• Full Time
  • Brookings
  • February 1, 2021

Website South Dakota State University

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at South Dakota State University invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of the School of Psychology, Sociology and Rural Studies.  This is a full-time, 12-month, benefit-eligible, administrative position with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2021.  This position is supervised by the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  The successful applicant will serve as the founding leader of a newly formed multidisciplinary unit residing within the College. 

The School seeks a dynamic leader who will build upon the strengths of the previous Department of Psychology and Department of Sociology and Rural Studies to chart a course that will elevate social science disciplines at SDSU.  The successful candidate will be responsible for providing forward-thinking leadership, facilitating strategic planning and goal setting, actively participating in campus and college-based student success initiatives, intentional mentoring of faculty and staff, effective scheduling and budgeting, and thoughtful engagement with donors and other external stakeholders. The successful candidate will serve primarily as an administrator but will be able to establish, through consultation with the dean of the college, appropriate workload percentages dedicated to research and scholarship and/or teaching.

SDSU is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to and/or coordinate course offerings that address the experiences of underrepresented minorities in organizations. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.


Reporting to the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the new Director will work to build community among faculty, staff, and students and to establish a clear agenda for the development of the School that supports program growth, faculty, staff, and student success, and the land-grant mission of SDSU.

The Director manages School resources and ensures that they are efficiently utilized to achieve student learning outcomes, enhance student success, facilitate faculty research and scholarship, meet the professional needs of faculty and staff, and foster a collegial working environment.

The Director serves the School by providing leadership, coordination and administration in the ongoing development, implementation and assessment of academic programs, provides support for faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, develops structures to ensure student success and increase enrollment, and sets a clear vision for the growth and success of the School.

The Director is responsible for general oversight of the faculty, staff, and facilities assigned to the programs housed within the school.


Serves as primary administrator for the School of Psychology, Sociology and Rural Studies.
Collaborates with the dean, associate dean, and other school directors within the college to elevate the overall standing of the college and its schools.
Provides leadership throughout the School to ensure that programs and degrees align and meet the School’s mission, vision and goals.
Collaborates with the dean, the college’s development director, and foundation personnel to cultivate and steward relationships with alumni, donors and other external stakeholders in pursuit of the college’s and the university’s fundraising priorities.
Provides leadership to strengthen existing programs and ensure their success, including strategic management of financial resources, careful oversight of course schedules, course topics, instructor assignments, methods of instruction and locations; attention to the assessment of student learning as well as the evaluation of program effectiveness; and regular review of the curriculum for currency with disciplinary standards and best practices and alignment with established learning outcomes.
Mentors faculty to achieve success in teaching, research and scholarship, and service/shared governance.
Completes faculty workload and annual review processes fairly, accurately, and on time.
Provides leadership to recruit and retain students in the program and works closely with faculty and advisors to develop programs and initiatives to increase student success.


Sponsorship is not available for this position; must be eligible to work in the United States. 
Earned Ph.D. in Psychology, Sociology, or a closely related field and a strong record of peer-reviewed publication and teaching excellence commensurate with appointment as a tenured faculty member as a professor or associate professor.
Documented experience in academic administration or shared governance, such as in the roles of department head or chair, assistant/associate department head or chair, assistant director of an academic unit, chair of a substantial university-wide committee, or similar.
Well-developed collaboration, consensus-building, and leadership skills in a multi-disciplinary context.
A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Effective oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
Effective resource and time management skills.


A strong understanding of student success issues in higher education, especially as they impact diverse student populations.
Evidence of mentoring undergraduate and/or graduate students, as well as faculty.
Experience in assessment and curriculum development.
A record of successful application, management, and execution of external grants.
The motivation and dedication needed to develop and maintain positive relationships with donors, alumni, and the professional community.
Support of and willingness to engage in a variety of instructional modalities, including online and hybrid instruction.


Commensurate with qualifications.


South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave.  Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


Ranked as the No. 2 best place to work in South Dakota by Forbes, South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students.

SDSU offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity, and excellence through continuous improvement.

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is the intellectual and cultural heart of South Dakota State University.  The newly formed School will join our existing schools of American and Global Studies, Communication and Journalism, Design, Performing Arts, and the Ness School of Management and Economics to form a unique administrative structure that supports and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration among both faculty and students. The College is committed to supporting the Land Grant Mission of South Dakota State University.  Our faculty regularly conduct research that directly benefits the people of South Dakota and of our region, with research projects that engage our communities and support their social, cultural, and economic development.

The new School includes degree programs in the fields of Psychology and Sociology, both of which are available as both on campus or fully online degrees. A proposed undergraduate degree in Criminology is pending approval before the South Dakota Board of Regents. In addition, the School participates in an interdisciplinary, multi-institution online master’s degree program in Community Development through the Great Plains IDEA Partnership and administers the Rural Life and Census Data Center. The School, which has 15 full-time faculty members and approximately 600 undergraduate majors, has significant opportunity for future growth. Student success and advising efforts in the School are supported by a Professional Staff Advisor, who works under the leadership of the college’s Advising and Retention Coordinator and in collaboration with the campus’ First Year Advising Center.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of the university is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

SDSU was recognized as one of 54 institutions in the United States as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in 2014. The university’s total research expenditures are greater than $60 million. SDSU is the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. Livability.com rates Brookings as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees. It considers Brookings among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school and a high school.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by February 1, 2021. 


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit:  https://yourfuture.sdbor.edu, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.”  This system will guide you through the electronic application form.  This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, Curriculum Vitae, and reference page with the contact information for three professional references.  Email applications will not be accepted.  Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process.

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.  

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. 

It is the policy of the University to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14.

For questions on the position, or to nominate someone for the position, contact Search Chair, Pat Crawford at 605-688-4103 or Patricia.Crawford@sdstate.edu


Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Lynn Sargeant at 605-688-4723 or Lynn.Sargeant@sdstate.edu

South Dakota State University is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its faculty, staff and students.  Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing HR@sdstate.edu. SDSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, gender, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected class in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities.  Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact:  Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD  57007.  Phone:  (605) 688-4128.

To apply for this job please visit yourfuture.sdbor.edu.