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School Head-COS School of Physics and Astronomy

Rochester Institute of Technology
New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Jan 3, 2024

School Head-COS School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science
COS School of Physics and Astronomy

Faculty Type (Tenure Status): Tenured
Faculty Discipline: Astrophysics, Astrophysics/Astronomy, Physics
Faculty Rank: Associate Professor, Professor
Employment Category: Fulltime
Anticipated Start Date: 01-Jul-2024

Detailed Job Description
The School of Physics and Astronomy (SoPA) in the College of Science (COS) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is inviting applications for the position of Professor and School Head. RIT seeks a visionary and dynamic leader to serve as the Head of SoPA. As the chief academic, fiscal, and administrative officer of the School, the Head provides leadership, advocacy, oversight, and management. The Head is responsible for overseeing academic, student, faculty, and staff affairs, for leading the operational activities of the School, and for helping to facilitate the research, scholarship, and teaching activities of the School. The Head will work closely with the leadership team in COS on strategic planning and interdisciplinary initiatives, and will be instrumental in the development of a multi-year strategic plan for SoPA to complement those developed at the College and Institute levels. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Overseeing and continually improving the SoPA undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Promoting research, scholarship and professional development, and encouraging discovery, entrepreneurship, and experiential learning opportunities for faculty, staff, and students
  • Fostering SoPA participation in interdisciplinary projects and programs, internally and externally
  • Fostering excellence in teaching quality and methodology
  • Recruiting and retaining top-tier faculty who are aligned with the strategic plans of SoPA, COS, and RIT
  • Supporting and advocating for faculty, staff, and students at all levels
  • Cultivating existing and prospective donors and research partners
  • Managing the SoPA financial resources
The successful candidate is expected to have a distinguished record of teaching and research. The successful candidate will be appointed with tenure at a faculty rank commensurate with previous experience, abilities, and qualities of leadership. SoPA Head appointments are five-year renewable terms. The appointment as School Head is that of an employee at will, and continues at the sole discretion of the COS Dean.

We are seeking an individual who has the ability and interest in contributing to a community committed to student-centeredness; professional development and scholarship; integrity and ethics; respect, diversity and pluralism; innovation and flexibility; and teamwork and collaboration. Select to view links to RIT's core values, honor code, and statement of diversity.

Department/College Description
The School of Physics and Astronomy consists of 38 fulltime faculty, 9 postdocs, 180 undergraduate physics majors, and 70 graduate students. The School offers a BS and MS program in Physics, PhD/MS programs in Astrophysical Sciences and Technology, and our new PhD program in Physics is being launched in Fall 2024. Faculty in the School currently also contribute to graduate programs in Materials Science & Engineering, Microsystems Engineering, Sustainability, Imaging Science, Mathematical Modeling, and Applied & Computational Mathematics. Information about the RIT School of Physics and Astronomy can be found at

The College of Science leads six of RIT’s major research centers, namely, the Center for Advanced Teaching Learning & Evaluation, the Center for Computational Relativity & Gravitation, the NanoPower Research Laboratory, the Laboratory for Multiwavelength Astrophysics, the Center for Detectors, and the Digital Imaging & Remote Sensing Laboratory. Currently, RIT has identified five Signature Research Areas, and the College of Science leads three of them, i.e., the Future Photon Initiative, Frontiers in Gravitational Wave Astrophysics, and Unmanned Aerial Systems. College of Science faculty also collaborate with the Center for Human-aware AI and the Computational Linguistics and Speech Processing Lab.

Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology is a diverse and collaborative community of engaged, socially conscious, and intellectually curious minds. Through creativity and innovation, and an intentional blending of technology, the arts and design, we provide exceptional individuals with a wide range of academic opportunities, including a leading research program and an internationally recognized education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Beyond our main campus in Rochester, New York, RIT has international campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo. And with more than 19,000 students and more than 125,000 graduates from all 50 states and over 100 nations, RIT is driving progress in industries and communities around the world. Find out more at

Required Minimum Qualifications
We seek an individual who is committed to the principles expressed in RIT’s core values, honor code, and statement of diversity. The successful candidate must demonstrate the ability to facilitate and encourage collaboration across academic disciplines and to foster a broad research portfolio. Qualifications consistent with the rank of tenured professor and the expectations for the Head of SoPA include:
  • An earned doctorate in physics or related academic discipline
  • Significant leadership and administrative experience
  • A significant record of peer-reviewed scholarship and external funding
  • Evidence of ability to contribute to the university’s commitment to cultural diversity, pluralism, and individual differences.
  • Evidence of teaching excellence and a commitment to undergraduate and graduate education

Required Minimum Education Level

Required Application Documents
Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae or Resume, Research Statement, Statement of Diversity Contribution, Statement of Teaching Philosophy

How To Apply
Apply online at; search openings, then Keyword Search 8420BR. Please submit your application, a detailed curriculum vitae; cover letter addressing the listed qualifications and upload the following attachments:
  • A Vision and Leadership Statement that expresses your vision as prospective Head for the School of Physics and Astronomy, and that discusses your leadership and management principles, including the strengthening of existing school-wide initiatives and the enhancement of scholarship and teaching.
  • A Research Statement that provides: an overview of recent research products (including the applicant’s role), an overview of externally funded research, any proposed plans for an externally funded research enterprise, with an overview of research needs (e.g., major equipment, infrastructure), and your record and approach to training, mentorship, and support of research students of various levels.
  • A Teaching Statement that: discusses your teaching philosophy and pedagogical approach(es); previous teaching experiences and/or courses you would like to develop, existing courses you would like to teach; and articulates your specific interests or goals for teaching, curriculum development, or program development.
  • A Contribution to Diversity Statement that articulates your past contributions and future goals to contribute to personal and institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in your teaching, scholarship, and service.
Candidacy will be kept confidential until the candidate accepts an invitation for an interview, at which time a list of references will be required. Any questions regarding the position should be addressed to Dr. George Thurston ( and Dr. Joshua Faber ( via email. Please use ‘Attention: SoPA Head Search’ in so doing.

The committee will begin to review complete applications upon receipt. It is expected that the new Head will assume the position no later than July 1, 2024.

The direct link to this posting can be found here:
Additional Details

RIT does not discriminate. RIT is an equal opportunity employer that promotes and values diversity, pluralism, and inclusion. For more information or inquiries, please visit RIT/TitleIX or the U.S. Department of Education at ED.Gov.

Hourly/Salary Minimum: 130000
Hourly/Salary Maximum:160000


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