Director, Native American and Indigenous Studies Initaitive

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Providence, RHODE ISLAND

Brown University seeks an accomplished scholar to serve as the inaugural Director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative. The Initiative was established in 2016 to integrate the strong constellation of interest in Native American and Indigenous Studies among faculty in many departments, the exceptional array of resources for research and study, outstanding student organizations, and the prominence of Native American nations and Indigenous communities in the region.  The Initiative will contribute to the Brown's goals for greater excellence under the University's Building on Distinction strategic plan and Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP), and is envisioned as a first stage on the path to establishing a program or center. The Director of the Initiative will articulate and advance a vision for excellence in Native American and Indigenous Studies and oversee significant resources to support that goal. He or she will be a tenured member of the Brown faculty and work extensively with faculty and students across the University.

Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown

The Initiative is an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students committed to teaching and research that explores, and increases the understanding of, the cultural traditions and political experiences of Indigenous Peoples through historical and contemporary lenses. The Initiative currently includes 22 faculty members and three postdoctoral fellows in a wide range of programs, including American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Environmental Studies, History, Linguistics, Religion, Music, and Theater and Performance Studies, as well as the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and the John Carter Brown Library.  Courses currently offered by Initiative-affiliated faculty explore American Indian historic and contemporary lifeways; the history of contact between European and Native peoples; environmental health and research in Native communities; historic and contemporary peoples of Central and South America; Indigenous knowledge and the sciences; and Native American religion, literature, and media.

The Director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative

With an initial appointment of five years, renewable, the Director will provide overall leadership and vision for the NAIS Initiative and direct its programs and staff.  The Director will be the Initiative's principal liaison to and advocate with senior University leadership, heads of departments and other academic units, faculty, Advancement, and alumni. Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty and supported by a representative governing structure as well as staff assistance, the director will oversee the development of an NAIS curriculum and programming to support faculty and student research, build connections with other campus institutes and centers with related interests, develop multi-year plans, allocate funding, and coordinate NAIS-related events and activities across campus.  The Director will be the Initiative's most public presence, representing the Initiative in national and international conferences, faculty and student recruitment efforts, and in the media.  The Director will coordinate with the Native American student groups and serve as a mentor for their interests. The Director will give leadership to building and facilitating cooperative relationships with Native American tribes and Indigenous communities in the region and beyond.  

In seeking outstanding candidates to lead the Initiative on a continued growth trajectory, the University will give greatest consideration to the following attributes and qualifications:

1. Academic Accomplishment

Because the Director will be actively engaged in faculty recruitment, evaluation, promotion, and retention in a home department, and is responsible for the quality of the various research and teaching programs housed within the Institute, he or she should have a strong scholarly record appropriate for a tenured faculty appointment (Associate or Full Professor). 

2. Record of Community Engagement.

The Director's record should demonstrate an appreciation of the important role of community engagement in informing Native American and Indigenous Studies. The Director should have experience working with Native American nations and Indigenous communities through his/her research, teaching, and/or service. 

3. Administrative Experience/Leadership Style

As the Initiative continues to develop, the Director must be capable of managing a growing organization with many different stakeholders (faculty, staff, students, administrators, donors, local tribal nations, etc.). Key qualifications for this position include a demonstrated record of successful fundraising, program development, faculty recruitment, and organizational management, and a leadership style that is both inclusive and collaborative.

4. Vision and Strategy

The Initiative was launched following a robust and participatory planning process and has the goal of becoming one of the leading centers for Native American and Indigenous Studies in the country.  While maintaining continuity with the broad direction of the plan will be important, the next Director will also be expected to advance his/her own vision for realizing the University's ambitions for the Initiative.

Applicants sould submit a letter of interest and current CV.  An interdisciplinary search committee of faculty members chaired by the Dean of the Faculty will begin reviewing applications immediately, with fullest consideration given to those received before December 16, 2016.  Please direct inquiries to Deputy Provost Joseph Meisel at .

Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.

Internal Number: 39316
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