Arizona State University — Full Professor & Director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (The College) on the Tempe Campus of Arizona State University (ASU) invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of Director of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication (HDSHC) with a concurrent appointment as tenured Full Professor. The College values our cultural and intellectual diversity, and continually strives to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment. We are especially interested in applicants who can strengthen the diversity of the academic community.

The HDSHC is home to a dynamic group of faculty working to create innovative research and excellence in teaching through its efforts to address the complexity of human communication in the 21st century. The HDSHC’s mission aims to place communication at the center of human activity while creating a culture of belonging that values diversity. The new Director will join a community passionate about the integration of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into all parts of the HDSHC’s offerings and operations.

Our next Director will have a leadership style that aligns with the University’s culture of invention and innovation, creates meaningful and enduring results, and encourages a passion for the social sciences as interconnected, inclusive, and impactful fields. The Director should cultivate a persuasive vision for the HDSHC’s future that reflects our highest aspirations for the School and its role in civil discourse within and across communities and throughout society.

A uniquely collaborative group, in 2019 the HDSHC completed a School-wide program review that showcased their notable breadth of teaching and research, collegial and interdisciplinary nature and outlined shared strategic aspirations for the coming years. The HDSHC is comprised of 28 distinguished core faculty and offers BA, BS, MA, and Ph.D. degrees. Our faculty are recognized for teaching and research excellence in areas of Human Communication including: health, intercultural, interpersonal, organizational, performance studies, critical/cultural studies, and rhetoric. Online programs, including a minor, BS, BA and MA, have experienced exponential growth and the School looks forward to continuing the upward trajectory. The HDSHC offers laboratory facilities, computer resources, project support, grant development support, and a performance studio.

ASU’s location offers the resources of a major metropolitan area (5+ million) in a state with spectacular natural scenery and recreational areas, sublime winters, and a culturally rich population. Learn more about the HDSHC and ASU at and, respectively. Learn more about what The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has to offer by visiting

Minimum Qualifications

  • A Ph.D. degree in Communication Studies or a closely related or relevant field
  • A scholarly record commensurate with the rank of tenured Full Professor in The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
  • A record of effective mentoring, in particular related to junior faculty as well as undergraduate and graduate students
  • A record of leadership performing significant and effective financial oversight (i.e., group/center leader; department chair/director)
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of justice, equality, diversity, and inclusion; to attracting, recruiting, retaining, and promoting personnel in support of those principles, and in particular Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) personnel

Desired Qualifications

  • An internationally recognized program of research, a strong record of external funding, and experience supporting colleagues as they compete for funding
  • Excellent interpersonal and strong, persuasive communication skills
  • Ability to articulate the vision, mission, and future aims of the HDSHC in relationship to The College and the University
  • Demonstrated an entrepreneurial approach to forming alliances and partnerships with other units and programs in the university, as well as outside organizations and external stakeholders, particularly those in racially and ethnically diverse and intersectional communities.
  • A broad outlook and approach to new trends in Human Communication that capture a new learning paradigm of the communication process in post-pandemic higher education
  • An interest in and commitment to fundraising and an ability to present a compelling story to potential donors, funding agencies, and external constituencies

Arizona State University is a leading public university ranked #1 Most Innovative School by U.S. News & World Report six years in a row and is leading a bold reinvention of higher education as the New American University. ASU is a research-intensive university and has developed numerous new programs and units that defy and bridge disciplinary boundaries to enable the exploration and discovery of new knowledge while developing solutions to the most challenging issues of our time. Located on four campuses and two research parks in the Phoenix metropolitan area, ASU is one of the largest universities in the United States and has strong and simultaneous commitments to educational access, research, and teaching excellence. With the University’s location in the nation’s fifth largest city, the Phoenix region provides a rich context for applied research and community engagement around issues of human communication.

Nominations, inquiries, and applications (a curriculum vitae; a letter of interest describing how you meet the qualifications noted above, and your vision for leadership of an interdisciplinary school; a statement addressing how your past and/or potential contributions to diversity and inclusion will advance ASU’s commitment to inclusive excellence; and contact information, including email addresses, for five references [references may be contacted at a later stage of the search and only with the candidate’s approval]) can be submitted online at Applications will be reviewed beginning Friday, October 22, 2021; if not filled, reviews will occur every two weeks thereafter until the search is closed.

Questions about this position should be directed to Chris Stojanowski, Chair of the Search Committee via email

A background check is required for employment.

ASU is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For more information on ASU’s policies, please see: and its complete non-discrimination statement at:

In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources. ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.