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University of Kansas Assistant Professor in Health Communication & Underserved Communities in Lawrence, Kansas


Job Title:

Assistant Professor in Health Communication & Underserved Communities


Communication Studies

Primary Campus:

University of Kansas Lawrence Campus

Job Description:

This position is appointed to serve in the Department of Communication Studies. The Department of Communication Studies serves approximately 400+ majors and minors at the undergraduate level and approximately 45 graduate students across our M.A. and Ph.D. programs. The championship-winning KU debate team is also within the Department of Communication Studies. The department currently has 19 full-time faculty members who are organized into two dominant areas of expertise: (1) Relationships and Social Interaction and (2) Rhetorical and Political Communication. This position will align with the faculty expertise in Relationships and Social Interaction. Ideal candidates will complement the department’s existing strengths in organizational communication and/or intergroup communication. The Department of Communication Studies takes inclusion, diversity, equity, and access as central values and maintains that we should treat each other with respect and dignity. We seek a colleague who upholds these values in their teaching, research, and service. To learn more about our departmental initiatives, please visit our webpage: https://coms-idea.ku.edu/ .

The Department of Communication Studies is situated with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which is the largest school within the campus and plays a central role within the University of Kansas. The College emphasizes interdisciplinary, experiential learning and global awareness, houses a vibrant university wide Honors Program that highlights undergraduate research and service activities, and has created strong affiliations with outstanding cross-disciplinary research centers. Faculty and academic staff have emphasized the importance of continuing and expanding on relationships with centers and entities including the Life Span Institute (https://lifespan.ku.edu/) , which has the mission of improving people’s lives through interdisciplinary research that leads to the generation of knowledge about human health. This institute houses the Beach Center on Disability (https://beachcenter.lsi.ku.edu/) , the Center for Community Health and Development (https://communityhealth.ku.edu/) , the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment (https://addiction.ku.edu/) , and the Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies (https://ihdps.ku.edu/) , among other research centers and institutes. The College also features Institute for Policy and Social Research (https://ipsr.ku.edu/) , the Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum (https://biodiversity.ku.edu/) , Kansas Biological Survey (https://biosurvey.ku.edu/) , Kansas Geological Survey (https://www.kgs.ku.edu/) , the Hall Center for the Humanities (https://hallcenter.ku.edu/) , and the Spencer Museum of Art (https://www.spencerart.ku.edu/) . These relationships have brought a broad range of disciplines together to pursue and conduct sponsored research and education at the international, national, state, regional and local levels, and have created employment structures in which faculty and academic staff share appointments to emphasize collaboration. College faculty and research staff are welcomed as members in all KU’s designated research centers and institutes (https://research.ku.edu/ku-research-centers-institutes) . The College is home to internationally recognized scholars and scientists who brought in $44M in research funding in FY 2021, nearly 30% of the total funded research at KU’s Lawrence Campus.

Research (40%) - tenure-track faculty contribute to the research mission of the Department of Communication Studies through a program of research that leads to publication of academic scholarship in articles, books, proceedings, or other works such as presentations at professional and academic conferences. The tenure-track faculty member for this position is expected to develop original scholarship in their area of expertise related to health communication and underserved communities that intersects with organizational or intergroup phenomena.

Teaching (40%) - The expected teaching load is a 2/2 (typically two classes in the fall semester and two classes in the spring semester; four classes total) taught each academic year. Courses will be taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels across the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree programs. This tenure-track faculty member is expected to teach existing courses, such as health communication or communication in health organizations, and will have an opportunity to develop new courses in their area of expertise. This person will also be expected to contribute to teaching existing courses which might include some combination of: introductory and advanced organizational communication, problem-solving in teams and groups, communication and culture, intergroup communication, or intercultural communication. Other duties of this position include developing and updating curriculum, supervising and mentoring graduate teaching assistants, and assisting with curricular assessments among other duties as assigned. The ideal candidate will implement the use of technology in teaching courses. This tenure-track faculty member will also advise undergraduate and graduate students, including directing independent studies, and honors theses, and dissertations. The candidate will serve on graduate student M.A. and Ph.D. committees and undergraduate honors thesis committees. Teaching formats may include in-person, hybrid, and online teaching. Summer and winter teaching opportunities are optional and are available depending on department need. All faculty hold regular office hours for students enrolled in classes taught. It is expected that the faculty member adheres to department, college, and university policies and procedures.

