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Director of SMATE

Apply now Work type: TT Faculty, Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: College of Science & Engineering

Position Title Director of SMATE
About the University Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. Western places great value on inclusive excellence and has in its most recent strategic plan a goal to foster a caring and supportive environment where all members are respected and treated fairly. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Program

The WWU College of Science and Engineering houses the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering and Design, Geology, Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy, as well as Science, Math, & Technology Education (SMATE), the Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center (AMSEC), and the Technology Development Center (TDC).

WWU has a historical emphasis on teacher preparation and prepares more K-12 teachers than any other institution of higher education in Washington.  SMATE offers interdisciplinary B.A. degree programs for future elementary and secondary teachers and has an established history of leading and supporting systemic science education reform efforts in Washington State and nationally.

SMATE supports Western’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement.  We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

SMATE strives to be a national model of effective recruiting and preparation of the highest quality future elementary and secondary mathematics and science teachers. SMATE faculty have a strong track record of receiving external funding to support these efforts (>20 million dollars since inception). These awards often support Western’s institutional goals with respect to diversity and inclusion.  For example, a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute supports the program Advancing Excellence and Equity in Science

Our dedicated faculty from the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, and the Woodring College of Education, Elementary and Secondary Education use the latest resources and research on teaching and learning to develop innovative curriculum, courses and K-16 partnerships. SMATE’s teaching and learning laboratories support innovative teaching, and the Irwin L. Slesnick STEM Education Resource Center houses a library of more than 15,000 books on  standards, assessment, curriculum, and activities for current and future teachers as well as a collection of other resources and equipment for supporting instruction.

About the Position

In addition to these facilities and resources described above, the SMATE Director is supported with an annual budget and full-time staff. Responsibilities of the Director include:

  • Oversee operations and management of the SMATE facility, budget, scheduling, and staff.  
  • Fulfill job responsibilities in ways that support an equitable and inclusive environment for colleagues and students.
  • Facilitate collaboration between faculty from the College of Education and the College of Science and Engineering to develop, implement, and assess ambitious programs for the education and professional development of PK-12 teachers of STEM subject areas.
  • Coordinate PK-16 STEM education initiatives and grants related to research activities.
  • Cultivate partnerships with local, regional, and national entities that raise SMATE’s profile, maximizing awareness of its capacities, strengthening public appreciation of its value, and stewarding its resources.
  • Mentor SMATE faculty members. Synthesize and provide feedback to home departments regarding evaluation for promotion and tenure.
  • Teach courses within the program as appropriate
Required Qualifications

Successful candidates must meet the following qualifications:

  • Earned doctorate or terminal degree in a STEM, STEM education, or related field.
  • Must be eligible for tenure as a full professor in a department or program within CSE.
  • Demonstrated experience in supporting and promoting an environment of inclusion, equity, and fairness for diverse students, faculty, and staff.
  • Administrative experience that includes effective management and supervision of staff, budgets, facilities, and/or programs.
  • Scholarly expertise and record of publication in science education, mathematics education, engineering education, technology education, or computer science education.
  • Record of effective teaching and potential for facilitating high-quality inclusive, student-centered undergraduate learning experiences.
  • Success in obtaining and administering private, state, or nationally-funded projects to support STEM education.
  • Commitment and ability to recruit and support the success of students from groups underrepresented in STEM education.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience successfully working with PK12 pre- and in-service teachers.
  • Experience improving STEM education policy and reforms at the PK12 or university levels.
  • Leadership in cross-disciplinary and collaborative efforts.
  • Administrative experience specific to higher education.
  • Success in creating or supporting courses and programs that inclusively serve a diverse student population.
  • Experience with strategic planning at the department, college, or university level.


 11-month position that is commensurate with experience and qualifications

Bargaining Unit

 United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions

Submit the following documents: (1) a cover letter addressing all of the required and preferred qualifications, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) a one-page statement of teaching philosophy and scholarly interests, (4) three letters of reference*, and (5) a two-page vision statement for SMATE’s leadership in PK-16 education that addresses:

  • Short-term and long-term goals
  • Processes and your role for meeting these goals
  • Your leadership style
  • Plans for promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion

*You will be required to provide contact information for the three reference letters, which will be automatically requested from the referee via the PageUp System.

Closing Date Notes Application review begins March 31, 2019; position is open until filled"

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the office of the Vice President for enrollment and Student Services. The report can be found at

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 496477
Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

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