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[Commlist] position Director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

Sat Nov 07 13:13:11 GMT 2020

Director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
Arizona State University Tempe

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (The College) on the Tempe Campus of Arizona State University (ASU) invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of Director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication (HDSHC) with a concurrent appointment as tenured Full Professor.

The School is home to a dynamic group of faculty working to create innovative research and excellence in teaching through its efforts to address the complexity of human communication in the 21st century while advancing a new generation of scholars and researchers uniquely poised in its vibrant undergraduate and graduate student populations at Arizona State University. The School’s mission aims to place communication at the center of human activity while creating a culture of belonging that values diversity to respond to the pressing issues in the world today. The new Director will join a community passionate about the integration of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into all parts of the School’s offerings and operations. The next Director should have a leadership style that aligns with the University's culture of invention and innovation, creates meaningful and enduring results, encourages a passion for the social sciences as interconnected, inclusive, and impactful fields, and provides a persuasive vision for the future of HDSHC that reflects the highest aspirations for the School and the role it can play in civil discourse and society.

A uniquely collaborative group, in 2019 the HDSHC completed a School-wide program review that showcased their collegial and interdisciplinary nature and outlined shared strategic aspirations for the School’s coming years. HDSHC offers BA, BS, MA, and Ph.D. degrees. The School is composed of over 20 distinguished interdisciplinary faculty recognized for teaching and research excellence in areas of Human Communication including: health communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, performance studies, critical/cultural studies, and rhetoric. Online programs, including a minor, BA and MA, have experienced exponential growth and the School looks forward to continuing that upward trajectory. The School offers laboratory facilities, computer resources, project support, grant development support, and a performance studio.

The location offers the resources of a major metropolitan area (5+ million) in a state with spectacular natural scenery and recreational areas, sublime winters, and a culturally rich population. Learn more about the HDSHC and ASU at and, respectively. Learn more about what The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has to offer by visiting

Minimum Qualifications

A PhD degree in Communication Studies or a closely related or relevant field A scholarly record commensurate with the rank of tenured Full Professor in The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication A record of leadership with effective financial oversight, for example, as a group or center leader or department chair or director

 Desired Qualifications

An internationally recognized program of research, a strong record of external funding, and experience supporting colleagues as they compete for funding
    A demonstrated commitment to teaching and academic innovation
Demonstrated commitment to principles of justice, equality, diversity, and inclusion and to attracting, recruiting, retaining, and promoting personnel in support of those principles, and in particular Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) personnel
    Excellent interpersonal and strong, persuasive communication skills
Ability to articulate the vision, mission, and future aims of the School in relationship to The College and University Demonstrated entrepreneurial approach to forming alliances and partnerships with other units and programs in the university, as well as outside organizations and external stakeholders, particularly those in racially and ethnically diverse communities. A broad outlook and approach to new trends in Human Communication that capture a new learning paradigm of the communication process in post-pandemic higher education An interest in and commitment to fundraising and an ability to present a compelling story to potential donors, funding agencies, and external constituencies

Arizona State University is a leading public university ranked #1 Most Innovative School by U.S. News & World Report six years in a row and is leading a bold reinvention of higher education as the New American University. ASU is a research-intensive university and has developed numerous new programs and units that defy and bridge disciplinary boundaries to enable the exploration and discovery of new knowledge while developing solutions to the most challenging issues of our time. Located on four campuses and two research parks in the Phoenix metropolitan area, ASU is one of the largest universities in the United States and has strong and simultaneous commitments to educational access, research, and teaching excellence. With the University’s location in the nation’s fifth largest city, the Phoenix region provides a rich context for applied research and community engagement around issues of human communication.

Nominations, inquiries, and applications (a curriculum vitae; a letter of interest describing how you meet the qualifications noted above, and your vision for leadership of an interdisciplinary school; a diversity statement addressing how your past and/or potential contributions to diversity and inclusion will advance ASU’s commitment to inclusive excellence; and contact information, including email addresses, for five references; references may be contacted at a later stage of the search and only with the candidate’s approval) can be submitted below. Applications will be reviewed beginning Thursday, December 3, 2020; if not filled, reviews will occur every two weeks thereafter until the search is closed.

A background check is required for employment.

Ponneh Varho and Natalie Leonhard are leading this search with Robin Dougherty.

ASU 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. For more information on ASU’s policies, please see: and its complete non-discrimination statement at:

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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