Service (20%) - Faculty members generally serve on departmental, college, and/or university committees. Disciplinary service is also expected intermittently. The candidate will contribute to service in the department, college, university, discipline, and community. Ideal candidates will demonstrate their ability to work in collegial and collaborative environments.

Faculty members are expected to carry out their responsibilities in accordance with the Faculty Code of

Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, currently viewable at:


Req ID (Ex: 10567BR) :



The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX, civilrights@ku.edu, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

Contact Information to Applicants:

Professor Angela Gist-Mackey

Search Committee Chair


Position Number:


Required Qualifications:

  1. An earned Ph.D. or be near completion of a Ph.D. in the discipline of communication (doctoral degree completion before the start date of hire is desired; ABD candidates are welcome to apply).

  2. Evidence of potential for a productive research agenda in health communication that intersects with organizational or intergroup phenomena.

  3. Potential for effectiveness in student mentorship.

  4. Evidence of successful college teaching.

Employee Class:


Advertised Salary Range:

commensurate with experience



Position Overview:

The University of Kansas seeks an Assistant Professor in Health Communication and Underserved Communities in the Department of Communication Studies to begin August 18, 2023. This position is a full-time, tenure-track, academic-year appointment.

We seek a health communication colleague who takes an equity-focused approach to their research and teaching. Ideal candidates will study health communication at the intersection of intergroup or organizational phenomena. Candidates’ may have scholarly interests in subjects such as: health and organizing, health inequities, health injustice, social disparities, culture, identity, or social justice. This candidate should have expertise in health communication and may, for instance, take an intersectional approach to studying underserved communities including, but not limited to: Blacks/African Americans, descendants of the African diaspora, Latin/a/o/x, Indigenous or Native Americans, Asians/Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, persons living with disabilities or other health conditions, marginalized gender identities, religious or sexual minorities, those living in rural areas, older adults, immigrants, and/or people facing poverty or other adversities. For this position, we seek a social scientist who uses qualitative, quantitative, and/or network methods of inquiry.

At the University of Kansas, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are an important part of our culture and university strategic plan. Applications from members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged, noting the value that differences bring to our organization, students, staff, faculty, and community. The Jayhawks Rising Strategic Plan was developed around three Institutional Priorities: creating a clear and ambitious direction to fulfill our mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world. Additional information is available athttps://jayhawksrising.ku.edu/.

Founded in 1865, the University of Kansas (KU) is a designated Carnegie comprehensive doctoral and research university and is one of only 34 public members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). Current enrollment at KU is approximately 28,500 (19,000 undergraduate), with students drawn from 110+ nations and all 50 states, 20.6% of KU students are members of underrepresented groups. The University offers students and faculty opportunities to collaborate in its graduate and professional programs, which include education, public health, medicine, law, and a number of allied social science and humanities disciplines. KU prides itself on championship winning basketball and debate teams. The University of Kansas has a world-class academic Medical Center (https://www.kumc.edu/) that includes the School of Health Professions, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing. In addition, the University of Kansas has a premier School of Pharmacy (https://pharmacy.ku.edu/) .



Application Review Begins:


Anticipated Start Date:


Additional Candidate Instruction:

For complete information and to apply, go to https://employment.ku.edu/academic/23491BR . A complete online packet will include the following materials: (1) Cover letter addressing the candidates overall credentials with the job description and their qualifications regarding their research program, teaching experience, and service; (2) a Curriculum Vitae; (3) a 1-2 page statement explaining candidates' engagement with diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in teaching and research; and (4) the names and contact information for three professional references.

In addition to the above materials, learning about each applicant's contribution and engagement in areas of diversity is an important part of KU's mission. As such, applicants will be presented the following question at the time of application, each response must be within 4,000 characters or less:

  • Describe your experiences working with people from diverse backgrounds, and explain how those experiences reflect your commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Review of applications will begin October 24, 2022 and will continue until a pool of qualified applicants is obtained.