Native American Institute Director position open

Associate Professor/Professor and Director

August 8, 2014



Position Announcement—National Search

 POSITION:  Associate Professor/Professor and Director

 START DATE:  On or about January 1, 2015 or as soon as a suitable candidate is selected

 APPOINTMENT:  Full-time (12 month): Tenure Position—Director duties for 5 years with the possibility of renewal.  Additional duties of the faculty member selected will be devoted to work in what will become the director’s tenure academic department or school.

 QUALIFICATIONS:  Ph.D. in urban and regional development or related field.  Academic record must be commensurate with tenure appointment.  Candidate must be an effective and dynamic leader who will foster excellence in engagement and research connecting the resources of Michigan State University with tribal communities in Michigan. Successful candidate will have community leadership experience and outstanding administrative, management, and interpersonal skills.

                                                 Candidate must also possess:

  • Experience working with Great Lakes/Michigan Native American communities
  • Demonstrated knowledge of, and cultural competence in, Great Lakes/Michigan Native American culture and traditions
  • Demonstrated commitment to research on Native American community issues and the development of Native American scholars and researchers
  • Demonstrated ability to engage tribal and urban communities
  • Experience in and ability to engage faculty and students in research and campus-community partnerships, and
  • A record of publication and grantsmanship on Native American issues

BACKGROUND:  The Native American Institute (NAI) works with tribes, Native American organizations, and various Michigan State University units to enhance the sovereignty, cultural continuity, and well-being of tribes, Native American communities, and Native American people.

Located in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, NAI undertakes outreach and engagement scholarship.  NAI works across units in the College and the University.  Of special note is NAI’s close working relationship with MSU Extension (MSUE).  NAI and MSUE jointly administer two tribally-focused MSU Extension programs.

 NAI is undergoing a reorganization of purpose, approach, and strategy to best assist Michigan’s Native American population.  The Director will provide leadership for this effort in concert with Native American communities and university stakeholders, thereby carrying NAI into its next phase of vibrant community engagement.

RESPONSIBILITIES:  The Director will be responsible for all aspects of leading and managing NAI.  Specific responsibilities include:  managing NAI faculty and academic staff; coordinating program planning efforts in partnership with community members and the NAI Advisory Group; co-directing the Building Strong Sovereign Nations tribal governance training program undertaken collaboratively with MSU Extension and the Indigenous Law and Policy Center; co-directing the Michigan Federally-recognized Tribes Extension Program with MSU Extension; nurturing new scholarly initiatives tied to NAI’s outreach and research-oriented mission; generating external funding; and building productive collaborations across the university.  The Director will hire and conduct academic staff evaluations; manage NAI resources and its budget; promote program excellence; ensure program accountability; and network with a variety of related units and constituencies, on- and off-campus.

APPLICATION:  Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2014.  Late submissions will be considered if a suitable candidate pool is not identified by the review of application date.  MSU is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer.  MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity.  The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations from women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.  Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodations.  For more information about the Native American Institute, please visit our website at  Required applicant documents:  cover letter, curriculum vitae/resume, and full contact information for four references.  In the application letter, please address fit to position qualifications and responsibilities, and describe your vision for NAI.  Apply for Posting # 9891 at


For questions, contact

Dr. Scott G. Witter, Professor and Director

School of Planning, Design and Construction, 517-432-6379





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