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Executive Director - Associate/Full Professor of Practice; Associate/Full Teaching Professor; or

Northern Arizona University
Arizona, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Sep 1, 2023

View more

Position Type
Faculty Positions, Communications, Public Relations & Advertising
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Executive Director - Associate/Full Professor of Practice; Associate/Full Teaching Professor; or Associate/Full Professor

Location: School of Communication
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Job ID: 607465
Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Workplace Culture

NAU aims to be the nation's preeminent engine of opportunity, vehicle of economic mobility, and driver of social impact by delivering equitable postsecondary value in Arizona and beyond.

About NAU

Northern Arizona University serves almost 30,000 students. We are a vibrant community, with 21,000 students in Flagstaff—the home of our largest campus—and the remainder online or at our 20+ statewide locations. Our institution has carefully integrated on-campus education with distance learning, forming seamless avenues for students to earn degrees.

Committed to an inclusive university environment, NAU has all the benefits of a large institution with a personal touch. We carefully balance teaching, scholarship, and service for faculty members. Supporting our core value of student-centrism, NAU's faculty members promote learning and help students reach academic milestones.

Flagstaff is an outdoorsy mountain town with four seasons and a thriving cultural scene. Located at 7,000 feet, Flagstaff houses 70,000 people and sits at the base of the sacred San Francisco Peaks.

For more about inclusive excellence at NAU, visit the Center for Inclusive Excellence and Access.

About the Department/College

The School of Communication is housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Our 47 faculty members and staff provide the following programs of study: Communication Studies (Organizational & Environmental Communication), Creative Media and Film (Documentary, Independent Filmmaking & Media Studies), Journalism (Multimedia & Sports), Photography (Digital, Alternative Processes & Black and White Studio), Strategic Communication (Advertising & Public Relations), and Visual Communication (Graphic Design & Animation). Our growing master's program in Communication offers three emphasis areas: Communication Studies, Documentary Studies, and Strategic Communication. Additionally, we offer graduate certificates in Science Communication and Communication Studies. The school also offers certificates and minors in many of the above programs. In addition, we have a statewide Communication Studies program in Glendale, AZ.

The school's state-of-the-art facilities provide experiential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration through our Media Innovation Center, the Advanced Media Lab, Photographic Studios and Darkrooms, the Public Speaking Lab, Strategic Communication Lab, UTV Independent film production studio, KJACK FM radio station, The Lumberjack student newspaper, NAZ Today television newscast, the VisualDESIGNLab, an on-site student advising office, and an exhibition gallery that showcases student and faculty work. The school is home to the NAU Forensics Team, multiple film series, Indigenous Youth Media Workshop and the BREDA summer workshop that hosts students from the Netherlands in our working broadcast television studio.

About the Position

The School of Communication invites applications for the position of Executive Director [non-tenure or tenure-eligible]. This position is at the scenic Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff Mountain campus.

We are seeking a dynamic and visionary leader who will advance the School of Communication campus-wide and nation-wide aligned with the university's strategic plan, NAU 2025 - Elevating Excellence as well as the College of Social and Behavioral Science mission; foster growth and investment in its graduate program and six undergraduate programs; actively promote and support faculty in their teaching, creative and research endeavors; collaborate with faculty in the development and growth of the school; pursue external funding and strengthen relationships with alumni; and provide engaged leadership and oversight for all aspects of the school. The Executive Director must be committed to student success, and to both traditional and non-traditional modes of education that serve NAU's (Northern Arizona University) diverse student body. The Executive Director will lead an administrative team, six program coordinators, support staff, and the full faculty of the school. Our expectation is that the new Executive Director will be present and engaged on the Flagstaff Mountain campus.

Responsibilities Include:

In cooperation with the School of Communication Administrative Team, program coordinators, and the full faculty, the Executive Director provides leadership and oversight in the following areas:

1. Leadership and Advocacy
  • Generates short and long-term goals that stem from an organizational vision created in collaboration with faculty and staff.
  • Preserves faculty governance and transparent and open communication.
  • Ensures academic integrity and quality in the school's programs.
  • Develops initiatives and fosters strategic plans, as they relate to NAU's strategic roadmap.
  • Serves as part of the Dean's college leadership group and Academic Chairs and Directors Council.

2. Student Affairs
  • Collaborates with Administrative Team concerning Student Affairs.
  • Works with faculty to recruit students.
  • Ensures delivery of the curriculum to support student degree progression and success.
  • Engages with community and industry to enhance professional opportunities for students.
  • Supports internships, scholarships and NAU's 100% Career Ready initiative.

3. Building Infrastructure and Technology
  • Works with the building manager and NAU Facilities Services to ensure the building is properly maintained.
  • Oversees access to the building and ensures that faculty and staff are aware of security policies.
  • Works with the Dean and faculty members on long-term strategic plans for the school's IT (Information Technology) infrastructure and lab technology.
  • Works with ITS to ensure that equipment, technology, and software are properly maintained and updated.

