University of Colorado Denver — Tenured / Tenure-Track Faculty Positions, School of Public Affairs

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) at CU Denver will be hiring three tenured/tenure-track faculty positions, at either the Assistant or Associate level, to start in August 2017. These open positions are described below. Please link to each individual job ad in CU Careers to apply. Applications are ONLY accepted online via the links below! 

  • Open Rank Assistant/Associate Professor – Nonprofit Management and Policy (where we are currently ranked #15 by US News and World Report). We are open to various approaches that complement our current strengths that may include social equity, collaboration, social innovation, community engaged research, nonprofit finance, grant writing, and philanthropy, among others. To apply, go here:
  • Open Rank Assistant/Associate Professor – Local Government (where we are currently ranked #25 by US News and World Report). We welcome applicants from a diversity of theoretical approaches or substantive foci, such as city management, housing, transportation, gentrification, social-equity issues, etc. To apply, go here:
  • Assistant Professor – Public Management (where we are ranked #24 by US News and World Report). We are open to a variety of public management sub-fields and theoretical perspectives, such as performance management, contracting, public finance, human resources, or other areas. To apply, go here:

About the Positions
For all positions, we encourage applicants with diverse backgrounds and/or candidates whose research itself focuses on issues related to diversity and/or social equity. Candidates with expertise crossing more than one of the three focal areas (nonprofit management, local government, public management) are welcomed, though they should apply separately to each position for which they would like to be considered. In addition to demonstrating excellent research and teaching in the above areas, we seek some candidates with quantitative skills, including the ability to teach methods courses at the PhD level.

For the Assistant Professor level hires, we seek candidates who have completed PhDs, with evidence of excellence in teaching, publishing, and demonstrated efforts at attaining external grant funding.

For consideration at the Associate Professor level, candidates are expected to be an emerging leader in their field, with an excellent record in research, demonstrated through both externally funded awards and publications, as well as excellence in teaching, mentoring, and funding graduate and/or undergraduate students.

Tenure-track positions at SPA teach a 2:2 load each academic year. SPA has considerable online enrollments, and we expect faculty to teach both face/face and online. Complementing the existing graduate level degrees, SPA has launched a new online BA in Public Service degree in fall 2016 and we are looking for candidates willing to teach at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Background on the School of Public Affairs
SPA is a NASPAA-accredited MPA program ranked nationally at #34 overall by US News and World Report. With 25 full-time faculty, we also offer a PhD in Public Affairs, a Masters in Criminal Justice, a Bachelors in Criminal Justice, and the new fully online BA in Public Service. All programs except the PhD are available fully online.

Generally, SPA is seeking candidates who want to contribute to the dynamic efforts among faculty to support and expand our research and impact, as we continue to be recognized as one of the top public affairs schools in the country. Faculty are committed to working collaboratively and in support of making an impact on the field of public affairs and more broadly, the public sector. For instance, this may include involvement with SPA’s Buechner Institute for Governance (BIG), the applied arm of the school, either through research, training, evaluation, or service. BIG is known as an institute leading the way for translational research, with a focus on evidence-based practices, including but not limited to applied research in Colorado. BIG includes Centers focused on local government, network sciences and collaborative governance, education policy, criminal justice and policy process research. BIG also runs a Certified Public Management (CPM) program and several other leadership development programs. We seek candidates who demonstrate interest or experience in contributing to BIG’s mission in some manner.

We are also committed to graduating high quality students who have the best experiences in the classroom, working alongside faculty in research, and making an impact as graduates that employers seek out to hire. We are poised for more growth at SPA and we expect that these three candidates will quickly become part of an energetic effort to produce the best research and teaching in the field. Our faculty have grown their external funding by 200% over the past 5 years. Faculty currently have grants from NSF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson, Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, the Colorado Trust, the Community First Foundation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and others. SPA faculty routinely attend and present at conferences around the world and are often invited to speak to both academic and practitioner communities on their areas of expertise. SPA faculty are nationally recognized leaders, currently or recently holding positions like NAPA members, PAR editor, PSJ editor, NASPAA Executive Council, ARNOVA board, NVSQ editorial board, and many others.

About Denver
SPA and CU Denver are located in the downtown area of one of the fastest growing cities in America. Denver’s Mayor, along with many other community leaders, are MPA alums of our School. Our city and state are microcosms for research and teaching in environmental policy, local government, nonprofits, emergency management, public management, public health, and public finance. Our downtown Denver location provides unprecedented access to a diverse urban environment where policy becomes practice. SPA is a diverse learning community and one of the most culturally inclusive schools on campus, allowing our students to interact with people who reflect their own identity and with others who broaden their horizons. More than one-third of SPA students are students of color. CU Denver students come from all 50 states and 67 countries.

Review of applications will continue until the positions are filled, but review of applications will begin on September 19, 2016. 

The University of Colorado strongly supports the principle of diversity. We encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and all veterans. The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

Applications are ONLY accepted online via the links below! 

To apply, please go to:
Non-Profit Position:
Local Government Position:
Public Management Position:

Contact information:
If you need more information about the academic elements of the positions, please contact the search committee co-chairs:
Professor Tanya Heikkila (
Associate Professor Danielle Varda (

If you need information about application processes and/or logistics of submitting letters of reference, please contact Chris Smith (