Simpson College, a private liberal arts institution in Indianola, Iowa (12 miles south of Des Moines), invites applications for a tenure-track position in physics at the rank of Assistant Professor. A PhD in physics or closely related area is expected. The position begins in mid-August 2013.
We seek an enthusiastic and energetic candidate with innovative ideas to grow and strengthen a young physics program. Candidates must be able to teach physics at all levels of the undergraduate physics curriculum including laboratories, as well as courses for general education and courses emphasizing writing skills. The candidate will be expected to participate in the curricular and recruitment efforts of the department, serve on faculty committees, and participate in other all-college events and tasks. Leadership potential in the department and for the college would be a plus.
The successful candidate will be the second physicist in a Chemistry and Physics department of five members. Our program offers majors in Physics and Physics-Engineering (3-2) with about 20 majors total. We have an active SPS club chapter. Our students tend to be interested in hands-on experiences and practical applications of physics and engineering (e.g. materials science, alternative/renewable energy issues, photonics, etc.). Therefore, we especially seek candidates with innovative and demonstrable laboratory and hands-on skills. The candidate must also have strong speaking and writing skills.
The current area of expertise in the department is in optics, lasers, and atomic physics. We hope to find a candidate with expertise in a different but complementary and practical field which would be of general interest to our students. For example, we would be interested in candidates with expertise in experimental Nanoscience or Material Science and the ability to integrate our new atomic force microscope into the curriculum (perhaps as a Nanoscience course). Other fields closely related to physics will receive full consideration.
The candidate will be expected to mentor students in appropriate projects or in a modest student research program in an environment of limited resources. We have many students who take advantage of summer research experiences here at Simpson College and at other institutions (REUs). About two-thirds of our graduates have gone on to graduate school in Physics, Engineering, Materials Science, or other discipline. Grant writing and publication are encouraged but first rate teaching and positive student engagement is the primary requirement for tenure.
The standard teaching load is six courses per year (2 labs = 1 course). Normally the candidate will be assigned to teach a year-long introductory college physics course (either calculus based (Phys 191-192) or algebra/trig based (Phys 151-152)) with respective labs each year, along with intermediate and advanced courses to be determined. Other course assignments may occasionally include a course in our three-week May Term, a Simpson Colloquium course for freshmen (involves writing), or (voluntarily) a travel abroad semester.
Applications should include a cover letter describing the candidate’s interest and qualifications for the position, a current curriculum vita, and at least three letters of recommendation, especially from those who can comment on your potential as a teacher and as a colleague. (Reference letters describing technical details of the candidate’s research or praising the candidate’s research prowess only are of limited value.) Please include in your cover letter, or in separate documents, thoughts on your approach to teaching physics at a liberal arts college, as well as your ideas for involving students in a modest research program.
Review of applications for the position will begin immediately; applications received by December 31 will receive full consideration. Application materials may be sent electronically to Dr. David Olsgaard, Professor of Physics at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to: Physics Search, c/o David Olsgaard, Carver Science, 701 North C St., Indianola, Iowa 50125.
Posting Date: 11/27/12