Professor and Chair of Physics

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Full Time

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Job Title:

Professor and Chair of Physics

Job Family:

Furman Faculty


Full time

Compensation Grade:


Pay Type:



Office of Integrative Research

Job Summary:

The Physics Department at Furman University seeks candidates for the position of Professor and Chair to begin August 1, 2024. The ideal candidate will be a strategic leader and innovative planner with the vision to guide a department with a tradition of undergraduate excellence in teaching and research, leverage recent growth in students from diverse backgrounds with outstanding resources, and catalyze departmental expansion to support a nationally distinguished Physics program. The successful applicant will exhibit a passion for teaching combined with the capacity to promote new opportunities for classroom development while serving as a departmental champion for student-faculty scholarship. In this context, the Physics Chair will collaboratively set the agenda for curricular growth, establish an environment supporting undergraduate research, cultivate faculty mentorship and foster a climate in which faculty, staff and students thrive in a vibrant liberal arts environment. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will hold a Ph.D. in Physics and serve in a tenured faculty appointment as an Associate or Full Professor at an accredited college or university. Ideally, candidates will also have had administrative experience, particularly as a department coordinator or chair. Competitive candidates will support high impact teaching and experiential learning delivered in a holistic manner across the curriculum, while promoting diversity and supporting inclusive practices and student belonging.

Job Description:

The undergraduate alma mater of Nobel Physicist Charles H. Townes, Furman University’s Physics Department has a longstanding history of excellence in teaching and mentoring and is committed to delivering robust opportunities for experiential learning. Currently the department includes three full-time tenured faculty (not including the current opening), a full-time departmental lab coordinator and two faculty adjuncts. The Physics major is experiencing an increase in both numbers of students and overall diversity and anticipates ongoing response that will include additional faculty growth. Housed in the Townes Science Center, Physics includes over 11,000 square feet of dedicated research and teaching labs including the Timmons Planetarium, and is supported by a modern array of optical, computational and electromechanical instrumentation. One of our University’s core tenets, The Furman Advantage (TFA), promises all undergraduates an individualized four-year pathway facilitated by a team of mentors and infused with a diverse set of high impact experiences that include undergraduate research, study away, internships, community-engaged learning, and opportunities to engage across difference. The Physics Chair will be ideally positioned to support TFA, developing a strategic vision and leading a growing department through curricular revitalization and pedagogical innovation, identifying opportunities to engage in new areas of experiential learning including collaborative interdisciplinary projects, and serving as a role model supporting growth in the diversity of gender, racial and cultural representation across the discipline.

Applicants should submit an initial application, including each of the following components in a single PDF in the order listed: (1) a two- to three page letter describing the candidate’s interest and highlighting how their background and experience position them to serve as an effective department chair in meeting the objectives defined in the Job Summary; (2) a current C.V.; and (3) a one- to two-page statement explaining how the candidate might contribute to a liberal arts college community committed to core values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. These materials should clearly articulate that the candidate is ready to contribute vision born of knowledge, experience and a commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship, mentoring and inclusive belonging.

Application review will begin January 5, 2023, and will continue until a successful candidate has been selected. Complete contact information for at least three references and supplementary statements of teaching philosophy, research direction, and an articulation of leadership vision for role of Physics Chair will be requested of semi-finalists following successful completion of an initial review.

Furman is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and staff. The University aspires to create a community of people representing a multiplicity of identities including gender, race, religion, spiritual belief, sexual orientation, geographic origin, socioeconomic background, ideology, world view, and varied abilities. Domestic partners of employees are eligible for comprehensive benefits. The Furman student experience is supported by a rich network of centers and institutes that includes The Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The Riley Institute, The David E. Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, The Institute for the Advancement of Community Health, The Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education, The Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection, The Furman Humanities Center, The Shucker Center for Leadership Development, The Malone Center for Career Engagement, The Center for Inclusive Communities, and our newest addition, The Tocqueville Center for the Study of Democracy and Society.

Furman is located in Greenville, South Carolina, one of the fastest growing cities in the Southeast and ranked among “America’s Ten Best” by Forbes Magazine. The charming downtown features excellent restaurants, in-town parks, shops, museums, galleries, music venues, and theaters. The city has a vibrant international community, as a hub for international business in automotive and service industries. A 20-mile bike and running trail connects the university to Greenville and to Travelers Rest, which was named “one of America’s coolest small towns.” The surrounding area abounds with outdoor recreational activities and has some of the most beautiful lakes, rivers, and mountains in the country. Greenville is within easy reach of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Atlantic Beaches.

The newly renovated Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, located just 25 minutes from downtown, runs daily flights to major cities and airline hubs. Greenville is less than 2 hours from Atlanta and Charlotte, and only one hour from Asheville, North Carolina. It is an ideal place to live and work.

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Job Posting End Date (if date is blank, posting is open ended):