Pennsylvania State University — Tenure-Track Faculty in Social Justice Informatics

Tenure-Track Faculty in Social Justice Informatics

The Pennsylvania State University College of Information Sciences and Technology invites applications for one or more open rank, tenure-track faculty positions in Social Justice Informatics. We understand Social Justice Informatics to entail building knowledge (theoretical, empirical, critical, design, and/or computational) that addresses the relationship between digital technologies and urgent inequalities and injustices confronting our democracy and civil society. New hires are expected to integrate with one of our existing areas of expertise: Data Science/Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Privacy/Security, or Social and Organizational Informatics.

We seek candidates whose research and teaching examine the ways information and communication technologies intersect with issues of equity and justice, with a focus on historically marginalized communities that have been underrepresented or understudied in information sciences and technology. Sites of social justice intervention include (but are not limited to) inequality with regard to race, gender, class, and ethnicity in its many manifestations; poverty; food insecurity; environmental and ecological degradation; human rights; work and labor; geographical marginalization such as developing countries, rurality, ethnic neighborhoods; immigration/migration; data, power, and democracy; access, fairness, accountability, and transparency in IT; the roles of computation in alleviating pressures on marginalized communities; etc.

We invite exceptional candidates with interdisciplinary research and publication records, with backgrounds including informatics, computer science, information studies, critical race studies, women/gender studies, disability studies, political science, ethnic and indigenous studies, civil/criminal law, policy studies, communications, and more. We welcome all methodological approaches, empirical, humanistic, computational, and action research, so long as they contribute towards concrete action for a more equitable and just society in the context of information sciences and technology, broadly understood. These new hires will be instrumental in helping to shape our approach to social justice informatics within the College and connected to Penn State's new Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence.

Competitive applicants for the position at the rank of Assistant Professor will possess a PhD (or a terminal degree, such as in law) in a field related to sociotechnical studies before beginning employment at Penn State, strong potential for developing an externally funded, collaborative, interdisciplinary research program, and potential to contribute to the college's teaching mission.

Candidates seeking the rank of Associate Professor should have the same qualifications as the assistant professor, as well as a strong track record of scholarly achievement, external funding, and demonstrated success in teaching and service.

Candidates for Full Professor should have the same qualifications as the associate professor, as well as a track record of research publications, funding, teaching and service that distinguishes them, nationally or internationally, as leaders in social justice informatics, broadly defined.

Candidates will join a dynamic faculty, contributing to the research, teaching and service missions of our College and University. Our College is growing, and currently offers six undergraduate, two masters and one doctoral degree. Beyond the college, faculty enjoy the vibrant research atmosphere of a large university. Penn State offers access to an outstanding collaborative environment, world-class research infrastructure, as well as highly competitive salaries and startup packages. With over $1 billion in annual research expenditures, Penn State ranks among the top 20 U.S. research universities, and is one of only two institutions in the nation accorded land grant, sea grant, sun grant, and space grant status. This affords faculty the opportunity to work with a wide range of Penn State centers and programs, including the Center for Socially Responsible AI, the Social Science Research Institute, the Rock Ethics Institute, Institute for Information Policy, the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, and the Africana Research Center, just to name a few.

University Park is the largest of Penn State's 24 campuses, with approximately 46,000 undergraduates and more than 14,000 graduate students. The surrounding community of State College is a quintessential university town well known for its safe metropolitan area, exceptional quality of life including a low cost of living, a growing economy, a diverse offering of cultural and recreational opportunities, and excellent resources for families, including two on-campus child care centers and well-regarded local school systems.

The College of Information Sciences and Technology is strongly committed to a diverse community and to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for faculty, staff and students of all races, genders, and backgrounds. The college is committed to making good faith efforts to recruit, hire, retain, and promote qualified individuals from underrepresented minority groups including women, persons of color, diverse gender identities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.

All application materials should be uploaded at the same time at the time of application. Applicants must include with their application the following materials:
(1) Cover letter detailing qualifications for the position
(2) Curriculum vitae including publications list
(3) Research statement outlining future research plans, a teaching statement, and a statement regarding engagement in or commitment to inclusion, equity, and diversity issues as they relate to broadening participation in the disciplines represented in the college and align with the mission of the College.
(4) References (as indicated below)

Applicants for the Assistant Professor position should arrange for at least three reference letters to be sent via email to Applicants for the Associate or Full Professor position should provide contact information (name, affiliation, email address) for at least four references. Applicants for the Associate or Full Professor position will be notified before letters are solicited from their references.

Inquiries about the position may be directed to

Review of applications and nominations will begin as early as January 15, 2021 and will continue to be accepted until the positions are filled.

Apply online at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to, which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.