Academic Director and Global Master Chair (Open Rank) at the School for International Training (SIT)
The appointment will commence on July 1, 2022.
Location: Stone Town, Zanzibar with short stays in Iceland in fall semesters
Reports to: Academic Dean
School for International (SIT) invites applications for a full-time faculty position in the area of environmental science and natural resource management with a focus on coastal ecology and sustainability studies. The successful applicant will serve as the Academic Director for SIT’s undergraduate program Tanzania: Zanzibar Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management based in Stone Town in Zanzibar, and Chair of its Global Master degree in Climate Change and Global Sustainability based in Iceland and Zanzibar. The applicant will be responsible for teaching, advising, and mentoring on the undergraduate and graduate programs and will engage in research and innovative practice.
The successful candidate must have a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching, a rich personal experience in Tanzania-Zanzibar and East Africa, and clearly articulated research interests. We are interested in applicants with a scholarly focus on human-environment interaction and the impacts of climate change on human and environmental habitats. Commitment to a social and environmental justice agenda is a must, with particular attention to racialized and minoritized learners. The successful applicant will continue the programs’ tradition of rich experiential learning and student academic development.
SIT Academic Directors and Global Master Chairs manage SIT’s programs located in 42 countries worldwide. The program themes vary from development and social change to arts, environmental studies, post-conflict transformation, health, and human rights. All SIT programs emphasize experiential learning and field study while examining critical global issues in keeping with the broader organizational mission of peace and social justice. SIT’s educational model focuses on cultural immersion as its primary heuristic component and uses theories of experiential education to inform its curricula and augment student learning. The academic centerpiece of most SIT semester undergraduate programs is the independent study project. This component weaves together theory and practice and synthesizes the other program coursework.
The Academic Director and Chair are responsible for:
• planning, delivery, and supervision of the academic program offered by SIT at its assigned program location
• ensuring program academic excellence and facilitating student learning experience in a safe environment
• Managing the program site and supervision of local staff, budget planning and oversight, and financial reporting
• Exploring and negotiating housing arrangements for students for the forthcoming academic year in collaboration with program leadership team members
• representing SIT in the program location and developing and maintaining positive relationships with local partners
The Academic Director and Chair must remain current in their areas of expertise and familiar with in-country issues and practices in higher education. When required by local law, the Academic Director will have a local employment contract. The position is full-time for the entire contract period.
1. Academic Management
• General management, implementation, and delivery of the undergraduate program;
• Curriculum development and academic oversight;
• Advising in matters regarding academic program delivery and scheduling;
• Organizing and delivering the students’ initial cross-cultural orientation and components of the thematic and research methods courses, in their areas of expertise, as appropriate;
• Where appropriate and in consultation with the Academic Dean, teach one or more of the academic components;
• Designing and coordinating a fully-integrated educational experience to facilitate student learning through classroom sessions, language instruction, field-based activities, and homestays. Facilitating the linkages between and among each of these various components;
• Where applicable, working with the language coordinator and language instructors to ensure the highest quality, field-based language instruction;
• Generally guiding and advising students in both their cross-cultural learning processes and academic experiences – thus serving as an educator/teacher in the broadest sense by assisting students to draw substantive connections from among different aspects of the experience;
• Conducting the program review and academic evaluation at the end of the program and, in programs with an independent study project or internship experience, submitting a narrative evaluation of the student’s work/experience.
2. Program Management
• Managing program administration and operations in compliance with local laws and regulations;
• Negotiating cost-effective program services and managing the program budget in collaboration with the Head of Global Operations;
• Making recruitment and termination decisions for local program staff in collaboration with the Academic Dean and SIT Vermont Human Resources office;
• Supervising local program staff, including mentoring, training, and regular performance evaluations;
• Maintaining regular communication with the headquarters of SIT in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA and submitting detailed, timely reports, as required;
• Facilitating a constructive relationship between SIT students and host country nationals and program partners;
• Negotiating and maintaining updated agreements with local partner organizations;
• Participating, when requested, in the writing and editing of program materials, advertising materials, catalog copy, country information;
• Submitting timely program financial reports
3. Student Health and Safety
• Providing student support for medical, personal, and security issues in collaboration with the Student Affairs division, the supervising Dean, and local staff.
• Maintaining up-to-date program contingency plans, based on current and reliable information concerning health and safety risks of the local environment.
• Communicating emergency procedures and protocols to student participants, program staff, homestay families.
• Providing culturally appropriate strategies and advice to maximize safety and well-being.
4. Additional Duties
The Chair of the Global Master in Climate Change and Global Sustainability will, in addition to all above-mentioned duties:
• Establish program curriculum in collaboration with program team leadership member(s)
• Compose academic guidebooks
• Select and supervise program faculty and staff (non-teaching) in collaboration with the Associate Dean of the Graduate Institute and the Dean of Faculty
• Interface effectively, and in a timely manner, with SIT library about online delivery technology and course reading materials
• Plan and facilitate safe and academically effective site visits in collaboration with program leadership team members(s), faculty, and in-country partners
• Facilitate student professional development activities with SIT Graduate Institute
• Liaise with appropriate partners (e.g. program Co-Chair or program Practicum Facilitator) to ensure quality advisors, student practicums, and student capstone projects
• Facilitate curriculum changes to the degree in conjunction with faculty and Dean
5. Other duties as assigned.
The nature of the Academic Director’s job is such that Academic Directors and Program Chairs may be called during irregular hours to deal with emergencies.
• Terminal degree (PhD) in Ecology, Natural Resource Management, sustainability studies, or a related field.
• Academic and practical knowledge of the region with advanced proficiency in English
• Eligibility to work in Tanzania.
• College teaching and experience with U.S. undergraduates are strongly desirable.
• The successful candidate must be attuned to the educational philosophy and expectations of SIT and possess both committed to academic excellence and the personal leadership qualities required by the programs. Among the latter are cultural sensitivity and adaptability; intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for the challenge; tact and diplomacy in working with host nationals and US students; organizational ability; budget management skills; and computer literacy.
• Effective communication skills.
• Proven ability to be flexible, collaborative, and patient plus a sense of humor.
• Proficiency in Swahili
• Experience teaching on a graduate program
Please visit http://www.worldlearning.org/employment/ and apply via the online application system by uploading your letter of interest, as well as a CV (including the contact information of three academic references).
April 6, 2022, or until filled.
Why World Learning Inc./SIT
For almost 90 years, World Learning Inc. has worked to create a more peaceful, sustainable, and just world. Our education, development, and exchange programs help people find their voices, connect with their communities, and strengthen the institutions that form the backbone of a democratic society. With our support, these educators and emerging leaders tackle critical global issues like poverty, conflict, inequality, and non-egalitarian education.
As a thriving international nonprofit organization with impact in 150 countries, World Learning works across six major program areas. The School for International Training (SIT), a NECHE accredited institution of higher education, offers graduate and undergraduate level degrees and programs to more than 2,000 students each year. SIT offers accredited, experiential programs—including undergraduate study abroad and virtual programs on all seven continents and global master’s degrees—that address today’s most critical issues.
The School for International Training is a member of the World Learning Inc. family, which also includes The Experiment in International Living and World Learning.
World Learning is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action/veterans/ADA employer, committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce with rich cross-cultural experience.