Department Head of Physics & Astronomy

West Lafayette, Indiana
July 02 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Purdue University’s College of Science invites applications for the role of Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, with the possibility where suitable of an accompanying named and/or distinguished professorship. We seek a recognized researcher with a proven track record of leadership, scholarship, and mentoring. Following a very positive recent external visiting committee review and substantial investment in new hires and facilities, the successful candidate will have a clear plan to continue to increase the visibility, stature, and intellectual leadership of the Department and the College of Science, and will demonstrate a commitment to teaching excellence.

Physics and Astronomy is an interdisciplinary department with more than 50 faculty involved in research spanning most of the broad portfolio of the physics and astronomy subfields.  Recent faculty hiring initiatives in atomic, molecular, and optical physics and in quantum information science have led to exciting new strengths in those areas, as well as the traditional areas of condensed matter, high energy, astrophysics, biological physics, nuclear physics, and physics education. Departmental faculty are also involved in University-wide multidisciplinary research in quantum photonics, nanoscience, and quantitative biosciences. Further information about the Department can be found at and additional materials are available upon request.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of seven departments in the College of Science, with involvement in numerous interdisciplinary programs and centers. Key initiatives of interest to a new head will include university priorities and centers in the data & computational sciences and quantum science & engineering as well as substantial recent investments in the geosciences, life sciences, environmental & atmospheric science, and space sciences & engineering. Further information on the College of Science is available on the website at

Qualifications: The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy, or a related discipline, an outstanding record of scholarly achievement and a history of extramurally funded research commensurate with the rank of full professor at Purdue, exceptional and proven leadership abilities, a vision for the Department in the University, state, and nation, a commitment to excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, a record of teaching achievement, an enthusiasm for engagement, and a dedication to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Applications: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement of research and teaching accomplishments, a vision statement for the future of research and education in the Department, and the names and email addresses of three references who might be contacted later (contingent upon approval of the candidate) after an initial short list of candidates is selected by the Committee.  Applications should be submitted to Inquiries should be directed to Chris Greene, Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Head Search Committee, Review of applications will begin August 28, 2020, and will continue until the position is filled. A background check is required for employment in this position.

Purdue University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement.  Candidates should address at least one of these areas in a separate Diversity and Inclusion Statement, indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.

Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

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