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Mechanical Engineering, Department Chair

San Diego State University
San Diego State University, San Diego
145,000 - 160,000 per year + benefits and additional chair stipend
Start date
Sep 26, 2023

The Mechanical Engineering Department at San Diego State University (SDSU) is seeking an innovative, dynamic, and energetic academic leader to serve as the department chairperson beginning in Fall 2024. The Department is strongly committed to excellence in research and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and continuing its promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Department is eager to grow its partnership with industry through academic and collaborative research opportunities, while enhancing its strong externally funded research programs.




The applicant must be a tenured Professor and hold a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related discipline. The applicant should have experience in the development and management of research programs, and a commitment to research and teaching excellence. The applicant should also possess strong leadership and interpersonal skills, the ability to promote collegiality and consensus building, and a strong commitment to shared governance. The Chair is expected to promote an atmosphere of inclusion, tolerance, and appreciation of success and respect for all, foster industry partnerships, maintain a continuous appreciation for diversity, and work effectively in a multicultural campus and community setting.




The Chair reports to the Dean of Engineering and serves as the chief representative of the department. The chair must uphold the principles of shared governance, fairly implement established policies and procedures, oversee departmental budget and resources, maintain positive working relationships with faculty, staff, and students, communicate with openness and honesty, seek feedback, build consensus and shared vision, resolve conflict, and model best practices in teaching and research.




The minimum requirements and desired qualifications for the position are:




Minimum Requirements:


  • Earned PhD in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related discipline. Tenured Full Professor with a distinguished record of scholarship and professional activity.



Desired Qualifications:


  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills. Prior administrative experience relevant to the position. Demonstrated commitment to research and teaching. Demonstrated commitment to shared governance, transparency, and ability to build consensus and promote collegiality. Demonstrated commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion. Appreciation of diversity and ability to work effectively in a multicultural campus and community setting. Experience in supervising and collaborating with professional and technical staff. Experience with course planning and budgeting. Record of fostering industry partnerships. Record of engaging professional growth, development, and mentoring of faculty.



The Department offers ABET-accredited B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. programs in Mechanical and Bioengineering. The Department also offers Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Bioengineering programs (through the Joint Doctoral Program with the University of California San Diego). SDSU is currently pursuing the establishment of independent Ph.D. programs. SDSU is ranked the top in attracting research funding among the California State University system and is actively pursuing R1 classification.




The Department hosts research labs in energy, thermofluids, bioengineering, material science and processing, advanced manufacturing, mechanics, MEMS, NEMS, sensors, robotics, dynamic systems, and control.




We are seeking applicants with demonstrated experience in and/or commitment to teaching and working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and members of underrepresented groups. Candidates must satisfy at least three of the eight Building on Inclusive Excellence (BIE) criteria. Candidates that meet BIE criteria: (a) are committed to engaging in service with underrepresented populations within the discipline, (b) have demonstrated knowledge of barriers for underrepresented students and faculty within the discipline, (c) have experience or have demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring underrepresented students, (d) have experience or have demonstrated commitment to integrating understanding of underrepresented populations and communities into research, (e) have experience in or have demonstrated commitment to extending knowledge of opportunities and challenges in achieving artistic/scholarly success to members of an underrepresented group, (f) have experience in or have demonstrated commitment to research that engages underrepresented communities, (g) have expertise or demonstrated commitment to developing expertise in cross-cultural communication and collaboration, and/or (h) have research interests that contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. Please indicate in a separate diversity statement how you meet at least three (3) of these criteria. Additional guidance on our BIE program for applicants is here.




SDSU is the oldest institution of higher education in the San Diego region, with a campus in San Diego serving 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students and additional locations in Southern California’s Imperial Valley and Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia.  SDSU is included in the Carnegie Foundation’s Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity category (R2). Established in 1897, SDSU offers bachelor degrees in 97 areas, masters in 84 and doctorates in 23. See for more information.  SDSU is a large, diverse, urban university, an Asian-Native American-Pacific Islander -Serving Institution and a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. Our campus community is diverse in many ways, including race, religion, color, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, pregnancy, medical condition, and covered veteran status. We strive to build and sustain a welcoming environment for all.




The minimum salary for this position is based on the current CSU salary schedule for Chair and may be revised based on contract collective bargaining. The anticipated salary range is from $145,000 to $160,000 plus an additional chair stipend. Salary placement will be based on the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience, and salaries higher than the published maximums may be offered in limited circumstances. San Diego State University offers a rich benefits package that constitutes a major portion of total compensation. For benefits information, click here.




Application Instructions

Review of applications will begin on December 1st, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants must apply via Interfolio. Questions related to this search may be addressed to




Applicants should submit a cover letter [not to exceed one page], curriculum vitae, three (3) exemplary scientific contributions in the form of peer-reviewed papers, major inventions, etc., a statement of research interest, a statement of teaching and mentoring philosophy, diversity statement [not to exceed two pages, including how the applicant meets the BIE criteria and their philosophy for broadening participation and inclusion], and names and contact information of five (5) references. In addition, applicants should also submit a Statement of Leadership Philosophy [not to exceed three pages], which includes their vision and plans for promoting research, supporting teaching and faculty development, creating opportunities for department advancement, and attracting external funds and endowments.



Individual commitment to a safe and equitable “OneSDSU” community, SDSU requires that individuals seeking faculty employment provide at the time of application authorization to conduct background checks if they become a finalist for the position; applications without this authorization will be considered incomplete and not considered.




A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.




The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.




SDSU is a Title IX, equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.




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