Head, Department of Electrical Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University College of Engineering seeks a visionary and inclusive leader who is deeply committed to collaboration to serve as the next head of the Department of Electrical Engineering. Applications, inquiries, and nominations are invited.

The Penn State Department of Electrical Engineering (EE) was established in 1893 and is one of the oldest electrical engineering programs in the nation. The department is one of two departments that comprise the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science within the highly ranked Penn State College of Engineering. The School was created in 2015 to foster collaboration between the two departments and ease the way for students to pursue coursework across the disciplines. As such, the director of the School and the heads of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering departments work together closely to advance the vision and goals of the School and fully realize the synergies between the two departments.

The EE Department is recognized for its excellent undergraduate and graduate programs that engage students in the department’s vibrant interdisciplinary research program. Approximately 450 undergraduate students (juniors and seniors) and 240 graduate students are pursuing EE degrees. The department is home to 44 faculty who work collaboratively across engineering disciplines, throughout the University, and with industry professionals, to push the frontiers of innovation. Among its many areas of expertise, the Department has distinctive strength in electronic and photonic materials and devices, signal and image processing, and applied electromagnetics as well as in circuit theory, communication/networks, and machine learning (ML) and AI.

Under the leadership of Dean Justin Schwartz, the College has outlined a bold vision for the future emphasizing impact on society and embracing the challenges facing humankind, redefining multidisciplinary activity, and engaging globally. The College’s priorities include expanding research and graduate education, taking a national leadership role on equity and inclusion, and implementing a new master plan for buildings and infrastructure. The EE head, as a member of the College’s leadership team, will play a critical role in the realization of the College’s vision.

Reporting to the director of the School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and the dean of the College of Engineering, the head is responsible for visioning, strategic planning, operations, finances, faculty affairs, academic and research programs, external relations, and fundraising in support of the department’s aspirations. The next head will develop a vision for the future of the department grounded in the fundamentals while capitalizing on emerging new areas of relevance in the field; evolve the curriculum; advance diversity, equity, and inclusion; recruit, develop and retain faculty and staff; nurture and develop collaborative relationships within the School and across the College, University and Commonwealth campuses; conduct long-range planning and advocate for the Department; and enhance the visibility, brand, and reputation of EE. The new head will support and nurture an environment where creativity and innovation thrive. 

In achieving these objectives, the next head must be a collaborative and inclusive leader and possess the leadership skills, strategic thinking, and creative spirit to advance the department. Additional essential qualifications include successful administrative experience in a university, industry or governmental research environment, a strong record of advancing equity and inclusion, the communication and interpersonal skills and deep intellectual curiosity to engage and support a diverse set of programs, and a strong record of forging collaborative partnerships. The new head must possess the scholarly record required to merit a tenured appointment as a full professor in the College.

Penn State is a public, land grant, research-intensive university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, the University has a threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Annual enrollment at its 24 campuses totals more than 100,000 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes outlined in the leadership profile, which can be found at www.wittkieffer.com. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by February 21, 2022. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Suzanne Teer and Jessica Herrington at [email protected]

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.


Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Apply Here: https://spiecareercenter.org/jobs/5377122