4. Financial and Budgetary Responsibilities
  • Oversees with the college financial team the School of Communication fiscal budgets, equipment purchases, endowments, and foundation accounts.
  • Engage in efforts such as fundraising, grant project collaboration, and cultivating relationships with existing and new donors.

5. Personnel-Related Responsibilities
  • Develops a staffing plan for the school in collaboration with program coordinators and oversees search processes and hiring.
  • Assigns workload in discussion with faculty and staff and conducts annual evaluations, promotion, retention, and sabbatical reviews of school faculty in relation to those expectations and policy.
  • Reviews and evaluates classified and professional staff annually.

6. School Liaison Responsibilities
  • Serves as the chief advocate for the School of Communication in the NAU community.
  • Represents the School of Communication to external audiences such as regents, parents, alumni, benefactors, and other stakeholders.

Note: This job description represents the scope of the Executive Director's position but does not list every responsibility that might be required

Minimum Qualifications

For Executive Director:
  • Master's degree in one of the disciplines represented in the School of Communication or an allied field.
  • Minimum of 1 year of demonstrated administrative experience in higher education.
  • Minimum of 5 years of university teaching experience in one of the program areas of the School of Communication or an allied field.

Additionally, minimum qualifications for specific ranks/tracks include:

For Associate Professor of Practice or full Professor of Practice (not tenure-eligible)
  • At least 5 years of Professional experience
  • Minimum of 6 years at the rank of Assistant Professor of Practice or equivalent academic title for the rank of Associate Professor; minimum of an additional 6 years at Associate level or equivalent for the rank of full Professor of Practice.

Minimum Qualifications Non-Tenure Track Teaching Track ranks include (Associate Teaching Professor or full Teaching Professor)
  • At least 6 years at the rank of Assistant Teaching Professor or equivalent for Associate Teaching Professor; minimum of 6 years at Associate level or equivalent for full Teaching Professor.

Minimum Qualifications Tenured or Tenure Track (Associate Professor or full Professor)
  • Terminal degree in one of the disciplines represented in the School of Communication or an allied field, by time of appointment.
  • Minimum of 6 years at the rank of Assistant Professor or equivalent for the rank of Associate Professor; minimum of an additional 6 years at Associate level or equivalent for the rank of full Professor

NOTE: Your application must clearly indicate the rank and track to which you are applying.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated record of teaching excellence in one of the program areas of the School of Communication or an allied field as demonstrated by awards, teaching innovation, evaluations, and other concrete examples of teaching excellence.
  • One year or more of demonstrated effective administrative experience in higher education.
  • Experience working with diverse populations such that all backgrounds, identities, and lived experiences are valued.
  • Experience overseeing multiple budgets.
  • Experience in fundraising and cultivating donors.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Strong record of research, professional and/or creative work.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects, tasks, teams, and timelines in an organized and effective manner.
  • Ability to support student success in a university context.
  • Ability to navigate faculty and staff agendas and priorities.

Compensation & Benefits

Commensurate with rank, track and experience.

This is a Faculty (FAC) position. NAU offers an excellent benefit package including generous health, dental and vision insurance; participation in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP); sick leave accruals and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page. Faculty are hired on a contract basis, renewable according to terms of the Conditions of Faculty Service. Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU's BCBS Plan). Employees will have 31 days from date of hire to enroll in benefits, and their benefits will then be effective the first day of the pay period following their completed enrollment. If a new employee chooses the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) retirement option, participation in the ASRS Plan (and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it) will begin on the first of the pay period following 183 days of employment. New employees who choose to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP; an alternative to the ASRS plan) will begin to participate on the first day of the pay period following election. The long-term disability plan that accompanies the ORP will begin on the first day of the pay period following election. More information about NAU benefits is available at the NAU HR benefits page.

Pre-Employment Check

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.

Immigration Suppt/Sponsorship

NAU will not provide any U.S. immigration support or sponsorship for this position.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.

Submit Your Application

Vacancy will remain open until filled. Applications received before October 2, 2023 will receive full consideration.

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button at the end of the job description (if viewing this position through the NAU HR website). Otherwise, to view the original post and to apply, proceed to, follow the 'Current Openings' link, locate vacancy 607465, and then "Apply" at the bottom of the page.

Application must include (saved as PDF and/or Word documents):
  1. a cover letter highlighting your particular qualifications for this position;
  2. a curriculum vitae; and
  3. names and contact information for three references.

Please do not include any other documents.

If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the HR website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process, please contact the Disability Resources Office at 928-523-8773,, or PO Box 5633, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Know Your Rights Poster

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

To apply, visit


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