Director, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

Arizona State University
Arizona, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted date
Oct 25, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Human Development & Family Sciences, Other Social & Behavioral Sciences
Employment Level
Salary Band
Not specified
Employment Type
Full Time
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Arizona State University (ASU, announces an international search to recruit a Director for its T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics (SSFD) in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with a concurrent appointment as tenured Professor. The anticipated start date for this position is July 1, 2022. ASU is a dynamic, internationally-recognized institution dedicated to interdisciplinary collaborations, rethinking university education, and integrating excellence in research, teaching, and service. ASU serves more than 150,000 students on five campuses in the Phoenix metropolitan area, one of the fastest growing urban centers in the nation, and globally through ASU Online. It has been ranked first in the US for innovation ( for each of the last seven years and number one for sustainability for the second year in a row.


The new Director of SSFD will lead an energetic, interdisciplinary community of over 60 research, teaching, and clinical faculty members and 19 staff members who maintain a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. The school engages in diverse approaches to study micro- and macro-level social and developmental processes across the human lifespan which include the study of society, institutions, communities, children and families, and individuals. The school engages in rigorous use-inspired research, and its faculty have an excellent track record of securing external funding to support their scholarly endeavors with annual research expenditures exceeding $3M.


The school hosts two undergraduate majors (Family and Human Development and Sociology) with approximately 1,800 undergraduates enrolled in online, in-person, or hybrid degree programs. The School offers MA (online), MAS-MFT (campus-based), MS (online), and PhD (campus-based) degrees in Family and Human Development and Sociology. Recently re-launched, the Sociology Ph.D. program is fast growing with 8 recent new hires, including a MacArthur Genius Fellow, joining existing faculty, and a larger network of 50+ sociologists across the university. The Family and Human Development PhD program is ranked 6th overall in North America and 2nd in the area of Adolescence and Young Adulthood. These programs are designed to train students to think critically, to be accountable to the communities with which they engage, and to utilize a full repertoire of theoretical approaches and innovative research methods, with training in quantitative and qualitative approaches and an established specialization in measurement and statistical analysis available to doctoral students.


Reporting to the Dean of Social Sciences within The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the new Director will be an accomplished leader who is passionate about advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in both teaching and research and someone with the capacity to engage faculty across a range of disciplines. The new Director will be a visionary thinker and inclusive relationship builder who will lead the school and its energetic community of educators-scholars into the future by strategically aligning the unified vision of SSFD with ASU’s mission of achieving excellence and access, enhancing innovation and creativity in research, increasing external funding, and achieving top-tier programs. The new Director will provide effective leadership in establishing a culture of collaboration by strengthening connections among faculty, staff and students, while furthering ASU’s commitment to interdisciplinarity and engagement with other academic units at ASU and the wider community. Learn more about what The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has to offer by visiting


The director’s responsibilities include (not in priority order): work closely with the university; collaborate with faculty, staff and the office of the dean in defining and articulating a vision and implementing a strategic direction that fosters excellence, innovation, interdisciplinary opportunities and generates enrollment growth; cultivate and encourage the growth of rigorous, impactful research by supporting existing faculty and hiring new faculty with strong funding potential, and mentoring faculty to advance grant writing and externally funded research; create a culture in which multiple disciplines collaborate and work together synergistically as one school striving for a cohesive work environment in support of all faculty, interdisciplinary initiatives and elevated student success; commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion including attracting, recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse faculty, staff, and students; addressing new and existing challenges in an environment of transparency; leverage SSFD’s impressive online presence through expansion of greater online offerings including identification of new areas of interest for program development and support the overall teaching mission more broadly.


Minimum Qualifications

A PhD or equivalent is required in family science, human development, psychology, sociology or in a related field or discipline.

A distinguished scholarly record commensurate with the rank of full professor.

Demonstrated experience in an academic leadership position.

Demonstrated commitment to advancing rigorous research, excellence in teaching, and impactful community engagement.

Demonstrated commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.


Desired Qualities

Ability to work with a diverse group of constituencies with exceptional problem-solving and conflict management skills while leading with transparency toward a shared academic goal.


A record of effective leadership and innovation to build an enterprise with vision through strategic planning, assessment and outreach activities with industry partners, grant-awarding agencies andfundraising.


Experience in cultivating and encouraging rigorous, impactful research and supporting externally funded- research with knowledge of federal funding mechanisms related to these fields.


Demonstrated knowledge and experience of academic program development, development of interdisciplinary education, and appreciation and demonstrated success with online education.


Experience related to effective hiring and management of faculty and staff, budgeting, and academic policies.


Experience mentoring faculty and students in advancing high-quality research and scholarly productivity.


Excellent communication skills, verbal and written.


The College values our cultural and intellectual diversity, and continually strives to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment. We are especially interested in applicants who can strengthen the diversity of the academic community. Salary and start-up funding will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications. Review of applications will begin in December and if not filled, applications will be evaluated every week thereafter until the search is closed.


To apply for the Director, T. Denny SanfordSchool of Social and Family Dynamics position, candidates must submit the following materials:


  1. a curriculum vitae,
  2. a letter of interest that addresses the leadership opportunities in the profile,
  3. a statement that addresses how past and/or potential contributions to justice, diversity, equity and inclusion will advance SSFD’s and ASU’s commitment to inclusive excellence, and
  4. contact information for four references (to be contacted with candidate’s permission at a later date) to: by December 8, 2021 for best consideration.


Nominations and expressions of interest in the director of the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics opportunity are encouraged. Please direct them to or to the AGB Search consultants Jean Kim, EdD, C: 303-638-7811 or Joy Yablonsky, C: 215-934-1386.


A background check is required for employment.


Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.


In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources. ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.

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