Jobs at Western

Engineering & Design First-Year Programs Director

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

Position Title Engineering & Design First-Year Programs Director
About the University

Western Washington University is a public institution that was founded in 1893 and is comprised of about 16,000 students.  It is recognized as the top public masters-granting university in the Pacific Northwest by US News & World Report.  The Chronicle of Higher Education names Western as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, winning honors in two categories: teaching environment, and tenure clarity and process.

Western Washington University is located in scenic Bellingham, Washington, a town of about 90,000 residents nestled between the mountains of the North Cascades and the waters of Puget Sound.  Recreational opportunities abound nearby, including: biking, skiing, hiking, sailing, kayaking, and mountaineering.  Bellingham is roughly 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia, and 90 miles north of Seattle, Washington, each with a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere and home to many leading technology companies.

About the Department

The Engineering & Design Department offers three ABET-accredited undergraduate degrees, Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Plastics & Composites Engineering, and a NASAD-accredited undergraduate degree in Industrial Design.  In response to high student demand and demand for graduates, the Engineering & Design Department is growing in both faculty and student numbers.  Because student demand exceeds capacity for all programs in the Engineering & Design Department, students must take a specified set of pre-major and foundational courses before applying for admission to a major.

The goals of the Engineering & Design First-Year Programs Director position are to provide leadership in the evolution of the pre-major courses that provide the technical foundations students need for the majors and to improve equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging in the engineering pre-majors, with a focus on students from traditionally underserved populations and students who wish to be engineers but do not arrive ready to take Calculus.  The expectation is that by improving overall student success and retention in the engineering pre-majors, there will ultimately be improvements in diversity, student success, and retention in the engineering majors as well. 

As stated in the Department’s Mission, the programs in the Engineering & Design Department have a strong commitment to teaching and scholarship that helps develop industry-ready graduates through a combination of creative problem-solving, analytical skills development, and experiential learning.  Most courses have a strong laboratory component to prepare students with the modern tools and processes used in industry.  The pre-major courses provide students with the foundation to be successful in the majors.

The Department and the College of Science and Engineering are committed to creating equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for their students, faculty, and staff.  A number of faculty-led initiatives and committees focus on diversity and inclusivity in the classroom and beyond.  Student clubs such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and Out in Science, are also vital to advancing inclusion within the college.

The College of Science and Engineering and the Engineering & Design Department support 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.

About the Position

The Department of Engineering & Design at Western Washington University invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track faculty position as the Engineering & Design First-Year Programs Director with a start date of September 16, 2020.  The Engineering & Design First-Year Programs Director is a leadership position that focuses on the development and implementation of improvements to the pre-major courses and the overall pre-major program, including extracurricular activities such as pre-major orientation and a pre-major makerspace, in order to implement best practices and improve student success with a focus on improving equity, inclusion, diversity, and students’ sense of belonging.  While expecting to hire at the Assistant Professor level, candidates with exceptional qualifications may be considered at the Associate Professor or Professor rank.  The person filling this position will have an important role in the growth of the engineering programs at Western Washington University.

We seek individuals with academic program administration, teaching, and research experience and interests in engineering education.  For this position we prefer individuals with interests in teaching entry-level and foundational courses in engineering and with experience improving equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging in engineering students.

The position requires a strong commitment to service, teaching, and scholarship that supports the Department’s Mission.  Service responsibilities include providing leadership in the revision and development of pre-major courses and the overall pre-major program with the intent of improving equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging in engineering pre-majors while maintaining the technical content required to prepare students for the majors.  Teaching responsibilities will primarily be in the area of pre-major courses, and will require coordination with other faculty members teaching pre-major courses, both in Engineering & Design and in other departments, and with the engineering major programs.  Scholarship responsibilities include developing and maintaining a program of scholarship in relevant areas of engineering education.  It is expected that the person hired fulfills working, teaching, and mentoring responsibilities in ways that provide equitable and inclusive environments for all students, faculty, and staff.

Required Qualifications
  • One of the following:
    • An earned Ph.D. or ABD in engineering education, or another discipline of engineering with a record of engineering education research or administering an academic program or programs, at the time of application.  If ABD at the time of application, all degree requirements must be completed by June 15th of the first year of employment.
    • An earned MS degree in engineering with significant, recent, and relevant experience teaching engineering and administering an academic program or programs.
  • Teaching and research interests and experience that are closely aligned with the mission of the Department
  • Commitment to cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds
  • At least 3 years of experience teaching a broad set of first and second year engineering courses
  • Documented experience with engineering curriculum development
  • Documented experience in academic program administration
  • Documented evidence of scholarly activity in engineering education
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Preferred Qualifications


  • Demonstrated ability and experience developing programs or scholarship relevant to cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated ability and experience developing engineering degree programs at the Associates or Bachelors level.
  • Evidence of ability to obtain external funding to support engineering programs or students.
  • Recent, relevant experience in industry, industry sponsored grants, commercialization, and/or industry relations.


 Commensurate with experience and qualifications 

Bargaining Unit

 United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions

All applications must include the following six items.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  1. Letter of Application

A statement that addresses how you meet the required and preferred qualifications for the position, your ability and commitment to fulfill the position responsibilities, and your available starting date.

  1. Statement on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

A statement of demonstrated commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity in teaching, scholarship or service.  Please describe past contributions to equity, inclusion, and diversity efforts and their impact on students, faculty, staff or your field, as well as a description of how you will demonstrate a commitment in these areas in teaching, research, or service at Western Washington University (for context and clarification of our expectations, we encourage you to visit which highlights the leadership, training, and events on equity, inclusion, and diversity on campus).

  1. Teaching and Leadership Statement

A statement of your administrative experience and interests, your experience teaching entry-level and foundational courses in engineering, and your teaching interests.  Include any experience with curriculum or academic program development.  Include a summary of teaching evaluations, if possible.

  1. Research Statement

A statement of your research experience and interests.  Include any research experience that involved program or course development and assessment.

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. References

The names and contact information for at least three professional references. Please do not send letters.

Closing Date Notes

Review of applications will start December 2, 2019 and will continue until the position is 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 at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

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: 497442
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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