Michigan Technological University invites applications and nominations for the Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.  Michigan Tech attracts world-class faculty who enrich the educational experience of smart, motivated, and adventurous students. Applicants who are committed to promoting a sense of belonging and contributing to an equitable and inclusive learning environment for all are strongly encouraged to apply. 

The Chair is the chief administrative officer of the department and is responsible for the department's administration, hiring, promotion and budget as well as being the leader in continuously improving the culture of inclusion and excellence in teaching and research. The Chair serves as the primary liaison between the department and the College as well as with the rest of the University and external constituents, and is expected to foster collaborations both internal and external to the university that advance the department's mission.

Michigan Tech's Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics undergraduate program is currently 8th in enrollment in the U.S. We have been in the top 30 in BSME degrees awarded for the past 36 consecutive years. Our graduate program is ranked 63rd nationally among the 182 (top 34%) doctoral granting Mechanical Engineering Departments in the U.S. by the 2022 U.S. News: America’s Best Graduate Schools (ranked in 2021). Our department is 5th in MSME enrollment, 16th in MSME degrees awarded, 26th in PhD enrollment, and 21st in PhD degrees awarded in the U.S. The National Science Foundation (NSF) ranks research expenditures in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech 16th in the latest rankings with $20.015 million among all universities in the U.S.

Based on the foregoing as our foundation, we the faculty and staff of the Department, with the support of the College and University, aspire to move our national and international recognition to that of a top-20 ranked department for both our graduate and undergraduate programs. We seek a chair with international recognition, leadership experience, strong commitment, and creative insight to lead us in our efforts to reach that target over the next 5-10 years. In doing so, the new chair will facilitate the department’s role in meeting the challenges of the 21st century, illustrated by our Tech Forward initiatives, while maintaining the historical educational and research strengths of the department.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • As Chief Administrative Officer:
  • Is responsible for all aspects of the educational, research, and service activities within the department.
  • Provide strong leadership for excellence in teaching, research, and service while promoting a culture of safety, inclusion and continuous improvement.
  • Effectively engage the department and other stakeholders in executing the department's mission and strategic plan toward our vision.
  • Ensure alignment of the department's vision, plan, and goals with those of the College, University, and other stakeholders.
  • Engage and collaborate with the College of Engineering’s leadership council to help execute the strategic plan of the College.
  • Foster partnerships and collaborations with other academic units and research centers on campus to create new strategic opportunities, initiatives, and/or synergisms that will enhance the reputation of the College and University.
  • Manage the department's finances responsibly and strategically to achieve short- and long-term goals.
  • Recruit, develop, and retain an outstanding and diverse population of faculty, students, and staff.
  • Support faculty in research and educational endeavors and guide the mentorship of junior faculty.
  • Manage the supervision of department faculty and staff; conduct progress reviews of nontenured faculty and make recommendations on reappointment, tenure and promotion cases; conduct performance reviews of all department faculty and staff.
  • Resource Acquisition and Advancement for Achieving Department Aspirations:
    • Advocate for resources for the department through individual and collaborative efforts and by leveraging existing resources.
    • Engage in generating resources through fundraising.
    • Establish relationships with alumni, academic, industry, and government groups to promote the goals of the department in academics and research, and their funding.
    • Contribute to College and University advancement activities by reaching out to prospective donors, leading stewardship activities for current donors, and, as appropriate, leveraging department resources in support of department and College growth.
  • Promote Department and Ensure Excellence:
  • Serve as department spokesperson and advocate within the university and with external constituents; actively promote the success of the department's students, faculty, and staff.
  • Support ABET and university assessment activities.
  • Support initiatives to improve the quality of the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree programs.
  • Proactively promote and conduct activities that engage students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds and demographics to cultivate and sustain an inclusive environment.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements):

• An earned Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering or a closely related field.

Required Experience (minimum requirements):

  • Demonstrated leadership experience in an academic, government, or industrial setting.
  • Scholarly achievements and activities appropriate for a tenured appointment in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech.
  • Demonstrated supervisory, budgetary, and resource allocation accomplishments in an academic, government or industrial setting.
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully working with diverse individuals.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with engineering programs at the university level.

Desirable Education and/or Experience:

  • Experience in supervising professional staff.
  • Experience in generating resources through fundraising.
  • Experience working in and with industry and/or government.
  • Experience in curriculum development in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related engineering field.
  • Experience in strategic plan development and implementation.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements):*

  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships and to effectively recognize and resolve conflicts and mediate disputes.
  • Demonstrated fiscal responsibility and ability to manage budgets.
  • Demonstrated commitment to providing an inclusive and welcoming working environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to promote a culture of safety.
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal, oral/written communication, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership with national and/or international professional organizations.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership ability and personnel management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries.
  • Evidence of leadership in developing innovative and distinctive education and research programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, develop, and retain talented and diverse students, faculty, and staff.

Nominations, applications (a letter of interest, resume/CV, leadership statement and the names and contact information of five or more references) or expressions of interest should be submitted to the search firm assisting Michigan Technological University.  ​Persons requiring reasonable accommodation in the application process or requiring information in an alternative format should contact Human Resources at mtujobs@mtu.edu or 906-487-2280. As a Federal Contractor, the University provides the federal “EEO is the Law” and Pay Transparency information posters to all applicants as provided here (https://www.mtu.edu/equity/equal-opportunity/eeo-poster/). Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm by October 25, 2021.

Porsha Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-804-1996 x109 or x117
pwilliams@parkersearch.com | eraines@parkersearch.com

Located in Houghton, in the heart of Upper Michigan’s scenic Keweenaw Peninsula, the university is just a few miles from Lake Superior, and the surrounding area is perfect for all types of seasonal outdoor activities.  Michigan Tech acknowledges the importance of supporting dual-career partners to retain a quality workforce. Candidates are invited to bring a guest to an on-campus interview; career exploration, advice, and assistance are available for positions at the University and in the local community. Additional details on dual-career exploration with our Partner Engagement Program can be found at mtu.edu/provost/programs/partner-engagement.

Michigan Tech is proud to be an ADVANCE Institution that has thrice received National Science Foundation support to increase diversity, inclusion, and the participation and advancement of women and underrepresented individuals in STEM. 

Michigan Tech is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

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