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Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy

Clemson University
Clemson, South Carolina
Closing date
Oct 25, 2023

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Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Clemson University: College of Science: Physics & Astronomy
Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy

Location: Clemson, SC


Clemson University invites applications and nominations for the Chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy. The individual who holds this leadership position will serve as the executive officer of the Department and report directly to the Dean of the College of Science. Candidates are expected to merit the rank of professor with tenure, have an internationally recognized record of scholarship, and possess significant leadership experience.

The Department seeks a Chair excited to provide leadership with shared governance in areas of (1) establishing a strategic vision, goals, and implementation plan for the Department that aligns with Clemson Elevate (Clemson University's strategic plan) and Accelerate Science (College of Science's strategic plan); (2) recruiting, developing, and retaining outstanding faculty and staff talent; (3) expanding external research funding; (4) enhancing existing academic programs and developing new relevant programs and/or degrees; (5) strengthening inclusive excellence; and (6) growing the undergraduate and graduate programs. Additionally, the Chair will serve on the College's Leadership Team.

The Chair is expected to demonstrate outstanding fiscal acumen in both strategic allocation of existing resources and expanding entrepreneurial revenues. The Chair will work together with the Dean and the Director of Development to cultivate external support to advance Physics & Astronomy.

About the Department:

The Department's faculty teach and do research in a broad range of sub-fields, including astrophysics, atomic physics, atmospheric and space physics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, and foundational quantum mechanics. The Department offers a BS and BA in Physics, a PhD and MS in Physics, and a PhD and a MS in Medical Biophysics.

The Department is home to 22 T/TT faculty and 5 lecturers, 2 research faculty, 8 staff, >85 graduate students, and >75 undergraduate students and is housed in the College of Science. The Department offers ~20k student credit hours annually and has an operating budget of $7M. Competitive external research funding credited to Physics & Astronomy for FY22 was $5M in expenditures.

For more information about the Department and its programs, please visit the website linked here.

For more information and the College of Science's strategic plan, please visit the website linked here.

For more information about Clemson, please visit the website linked here.

For more information and Clemson's strategic plan, please visit the website linked here.


Qualified candidates will have an earned doctorate related to the field. Additionally, candidates should hold the rank of professor at the time of appointment or demonstrate a professional appointment consistent with appointment as professor with tenure in the Department of Physics & Astronomy and have a demonstrated international reputation for excellence in research. It is expected that candidates will have secured significant federally competitive funding and have an awareness of the federal grant landscape including NSF, NIH, NASA, DOD, DOE, and other funding agencies.

The ideal candidate for this role will have a strong record of strategic vision, excellent communication skills, and a commitment to strengthening the University's mission of discovery, learning, and engagement at a public land-grant R-1 institution. Strong candidates will have experience proactively supporting and engaging multidisciplinary and diverse teams as well as effectively managing and engaging multiple internal and external stakeholder groups.

Application Instructions

For full consideration, applications should be submitted by 11/17/23. Review will continue until the position is filled. For inquiries please contact: the search committee chair, Dr. Jens Oberheide ( or the Vice President of Parker Executive Search, Porsha Williams (

Applicants should submit the following items via Interfolio linked here.

(1) Letter of interest aligning the candidate's experience and vision with this position.

(2) Curriculum Vitae

(3) List of five references (references will not be contacted until the final stages of the interview process)

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, pregnancy, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information. Clemson University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and encourages applications from minorities and women.

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