Posting Number: FAC393P

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Classification Title: Assistant/Associate Professor

Working Title: Director of African and African American Studies – #212900

Department: Office, Dean, Arts & Sciences


Position Summary

WCU seeks a dynamic scholar at either the senior assistant (tenure-track) or associate professor (tenure-track or tenured) level to direct and contribute to the development of its new interdisciplinary minor in African and African American studies beginning in August of 2020. This is a nine-month position. Employment in this position is contingent upon final budgetary approval. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until a successful candidate has been identified.

The director will build the intellectual identity of the program, and will assure an exciting and collegial environment for faculty, students, and staff by fostering interdisciplinary campus, regional, and national collaboration and help shape the curriculum, mission, and community outreach of the program. Proposed by students at WCU as a necessary part of creating a diverse campus community and supported by faculty, this minor is part of an effort to encourage students to develop their analytic, research, and literary skills. The director will have a disciplinary home in one of the following departments: Anthropology and Sociology, English, History, Philosophy and Religion, or Political Science and Public Affairs.

The director’s duties will include:

  • Teaching course(s) for student in the minor and in their discipline that support the minor and other majors on campus and conducting research.
  • Designing curriculum appropriate for an African and African American studies minor and facilitating the development of relevant courses across campus.
  • Establishing a program board of supportive faculty, students, and community members to guide the minor.
  • Developing signature programming associated with the minor that showcases faculty scholarship, student work, and community engagement.
  • Recruiting and advising students in the minor.
  • Managing a budget for the program.
  • Developing and implementing an assessment plan for the minor

Other duties could include:

  • Developing a growth plan.
  • Coordinating with cultural programs in partnership with university units and departments.
  • Bringing in outside scholars or speakers.

The successful applicant will join the appropriate disciplinary department in the College of Arts and Sciences and will develop, in conjunction with the Dean of Arts and Sciences and their home department head, a service load reflective of the interdisciplinary mission of the program. The director will work with a board of interested faculty, students, and community members who will aid in supporting, developing, and promoting programming.

Located in Cullowhee, NC, the campus is about one hour west of Asheville and less than twenty miles from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. WCU is in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and adjacent to several thriving communities, including nearby Sylva. The area has a mild climate, tremendous recreational opportunities, and natural beauty.

Western Carolina University is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce by ensuring all our students, faculty, and staff work in an environment of openness and acceptance. We strive to foster a community where people of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can feel secure and welcome. We also value the well-being of each of our employees and are dedicated to creating a healthy place to work, learn and live. We believe in transparency and encourage you to visit our “Diversity at WCU” website. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly encourage veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and all minorities to consider our employment opportunities.


Carnegie Statement

WCU embraces its role as a regionally engaged university and is designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a community engaged university. Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to public engagement through their teaching and service.


Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities Required for this Position

Minimum Qualifications

  • A terminal degree (PhD or M.F.A) in a discipline that would fit in one of the following departments: Anthropology and Sociology, English, History, Philosophy and Religion, or Political Science and Public Affairs.
  • A scholarly record that demonstrates academic contributions related to fields in African American, African Diaspora or Africana studies, broadly conceived.
  • Ability to teach an introductory interdisciplinary course on African/African American studies.
  • 2-5 years of higher education teaching experience at a college or University.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Administrative experience in curriculum development or program development.
  • Experience in community-based participatory research or community outreach.
  • Experience in developing service learning or internship opportunities for students.


Position Type: Permanent Full-Time

Number of Months Per Year: 9


Posting Text

Open Date: 01/14/2020

Open Until Filled: Yes


Special Instructions to Applicants

Applicants must apply online. Hard copy materials will not be accepted.

Applicants must include a cover letter that addresses a program vision, a curriculum vitae, the names and contact information of three professional references, a teaching philosophy statement, and unofficial transcripts from terminal degree.

Questions may be directed to the chairs of the committee: Dr. Elizabeth Gillespie McRae at or Dr. Munene Mwaniki at



Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks.

Western Carolina University uses E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit Proper documentation of identity and employability are required at the time of employment.


Credential Verification

All new employees are required to have listed credentials/degrees verified within 30 days of employment. All new employees who will be teaching are required to provide official transcripts within 30 days of employment. Transcripts should be provided for the highest earned degree and/or the degree which is being used to satisfy credential/qualification requirements.



Western Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, and veteran status, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and the policies of The University of North Carolina. Additionally, the University promotes the realization of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program.

Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations in the application and interview process please call (828) 227-7218 or email at


University Safety

The Western Carolina University Annual Safety Report is available online at University Annual Safety Report or in hard-copy by request at the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, 114 Scott, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7234) or the Office of University Police, 111 Camp Annex, Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828-227-7301). The report, required of all universities participating in Title IV student financial aid programs, discusses crime statistics, procedures for reporting suspicious or criminal activity, security, police authority, crime prevention strategies, university policies on substance abuse and sexual offenses, workplace violence and fire safety.

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