Open Position: Specialist - Teacher-Fixed Term

The School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State University invites applications for a fixed-term, 12-month, 90% teaching and 10% service, Academic Specialist position.

Academic Specialist Position Summary:

The School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State University invites applications for an Academic Specialist position. This position is a fixed-term of 12-month, 90% teaching and 10% service.

The Academic Specialist will teach in-person core courses with an expected load of three courses per semester and with possible opportunities for specialized courses depending on expertise. Current program needs include planning practice, introductory planning history and theory and planning sustainability courses. Summer online teaching is possible. The person will teach some undergraduate courses that are large classes with seats of more than 100. The person will also assist with program needs and priorities such as student recruitment activities, student support, curriculum assessments, etc.

Required qualifications:

A master's degree in urban and regional planning from a U.S. Accredited Planning Program, 1-3 years’ experience in instruction and working with students, and a minimum of seven years of professional planning practice in the U.S. is required; or a Ph.D. in Urban Planning (or allied discipline) is required. Excellent oral and written communication skills and excellent public speaking ability are also needed.

Desired qualifications:

A Ph.D., preferably in Urban Planning from an accredited U.S. university. American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification, on-line teaching experience and expertise teaching large classes preferred. Practical professional planning experience is desired.

School of Planning, Design, and Construction:

The School of Planning, Design, and Construction (SPDC) unites four academic programs related to the built environment: Construction Management, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning, as well as the National Charrette Institute, with 45 faculty and academic specialists, and 8 staff members. The School offers 9 degree pathways from Bachelors to Ph.D. – including 5 professionally accredited degrees with over 485 undergraduate and 55 graduate students. The School is jointly administered by the Colleges of Agriculture & Natural Resources (CANR) and Social Science (CSS). The mission of the School is to advance the knowledge, prepare innovative leaders, and support the practice of planning, design, and construction. Our academic activities address sustainability, health, transportation, and economic and community development. Please refer to the School’s homepage available at:

Urban & Regional Planning Program:

The Urban and Regional Planning program was established in 1946, the Program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) since 1987. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning (BSURP), a Master of Urban and Regional planning (MURP) and a Ph.D. in Planning, Design and Construction. The Urban and Regional Planning Program is STEM designated at Michigan State University. The overall vision/mission of the Urban & Regional Planning (URP) Program is to create a sustainable built and natural environment that enriches communities through leadership, entrepreneurial creativity, social responsibility and environmentally sustainable planning and policy. Toward that end, the URP program strives to offer exemplary teaching in the programs offered, relevant and timely research, and foster a sense of community among faculty, students, alumni, staff and other stakeholders.  For more information, please refer to our website at:


The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA. MSU is one of the top research universities in the world and home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs. MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, and scientists that provide regional, national, and international leadership in basic and applied research and excellence in teaching. In addition, consistent with its Land Grant origins, the MSU community pursues international engagement and provides strong extension programs that partner with diverse stakeholders to provide much needed research in the areas of food, energy, water and the environment. MSU enjoys a park‐like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of >500,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career and other support can be found at:

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

The Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and Social Science (CSS) at MSU are committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. We are particularly interested in candidates from all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion. Candidates are invited to view SPDC’s Community Code of Conduct at

To Apply:

All candidates for the position must apply online at with posting #936181. Qualified applicants should submit:

  1. current resume/CV; 
  2. a cover letter describing your teaching experience and philosophical approaches related to community development;
  3. a diversity and inclusion statement (a statement addressing how past and/or potential contributions to diversity and inclusion will advance MSU’s commitment to inclusive excellence); and
  4. three academic references.

Review of Applications:

Review of applications will begin on April 3, 2024, and will continue until the position is filled. The appointment will commence in Fall 2024. Contact for administrative inquiries:  Mary Beth Graebert, email: For position-related questions, contact the search committee chair, Dr. Zeenat Kotval-Karamchandani, email:

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

College Statement:

The School of Planning, Design and Construction and the College of Social Science actively promote dynamic research and learning environments in which qualified individuals of differing perspectives and cultural backgrounds pursue academic goals with mutual respect and shared inquiry.

Michigan State University actively promotes dynamic research and learning environments in which qualified individuals of differing perspectives, and cultural backgrounds pursue academic goals with mutual respect and shared inquiry.

MSU Statement:

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

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