University of Nebraska at Omaha — Director, Grace Abbott School of Social Work (Professor or Associate Professor)

Social Work

Essential Functions
The Grace Abbott School of Social Work (GASSW) in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) invites applications for a full-time, tenured professor or associate professor to serve as director. Responsibilities include bringing leadership and vision toward meeting GASSW’s mission “to educate students to become highly qualified social workers who serve all people, influence the systems that affect them, advance knowledge through teaching and research, engage with diverse communities, and promote socially just societies.”

The successful candidate will lead the school in meeting local, state, national, and global needs through community engagement and through building effective collaborations. Responsibilities also include teaching; research; managing school activities, budget, and personnel; and fundraising to facilitate program growth. The successful candidate will represent GASSW in the university, local and state communities, and in national disciplinary forums.

The anticipated position start date is January or July 2022.

The University and College of Public Affairs and Community Service have a strong commitment to achieving diversity among faculty and staff. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment. UNO is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an E-Verify employer. 

Additional Duties

Grace Abbott School of Social Work (GASSW)
GASSW was named after the legendary social reformer and Nebraska native, Grace Abbott. The school is fully accredited by the Council for Social Work Education. GASSW has a history of academic and clinical leadership in family therapy, mental health, social services, healthcare, child welfare, and social justice. GASSW’s faculty, students, and alumni are committed to serving the families, agencies, and organizations of Nebraska and surrounding regions through excellence in education and community engagement and an authentic commitment to diversity and inclusion.

As the only public CSWE-accredited MSW program in Nebraska, the school fulfills a statewide mission and offers multiple program formats and locations in both Omaha and Kearney, Nebraska. GASSW is the largest of six BSSW programs in Nebraska, and the largest of two MSW programs in Nebraska. The school is comprised of 25 full-time faculty and staff members, including professional academic advisors and practicum staff. GASSW is supported by a strong network of community practitioners who offer their expertise as adjunct faculty and practicum supervisors. GASSW includes over 500 students at the pre-BSSW, BSSW, and MSW levels, many of whom are first generation students.

In addition to the BSSW and MSW degrees, the school offer three dual degrees including a Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice (MSW/MSCRCJ), Master of Public Administration (MSW/MPA), and a Master of Public Health (MSW/MPH) in conjunction with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The school has grown substantially over the past 5 years and is well-positioned to continue that growth under new leadership.

College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS)
GASSW is a program in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS). CPACS aims to provide high-caliber educational programs that prepare students for leadership in public service and emphasizes community engagement to help solve public problems. In addition to GASSW, CPACS offers professional degree programs in Criminology/Criminal Justice, Gerontology, Public Administration, Urban Studies, Emergency Management and Disaster Sciences, and Aviation. The Center for Public Affairs Research, Nebraska Center for Justice Research, Juvenile Justice Institute, the Goodrich Scholarship Program, and the Brennan Labor Studies Institute are non-degree granting units that are also part of CPACS.

All units within CPACS are committed to participating in engaged research. “Engaged research” is research that has been developed, evaluated, and communicated in collaboration with community partners, but is rigorous in terms of its design and methodology. It is relevant to the needs of the community, and its outcomes should be valued by both academic peers and community partners. Examples of engaged research may include government funded research, corporate funded research; community group funded research; foundation funded research; community based participatory research; evaluation research studies; and/or applied research.

University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO)
A vibrant, metropolitan university in the state’s largest city, the University of Nebraska at Omaha has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students. In recent decades the campus developed as a more traditional residential university supported by several new and beautifully appointed residence halls. UNO is classified as a doctoral-research university in the latest Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and the Athletic program competes in NCAA division I. It also has the distinction of being one of the nation’s leaders in engagement and outreach with a 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation. UNO’s goals are student-centeredness, academic excellence, community engagement, and institutional quality. UNO’s values are excellence, engagement, inclusion, discovery, integrity, and Maverick spirit. GASSW contributes to UNO’s goals and values in multiple and significant ways, especially with emphases on social justice and community engagement. GASSW is a university leader in its use of service-learning pedagogy in its classrooms and its provision of community-engaged service and research. GASSW’s MSW program is the third largest graduate program at UNO. 

UNO has a strong commitment to achieving diversity among faculty and staff. To learn more about how UNO lives its metropolitan mission, see Growing With and Within Our Thriving Community: 

Required Qualifications

  • A doctoral degree in social work or related discipline from an accredited institution.
  • An MSW from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)-accredited program.
  • Experience with teaching and engaged scholarship commensurate with a tenured faculty appointment at the rank of professor or associate professor.
  • Experience with administrative leadership.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; community engagement; and social justice. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with administrative leadership in a university setting.
  • Management skills, including budgeting and supervision.
  • Collaboration and interpersonal communication skills, using a strengths-based approach.
  • Experience in social work curriculum development.
  • Experience in fundraising and development.
  • Ability to use evidence to identify needs, and to envision and implement innovative strategies to meet the needs. 

Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Regularly sits; may stand, walk. See, hear, speak and use of hands. 

Work Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Regularly works indoors. Noise level is low to moderate. 

Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

Posting Number

Open Date

Open Until Filled

Special Instructions to Applicants
To apply, please submit the following application materials:

  1. Cover letter. Candidates are invited to show evidence of meeting the required and preferred (if applicable) qualifications in their cover letter.
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Contact information for 3 references. Candidates will be notified before references are contacted.

Review of applications will begin on August 2, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, please apply by the review date. Applications received after the review date may be considered. For questions about the position, please contact Dr. Jeanette Harder, Professor and Graduate Program Chair,