Department Head (Academic Administrator) of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management (RPTM)

Department Head (Academic Administrator) of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management (RPTM)

companyPennsylvania State University
locationPenn State University, PA 16802, USA
PublishedPublished: 6/11/2024
ExpiresExpires: 8/10/2024
Full Time

Department Head (Academic Administrator) of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management (RPTM)

The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management (RPTM), College of Health and Human Development (HHD), at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) invites applications for the position of Department Head.

About the College

The College of Health and Human Development offers a robust program of eight interdisciplinary programs that share one common goal: enriching the lives of others. We continually examine contemporary issues facing people in today's changing times, and we develop cutting-edge solutions for addressing them. Our impact extends from our classrooms, across communities and industries, and around the globe.

Under the College leadership of Dean Craig Newschaffer, the college has outlined an innovative vision and strategic plan that emphasizes creating an environment to support student success while in college and beyond and growing the impact of the college's research scholarship. The Head of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, as a member of the college's leadership team, plays a critical role in the realization of the college's strategic vision and goals and ensuring that the RPTM department's efforts align with and support these goals.

About the Department

The Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM) is one of eight departments in the college. The RPTM Department's mission is to “transform human and environmental health and well-being by engaging people of all backgrounds in recreation, parks, tourism and leisure”. This makes the department central to the College's mission and positions it well to continue to play an important role in advancing human health.

RPTM provides four unique undergraduate degree options (outdoor recreation, community recreation, commercial recreation and tourism management, and professional golf management), with approximately 300 majors per year at the University Park campus as well as additional students across several transdisciplinary minors (e.g., sport studies, sustainability leadership) and certificates (e.g., meeting and event management, professional snow sport management). RPTM also offers two of the department's four undergraduate options online through Penn State's World Campus, with over 50 students currently enrolled. The department's 23 faculty, 8 professional staff, more than 300 undergraduate majors, and 30 graduate students take pride in leveraging research, teaching, service, and outreach to enhance the field of recreation, park, and tourism management.

Primary Job Responsibilities

Reporting to the Dean of the College, the Head of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management is responsible for visioning, strategic planning, overseeing academic and research programs, managing operations, finances, faculty and staff affairs, and sustaining and building external relations and fundraising in support of the department's aspirations. This includes further integrating, shaping, and building a truly excellent and cohesive multidisciplinary department that leverages strengths across all programs; advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; nurturing and developing interdisciplinary collaboration; recruiting, developing, and retaining a faculty and staff of excellence; and advocating for the department and enhance its visibility and reputation.

As a key academic leader, and in keeping with the strategic initiatives of the University and the College, the Department Head is expected to stimulate and facilitate research productivity and teaching excellence, encourage interdisciplinary research, and promote and assist faculty with securing external funds to maintain research productivity and supplement the existing budget.

The successful candidate will have administrative responsibility for all operational, fiscal, and procedural actions associated with the department, including conducting fundraising (development) activities, and will represent the faculty on the Executive Committee of the College of HHD. The candidate also will be encouraged to continue a focused line of research and supervise graduate student research. The Department Head must also expand on the faculty's current strengths by identifying and facilitating new opportunities in undergraduate, graduate, and online education. The new Head will support and nurture an environment where creativity and innovation thrive and foster a positive climate, inspiring confidence and trust among students, staff, and faculty by bringing strong interpersonal skills and a compassionate, collaborative, and community-oriented leadership style.


A doctorate degree in the discipline (e.g., outdoor recreation, park management, recreation management, sport management, experiential education, tourism/travel) or a closely related discipline.

Candidates should possess the vision and energy to lead and grow this nationally and internationally acclaimed department, promoting excellence in the full range of missions that are embodied at a comprehensive, land-grant, and research-intensive university such as Penn State. In achieving these objectives, the next Head must be a collaborative, transparent, and inclusive leader with strong leadership skills, strategic thinking, and an innovative spirit to advance the department's vision and goals.

Successful candidates must demonstrate:

• Successful administrative abilities in an academic setting, including curricular development, budgetary management, and outreach activities

• Strong communication and interpersonal skills, with a deep intellectual curiosity to engage with and support a diverse set of programs

• A strong record of forging collaborative partnerships across the academic community including faculty and staff in other disciplines

• A commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff and a strong record of advancing equity and inclusion

• The ability to build support across a wide variety of stakeholders, including the capacity to position the department positively to create, maintain and build upon relations with alumni, partners, and the research community

• Experience raising funds through philanthropy is desirable

The new Head must also possess the scholarly record required to merit a tenured appointment as an associate or full professor in the college. This is a 36-week tenure-track faculty position with a 6-week summer administrative supplement.

Please direct nominations and inquiries to the Search Committee Chair, Nicole Webster, via e-mail at mailto:nsw10@psu.edu. Applications should include a curriculum vitae, cover letter, and statement on inclusion and belonging.

About Penn State

Penn State is a public, land-grant, research-intensive university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, the university has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Annual enrollment at its 24 campuses totals more than 100,000 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

To learn more about Penn State University's commitment to diversity and inclusion see the University's https://equity.psu.edu/equity-at-penn-state/strategic-plan on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As an institution, we embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverages the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engages all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission and we strongly encourage applicants who would enrich the diversity of our academic community to apply for this opportunity.

Our campuses are located on the original homelands of the Erie, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk, and Tuscarora), Lenape (Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe, Stockbridge-Munsee), Monongahela, Shawnee (Absentee, Eastern, and Oklahoma), Susquehannock, and Wahzhazhe (Osage) Nations. As a land grant institution, we acknowledge and honor the traditional caretakers of these lands and strive to understand and model their responsible stewardship. We also acknowledge the longer history of these lands and our place in that history.

Apply online at https://apptrkr.com/5297836

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to http://www.police.psu.edu/clery/, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Required degree level

  • Doctorate