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Director of Center for African Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Director of Center for African Studies, University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh seeks an accomplished and dynamic scholar to serve as director of its Center for African Studies (https://www.ucis.pitt.edu/africa) beginning August 2024. The mission of CAS is to promote global understanding through support for teaching, learning, and research on Africa. CAS is the most recently established area studies center within the University Center for International Studies (UCIS), which now includes seven area and thematic studies centers, six of which are funded as National Resource Centers by the U.S. Department of Education, including the Center for African Studies. The successful applicant will join the appropriate disciplinary home in one (1) of three (3) schools at the University: the School of Education (Department of Health and Human Development), the School of Computing and Information (Department of Informatics and Networked Systems, Department of Computer Science, and/or Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship), or the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (Department of Africana Studies, Department of History, Department of Political Science, and/or Department of History of Art and Architecture).

Candidates must be leading scholars in their field, holding the tenured rank of associate or full professor or their equivalent in academic systems outside the U.S. and Canada. For the initial six years of their appointment, the individual will serve as director of the CAS and receive a corresponding reduction in teaching and service obligations to their department/school. Unless there is a renewal of that appointment, the successful applicant will resume full-time responsibilities in their home department or school thereafter.

Administrative responsibilities include: developing academic programs; supervision of center staff (all centers have dedicated administrative associate directors); overseeing the implementation of all activities of the center; representing the center and UCIS at activities in various communities (locally, domestically, and abroad); development efforts for the center; guiding strategic grant seeking and application; and supporting the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor for Global Affairs (who also serves as the Director of UCIS). Responsibilities are year-round; it is understood, however, that scholarship and other responsibilities will require the candidate to travel and be absent from campus on occasion.

Successful candidates must hold a Ph.D. or relevant terminal degree with substantial research experience in African Studies. Candidates must also have substantial teaching experience and a proven track record of administrative leadership and experience and of managing colleagues in a productive and collaborative manner. They must also have a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion with highly developed skills in building a collaborative culture that values the strength of differing views and experiences.

We strongly prefer candidates whose work intersects with race and the political and social determinants of equity, health, and well-being, as these research issues align with a commitment by the Provost to invest in building expertise across Pitt’s campus. Successful candidates will demonstrate evidence of scholarly activities that address pressing social issues related to anti-Black and systemic racism within historical and global contexts; of research and teaching that center on transmission and translation of African knowledge traditions, experiences, agency, and creativity; or that examine responses to global challenges to health and well-being through an African lens. Given the diversity of potential disciplinary homes for this position, we invite applications for scholars whose experience also aligns with at least one of the following areas:
• The visual and material cultures of the African continent;
• The histories of African (including African Diasporic) societies;
• Gender, sexuality, and family;
• Popular culture;
• Community-based, community- driven approaches to health and human development and/or issues surrounding power, equity, and justice;
• Responsible data science and artificial intelligence;
• Human-computer interaction, learning sciences and technology;
• Computational social science, and/or social media studies.

The University of Pittsburgh is an urban, state-related institution located in an area with a metropolitan population of approximately 2.3 million. The University is comprised of sixteen schools, four regional campuses outside of Pittsburgh, and four University centers (including UCIS) which serve the entire University community.

Applicants should apply here by November 15, 2023. They will be required to upload the following: a comprehensive C.V.; a letter of interest that outlines their teaching, scholarly, and administrative interests and skills; a one-to-two-page diversity statement, discussing how past, planned, or potential contributions or experiences relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion will advance the University of Pittsburgh’s commitment to inclusive excellence; and the names of three references.


The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled