s strategic plan.

Manage faculty leave and encourage professional development.

Supervision of the teaching, advisement, and other duties performed by faculty members to meet department academic goals. Ensure that faculty in the department are fully engaged in departmental and general faculty duties.

Recommend teaching assignments and teaching times to the dean and regulate faculty workloads.

Responsible for formulating and communicating recommendations for hiring, tenure, promotion, retention and evaluation of faculty and departmental support staff.

Process paperwork and manage external grants for various committees, special programs and development projects.

Organize and preside at department meetings.

Serve as a liaison and provide information to administrative offices, faculty committees, ad hoc committees, accrediting organization and other groups and departments.

Maintain collaborative relationships with regional colleges and clinical agencies for both the recruitment of students and development of clinical placements.

Develop new clinical contracts to enable students to meet program objectives in collaboration with University leadership.

Participation in research, writing and ultimate responsibility for any necessary self-study or program-related reports.

Respond to student inquiries, degree applications, complaints, requests, etc.

Supervise new student recruitment, retention major and balance advising assignments.

Management of the student learning assessment plan and the program review process for the department to identify needed improvements to student learning.

Manage the departmental assessment process and conduct periodic reviews.

Must keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.

Development of viable new curricular offerings in the field.

Ensures compliance with CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) accreditation standards and university policies and procedures.*

Responsible for departmental budget planning and fiscal management. Establish and monitor departmental budget priorities and allocations.


Field Placement Director

Administrative Coordinator

Faculty and Administrative Staff
  • Other duties as assigned

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. To demonstrate readiness to lead an academic department, the candidate must have experience working in an institution of higher education in Social Work discipline with an MSW, preferably a Ph.D. or Ed.D. from an accredited college or university in a field or discipline relevant to social work discipline, and qualified to serve at the rank of Assistant, or Associate Professor.

This position also requires the ability to effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to lead with a DEIB lens
  • Ability to prioritize and organize workload
  • Knowledge of curriculum development and department management in higher education
  • In-depth knowledge of the roles and requirements of a social worker
  • Experience with designing and reviewing social work curricula for MSW programs
  • Familiarity with state, local, and private sector health agencies, as well as with social work’s professional licensure procedures in the State of California
  • Ability to develop annual and strategic plans to accomplish department goals: business plan, five-year academic plan, marketing plan
  • Ability to identify and negotiate clinical affiliations with physicians, health maintenance organizations, and other appropriate clinical settings
  • Knowledge of budget development and management for an academic department
  • Ability to use a variety of teaching methods effectively
  • Clinical expertise as a social worker
  • Computer expertise with word processing, e-mail, spreadsheet and presentation software
Education and/or Experience:
  • Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree and an earned doctorate in Social Work or related field, as well as at least three years of practice experience at the post-master's level
  • Record of scholarship, teaching, and professional service commensurate with the University's requirements for tenure in the rank of associate or full professor
  • Evidence of having a collaborative and transformative leadership style
  • Knowledge of the CSWE accreditation standards
  • Experience with administrative academic leadership, acquisition of extramural grant funding, and the generation of traditional and online programs
Physical Requirements:
  • Considerable time is spent at a desk using a computer
  • Use telephone and other electronic equipment used in general university operations
  • May be required to travel to other buildings and campuses
  • May be required to attend conference and training sessions within Bay Area or in- or out-of-state locations
  • May be required to occasionally travel
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

The University has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to build a welcoming and supportive campus environment, and acknowledge that diversity is an educational imperative to achieve excellence.

Employee Status:
Exemption Status:
United States of America (Exempt)
Time Type:
Full time
Job Shift:

Pay Range:

$98k - $150k

Samuel Merritt University currently provides base salary ranges for all positions-on job advertisements-in the United States based on local requirements. Individual compensation will ultimately be determined based on a variety of relevant factors including but-not limited to qualifications, geographic location, and other relevant skills.

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