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Director - Engineering Discovery Program

WCU College of Engineering and Technology
28723, Cullowhee (US)
Salary Competitive
Date posted
Apr 24, 2024

The College of Engineering and Technology (CET) at Western Carolina University (WCU) is growing!

The University has received substantial support from the North Carolina legislature to expand engineering to meet the rapidly growing needs of the region and state. Our engineering and engineering technology programs feature project-based learning embedded throughout the curricula, preparing our students for professional practice and advanced study. Industry engagement is a hallmark of our programs, and we pride ourselves as having faculty with significant industry experience. Our culture embraces faculty-student interaction through experiences such as undergraduate research. We are committed to regional economic development and changing the lives of our students and their families through a transformative experience at our rural main campus setting in the mountains of western North Carolina, and at sites in Asheville and across western NC. The college’s programs are instrumental to the economic vitality of the region, and are advancing the university to be one of the nation’s premier regional comprehensive institutions. We are creating leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs with the foundation and skills needed for transformative careers in engineering and beyond.

About the Position:
The College of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University invites applications from accomplished individuals with an earned PhD or equivalent degree in engineering to serve as the Inaugural Director of our Engineering Discovery Program. This is a 12-month position, including a base 9-month tenure/track faculty appointment. Rank determination will be made at the point of hire based upon the candidate’s qualifications. Application review will begin on or before May 20, 2024.

The Engineering Discovery Program comprises a first-year experience for the college’s students; advising, student recruiting, retention and success initiatives; and pedagogical innovations that include our focus on hands-on student experiences. The Director of the Engineering Discovery Program will play an instrumental role in developing, leading, coordinating, and deploying the program and courses. The director will be responsible for designing the structure, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment of the program, as well as ensuring consistency in course content, standards, and instructional modes across different classes and majors. In addition, the director will supervise the program’s faculty, provide guidance and support to faculty teaching in the college’s degree programs and related departments college- and campus-wide, and will teach relevant classes as appropriate. In collaboration with the university’s Coulter Faculty Commons, the director will lead the innovations in course development and delivery in the college. As a result, the Engineering Discovery program will increase persistence to degree completion and cultivate highly sought after students that are ready for professional practice and are prepared to tackle challenges facing our region, nation and beyond.

We are seeking an individual who possesses a strong background in disciplinary and/or engineering education research, as well as an established pedagogical track record in working with undergraduate engineering students.Further, the director will have experience working effectively with industry and other stakeholders to identify real world problems or challenges for students to solve. The director will have an interest in engineering education best practices, research, and assessment and the educational skills needed for the next 50 years. Candidates must be committed to recruiting and providing high-quality education to a diverse student body at the undergraduate level.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities Include:

  • Lead a nationally recognized first-year experience and Engineering Discovery Program at WCU;
  • Recruit and retain a diverse student population;
  • Foster an environment for CET students to excel and thrive through curricular and co-curricular experiences;
  • Lead the unit’s staff in the areas of advising, marketing and communications, recruiting, and retention;
  • Collaborate closely with constituents campus-wide;
  • Work in conjunction with campus leadership and university advancement to secure external support for initiatives and programmatic needs;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to teaching excellence;
  • Prepare and teach undergraduate and/or graduate classes;
  • Prepare and provide assessment data, accreditation data, and other requested data;
  • Continue to expand professional influence in the academic discipline through research and publications;
  • Engage in service within the academic unit, the university, and the profession.

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