The Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS), in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University (, is seeking a dynamic leader and scholar to facilitate the department’s visions in research, teaching, and outreach.  A recent programmatic review and strategic planning process has created synergy around two signature areas: Early Child Development and Family Resilience.

HDFS is a multi-disciplinary unit that operates the Couple and Family Therapy Clinic under the auspices of the COAMFTE-accredited Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) program, and houses the NAEYC-accredited Child Development Laboratories, among the largest university laboratory school systems in the country, serving 200 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. The department is a leading member of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance Youth Development graduate program, with additional online programs in Early Childhood Education (undergraduate) and Family and Community Services (graduate) under development.  HDFS faculty are active participants in MSU’s cross-college Human Development Initiative and value cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations.  The Department is administratively structured into three interest areas: Child Development, Human Development and Family Diversity (including Youth Development), and Couple and Family Therapy. HDFS faculty are actively engaged in competitively-funded research. Sources of funding include the National Institutes of Health, theAdministration for Children and Families, the US Department of Education, the US Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, and local, state and national foundations. HDFS is also home to a number of major endowments. HDFS faculty are committed to scholarly excellence with an appreciation for MSU’s land-grant philosophy and an emphasis on community-based applied research. Faculty value experience-based learning with modern technology to enhance both in-person and distance learning models.

Responsibilities: The Chairperson should build upon recent academic program review and planning efforts, contribute to the department’s vision of excellence in research, teaching, and outreach, and facilitate the implementation of the vision. Additional key responsibilities include budget administration and management, faculty evaluation, and general management of the unit. The candidate must actively facilitate grant-seeking, entrepreneurial and fundraising activities and foster a research culture within the department. The Chairperson serves as the primary voice and advocate for the department at the college and university levels, and actively nurtures relationships with alumnae and donors, with whom the department retains close ties. The Chairperson also must foster collaboration within the department, and between the department and college, university, and external systems, including funding agencies, private foundations, and community organizations. The candidate should maintain and build diversity among HDFS faculty, students, and staff.

Qualifications: Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent in HDFS or a related field, leadership experience in an academic environment, and a history of funded scholarship in one of the department’s two signature areas: Early Child Development and Family Resilience. Experience with federal funding is desired. Evidence of skill in budget management and personnel management is required.  The Department Chairperson must have the capacity to foster collaboration among faculty and engage in a participatory decision-making process within the department. Candidates must have excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills. The Chairperson must have a thorough understanding of the university’s research and teaching enterprises. Some leadership experience in integrated, collaborative, and diverse scholarly programs is preferred. Knowledge of the land-grant mission, including knowledge of national organizations and networks that support this mission, such as extension agencies and agricultural experiment stations associated with land-grant universities, is preferred.

Appointment: This is a 12-month tenured position with an administrative appointment at the rank of full professor, beginning July 1, 2013. Salary for this position is negotiable and commensurate with qualifications and experience. Michigan State University offers an excellent selection of benefits; please see for more information. Members of diverse groups, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Application Procedure: Inquiries can be directed to one of the following Search Committee Co-Chairs:  Holly Brophy-Herb, (517-355-3397), or Ruben Parra-Cardona, (517-432-2269).  Applicants are asked to submit a vita with a letter describing their qualifications and interest in the position, a description of their leadership style, responsibilities they consider essential in a Department Chairperson, details about their research background and scholarship, and  contact information for four references. More information about the Department of Human Development and Family Studies may be found at  Electronic submission is required and materials should be uploaded at, referencing position 6592. Review of applications will begin December 1, 2012 and will continue until position is filled.