Academic Unit Head (Department Head) - School of Communication Studies

James Madison University

Academic Unit Head (Department Head) - School of Communication Studies James Madison University The School of Communication Studies at James Madison University invites applications for the position of Academic Unit Head (AUH) at the rank of Advanced Associate or Full Professor. The AUH is a 12-month tenured appointment with a 1-1 teaching load, beginning July 1, 2024.

The School of Communication Studies, which is part of the university’s College of Arts and Letters, has approximately 45 full- and part-time faculty members. It has a strong presence in the university’s General Education Program and its human communication courses emphasize the critical knowledge and skills that students can use to build and maintain relationships, articulate and advocate for ideas, and work with others personally and professionally. The School offers B.A. and B.S. degrees in Communication Studies with concentrations in Advocacy Studies, Cultural Communication, General Communication, Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication, and Public Relations Studies. Minors are offered in Cultural Communication, Communication Studies, Health Communication, Political Communication, and Sport Communication. Additionally, the School offers an M.A. in Communication and Advocacy. The program’s innovative curriculum prepares students to be skilled and ethical advocates in the face of rapidly changing 21st century issues, contexts, and communication technologies. The program offers research and training in communication and advocacy with concentrated coursework in environmental communication, health communication, and strategic communication.

The School of Communication Studies cultivates a socially and culturally diverse intellectual community that recognizes how historical, political, and social structures are embedded in processes and studies of communication. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are core values championed by the school. We believe that preparing our students to contribute to a more equitable community is essential and we incorporate this belief into our curriculum, practices, and policies.

Duties and Responsibilities: We seek a faculty advocate who is a collaborative and dynamic colleague committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice with a strong and continuing record of research and teaching experience that is consistent with appointment at the level of Advanced Associate or Full Professor at an R2 institution. Candidates should be able to demonstrate an interdisciplinary and collaborative leadership style, working with colleagues within and beyond the academic unit; communicate with transparency and clarity; implement an ambitious, future-oriented vision for the School; identify emerging program priorities and engage in strategic planning and implementation; support faculty teaching, research, and creative scholarship in disciplines represented in the department; manage enrollment and foster growth in undergraduate and graduate programs; have experience managing departmental budgets, conducting performance evaluations, and implementing university and departmental policies; and advocate for the School in the ever-changing and challenging landscape of higher education. We seek a leader committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive, and collegial community.

The hiring for this position aligns with the College of Arts and Letters’ commitment to inclusive excellence. We particularly encourage applications from candidates who take an integrated approach to their teaching, research, and service, whose work can contribute to the College of Arts and Letters’ interdisciplinary programs and centers, and who can advocate for and promote communication as central to the cultivation of ethical, productive, and meaningful lives and relationships.

Qualifications: A PhD in Communication Studies (or a related field) is preferred, but candidates who hold an appropriate terminal degree of another sort will also be considered. Candidates should have attained the rank of Advanced Associate or Full Professor, with a record of teaching and research achievement meriting consideration of tenure upon appointment. To learn more and to apply, go to and reference posting F2339 or go to

Review of applications begins 12/04/2023.

Salary is commensurate with experience.

For more information regarding the position contact the search chair, Dr. Peggy Plass, at

James Madison University is committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status We promote access, inclusion and diversity for all students, faculty, staff, constituents and programs, believing that these qualities are foundational components of an outstanding education in keeping with our mission. The university is interested in candidates whose experience and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to this core quality. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.

Printer-Friendly Version