Department Head

Virginia Tech Human Development & Family Science
Posting Date

The Department of Human Development and Family Science, in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, invites nominations and applications for the position of Department Head at the rank of Professor or advanced Associate Professor. This full-time, twelve-month position will begin July 1, 2023. Our highly ranked department is nationally recognized for its high impact scholarship, teaching, and community engagement.

We seek a dynamic, engaged, and inclusive leader who will advance ongoing innovations in departmental programs by advocating for departmental resources; guiding program and curricular development; and fostering faculty, student, and staff development and success. The department head is expected to facilitate advancements in the department’s transdisciplinary research endeavors and external grant portfolio. To achieve these goals, the department head must have excellent organizational, management, and communication skills. Additionally, the department head is expected to fully embrace and advance Virginia Tech’s aspirations for diverse and inclusive communities. This position does not entail compulsory teaching responsibilities.

The mission of the Department of Human Development and Family Science is to understand and improve the lives of people of all ages in relationships, families, organizations, and communities through education, research, and engagement. The department offers undergraduate degrees in Human Development and Childhood Pre-Education. These programs have a strong commitment to engaged, experiential learning through field studies and service learning. The doctoral program includes specialization in Adult Development and Aging, Child and Adolescent Development, Family Science, and Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition, the department is home to three centers that support our educational, research, and community service goals, including the Child Development Center for Learning and Research, the Engagement Center for Creative Aging, and the Family Therapy Center of Virginia Tech.

• Identify and pursue resources necessary to enhance departmental research, teaching, and engagement goals including support for the departmental centers.
• Enhance the department’s transdisciplinary research portfolio through collaboration with directors of university research centers and institutes.
• Manage the budget of the department and its centers.
• Promote and advocate for the department within Virginia Tech and beyond.
• Facilitate departmental self-governance.
• Facilitate faculty success in all areas of their work, including guiding them through the tenure and promotion process.
• Supervise departmental staff and support their professional development.
• Develop initiatives and resources for recruitment, retention, and success of undergraduate and graduate students.
• Foster and sustain an academic environment that prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and collaboration among faculty members, staff members, and students.
• Occasional travel to national conferences relevant to the research, teaching, and service components of their role as Head of the department.


Minimum Qualifications:
• An earned doctorate in Human Development and Family Science or closely related field.
• A record of distinguished publications, teaching, advising, and other professional accomplishments that are commensurate with the rank of Professor or advanced Associate Professor with tenure in HDFS at Virginia Tech.
• Prior evidence of successful leadership in an academic or closely related setting.
• Evidence of tangible contributions to a diverse and equitable scholarly environment through research, teaching and/or service.

Preferred Qualifications and Experience:
• Evidence of collegial leadership, transparent decision making, and equitable management of persons with varying skills and areas of expertise.
• Prior experience leading efforts to evaluate and improve organizational processes.
• Experience in managing budgets within a multifaceted organization.
• A prominent reputation as a researcher with external funding and grants management in areas relevant to the department.

Organization Summary

Virginia Tech is a comprehensive land-grant university whose education, research, and outreach initiatives are guided by its motto, Ut Prosim (That I may serve). Globally recognized for its innovative approaches to addressing the challenges and opportunities of our rapidly changing world, Virginia Tech was founded in 1872 and is ranked as a Top 25 Public University by U.S. News & World Report. Due to its strong commitment to addressing large-scale research opportunities by crossing traditional disciplinary lines, Virginia Tech’s annual research portfolio exceeds $500 million in research expenditures. With its main campus is in Blacksburg, Virginia, and its medical school in nearby Roanoke, Virginia Tech’s many research centers and institutes provide research support to department faculty, including the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE), the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, and many others.
The Department of Human Development and Family Science is dedicated to InclusiveVT and affirms the Virginia Tech Principles of Community. We fully embrace Virginia Tech’s aspirational goal of diverse and inclusive communities. To contribute to the equitable inclusion and just engagement of the world’s communities through collaboration and partnerships, we value the educational benefits of diverse ideas, peoples, and cultures. We therefore seek a broad spectrum of candidates and encourage applications from members of groups historically underrepresented in the professoriate. Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees, or applicants; or any other basis protected by law. If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Heather Webster: (540) 231-9165, Email: [email protected].

Job Overview

Job Type
Full time

295 W. Campus Dirve
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

How to Apply

Review of applications will begin on November 30, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. The preferred start date is July 1, 2023. Applications, consisting of a substantial cover letter, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references, should be via (Job Number: 522479). The cover letter should present the applicant’s qualifications; administrative philosophy and experience; leadership abilities and accomplishments; and experience in research, teaching, and engagement. The letter should also provide tangible evidence of contributing to a diverse and equitable scholarly environment through research, teaching and/or service. Address questions to Dr. Laura P. Sands, Search Committee Chair, at [email protected] or 540-231-9634. The successful candidate will be required to complete a criminal background check.

Application Deadline
Review of applications will begin on November 30, 2022, and continue until the position is filled.