Department Head - Chemistry and Physics

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Salary commensurate with experience.
Dec 17, 2018
Feb 15, 2019
Field of specialization
Job Type
Full time

The Department of Chemistry and Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC)  invites applications for the position of Department Head at the rank of Associate or Full professor. This is a tenurable, 12-month position with appointment to begin July 1, 2019. The field of specialization is open, but candidates must have a Ph.D. in Chemistry or Physics (Chemistry preferred). The successful candidate must show evidence of leadership and administrative skills and experience, and have the ability to foster and maintain collaborative relationships within the Department, with other programs and departments throughout the university, with the administration, and with external entities. Applicants should have a strong record of excellence in teaching and scholarly productivity.  

The Department Head is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Department of Chemistry and Physics, a department of roughly 200 undergraduate majors (170 in Chemistry, 30 in Physics) and 22 full time faculty and staff (16 in Chemistry, 6 in Physics). We offer a B.S. degree in Chemistry with concentrations in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and STEM education, as well as B.S. degree in Physics with concentrations in Physics, Biophysics, and STEM education. The Department also contributes substantially to the institution’s General Education curriculum by providing required chemistry and physics courses to majors in Biology, Nursing, Engineering, and other health science related majors.  The Department is recognized across the southeast as having a strong and active undergraduate research program. This research program prepares our students for success in a variety of post-graduate paths, including graduate school, medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, and industry. The Department has modern facilities and teaching labs at its disposal to support its rigorous undergraduate teaching and research programs. Instrumentation includes a 400 MHz NMR, a triple-quad UPLC-mass spectrometer, and a benchtop single crystal X-ray diffractometer. The Department also operates the university’s Clarence T. Jones Community Observatory.

The successful candidate will be responsible for administering the Grote Chemistry Fund, an endowment of more than five (5) million dollars, donated by former Professor and Head of the Department of Chemistry, Dr. Irvine Grote, and his wife. The endowment is used to fund scholarships, promote student research opportunities, purchase and maintain instruments, support faculty development, and foster the advancement of scientific research. In addition to the Grote endowment, the Department awards over $150,000 annually in merit and financial aid scholarships to our Chemistry and/or Physics majors.

The successful candidate will also be expected to facilitate connections with university, community, and statewide partners in the health sciences, including nearby Erlanger hospital, which houses a branch of the UT College of Medicine. Health Sciences is a growing emphasis at UTC. The department head will be expected to work with the University Office of Development to grow the reputation and resource base of the department, as well as to build relationships with potential donors in the local and alumni community. Additional information about the Department can be found at:

The responsibilities for this position include teaching two courses per year, carrying out administrative duties for the Department, and actively managing and supporting departmental research activities, including the summer undergraduate research program. A 12-month contract will be offered at a salary commensurate with background and experience.

Qualifications/Expectations: Applicants should have the following qualifications:

•           Ph.D. in Chemistry or Physics (Chemistry preferred)


•           Evidence of substantive and successful administrative leadership, minimum of 3-5 years of department leadership preferred


•           Proven commitment to recruiting, mentoring, and retaining a diverse faculty, staff, and student body


•           Outstanding leadership, collaboration and consensus-building skills


•           Demonstrable commitment to advocating for faculty and staff


•           Successful record of excellence in classroom and laboratory instruction


•           Evidence of mentoring undergraduate students, as well as faculty


•           Experience in assessment and curriculum development


•           Evidence of productive, on-going research activity, with a strong record of achieving funded external grants


•           Record of cultivating and maintaining positive relationships with donors, alumni, and the professional community


•           Record of support of innovations in teaching and the use of appropriate instructional technologies




Application Procedures:

Applications must be submitted electronically through the UTC Faculty Career Site by visiting: (a unique Taleo link will be provided by HR after job is approved by OEI and posted to Taleo.  HR will then email the approved job description to both the HD Admin and OEI). Applicants should submit a cover letter that addresses the qualifications listed above, an updated curriculum vitae, description of research agenda and program, recent evidence of teaching effectiveness, and a statement on departmental leadership. Applicants are required to identify the names, titles, and contact information for 3-5 professional references when applying. Reference providers identified by the applicants will be contacted via email with instructions for uploading their letters of support. Review of applicants will begin on November 12, 2018, and will continue until the position is filled.

UTC is the second-largest school in the University of Tennessee System and serves a diverse student body of more than 11,600 undergraduate and graduate students through five academic colleges. UTC offers a unique blend of private and public school traditions with a commitment to achieve excellence, embrace diversity and inclusion and offer experiential learning opportunities for students. As an urban university, we also are dedicated to inspiring positive change and enriching our community. Each day, we strive to earn the trust and confidence of those we serve. Our goal is to make a difference in our community and in the lives of our students.

Chattanooga, the fourth-largest city in Tennessee, is widely recognized as one of the innovative “smart” US cities internationally, partly due to the contributions UTC has made over the years. Chattanooga was also among the first US cities to be officially recognized by US Ignite ( as a Smart Gigabit Community. This designation indicates a commitment by the community to leverage advanced science, mathematics, engineering, computing and networking technologies to improve city processes and quality of life for all citizens.  The city’s ongoing dedication to advancing technology has attracted dozens of startups to join companies already here such as Volkswagen, Amazon, Unum, McKee Foods, U.S. Xpress, and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United, as well as firms more directly related to the department’s mission, like Chattem, Colonial Chemical, BASF and Kordsa.

Chattanooga is located in Southeast Tennessee within minutes of beautiful outdoor environments in the Appalachian Mountains, within a day’s drive of the best beaches in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Eastern US Seaboard, with excellent air travel connections to major cities in the East and Mid-West. Attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium, Lookout Mountain, the Creative Discovery Museum for Children, Civil War battlefield sites and the African American Museum in the Bessie Smith Cultural Center bring thousands of people to the area, as do events such as the Southern Writers Conference and the musical festivities of Riverbend, Nightfall and Jazzanooga. People who love the outdoors are coming to Chattanooga in vast numbers for its multitude of offerings such as hang-gliding, kayaking, rock climbing, biking, fishing and caving expeditions. The world-famous Ironman Triathlon and Ironman 70.3 half-marathon have contracted to take place in Chattanooga until at least 2023.

The city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its beautiful downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront on the Tennessee River. For two straight years, Outside magazine has twice named Chattanooga as the Best Town Ever, the only city to achieve that distinction. Lonely Planet magazine says Chattanooga is one of the Top 10 U.S. destinations, and Money Inc. calls it one of the nation’s most underrated cities. In short, Chattanooga is internationally recognized as a forward-thinking city that’s rich in tradition, history and wide-ranging activities. It is an exciting and vibrant place to live and work. Whether you’re raising a family or single, Chattanooga has something for you.

The University of Tennessee Chattanooga is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or protected veteran status.