Apply Now: Tenured Associate/Full Professor and Director and Dean of SCiLL at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Apply Now: Tenured Associate/Full and Director and Dean of the School for Civic Life and Leadership, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seeks to appoint a tenured associate/full professor and director and dean of the new School for Civic Life and Leadership.

In 2023, to fulfill the ‘democratic competencies’ goals of Carolina Next (5.2-3) and in light of the increased pressures and challenges facing our democracy, the Board of Trustees identified the need for degree-oriented programs in the area of Civic Life and Leadership and resolved that the campus accelerate development of a School of Civic Life and Leadership (SCiLL). Subsequently an ad hoc faculty committee refined plans for an interdisciplinary, degree-granting unit within the College of Arts and Sciences.

In September 2023, SCiLL was established by the Provost and an act of the North Carolina General Assembly. In October 2023, the inaugural faculty, representing Communication, English and Comparative Literature, History, Music, Philosophy, Physics and Astronomy, Political Science, and Psychology and Neuroscience Departments within the College, was appointed, and an interim Director and Dean named.

SCiLL will operate as an academic unit within the College of Arts and Sciences and house the existing Program for Public Discourse. The chair of SCiLL will carry the title ‘Director and Dean’ and will report to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. SCiLL will be an interdisciplinary unit with its own tenured faculty, offering courses as well as programs of study. Faculty in SCiLL will be appointed into tenured, tenure-accruing, and term positions as appropriate within the unit and may also hold joint or courtesy appointments with other units at the University.

UNC Chapel Hill is well-positioned to become the national leader among public universities in building capacities for civic life and leadership and confronting the challenges that face our democracy by nurturing future generations of citizen-scholars. The vision for SCiLL is that it will provide a home specifically for the study and practice of public discourse, civic engagement and leadership. SCiLL aspires to leverage Carolina’s disciplinary strengths and establish robust connections with units across the College of Arts and Sciences. Rooted in the American political experience and democracy, SCiLL will fulfill this vision through a proposed fourfold approach:

  1. Public-facing: Model and showcase effective public discourse in a manner that fosters meaningful conversations on campus and beyond. This will involve incorporating the Program for Public Discourse (PPD) into SCiLL, as well as building on PPD’s experience and strengths.
  2. Campus-facing: Offer opportunities for members of the campus community to develop and enhance their civic engagement skills. These skills may include oral presentation, conflict resolution, and navigating challenging conversations.
  3. Student-facing: Develop a curriculum for SCiLL that is fully integrated into the College’s IDEAS in Action general education curriculum. SCiLL’s curriculum will offer students interdisciplinary training in civics, the humanities, and scientific literacy, promoting a culture of reasoned and respectful disagreement, and openness to changing one’s mind.
  4. Faculty and Visiting Scholar focus: Develop faculty scholarship and host a prominent Visiting Fellows program, supporting semester-long conversations on contentious topics. This program will be open to scholars from various backgrounds, both within and outside academia.

A tenured Associate or Full Professor and Director and Dean of SCiLL, reporting to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will play a pivotal role in shaping the School’s academic, intellectual, and administrative direction. Responsibilities include:

  1. collaborating with colleagues to shape the academic mission, vision, curriculum and programs of the school, consistent with the mission of the College and the University’s goal to be a leading global public research university;
  2. increasing the strength and vitality of the school’s educational and scholarly mission by promoting the recruitment and retention of top faculty;
  3. creating a culture that fosters a spirit of cooperation between faculty, staff, and students;
  4. collaborating on development and fundraising initiatives with the College and campus to support teaching, research, and artistic activities;
  5. collaborating in the recruitment, retention, and success of high-caliber students and providing them with superior academic and professional experience;
  6. providing leadership to the faculty of the school, including conducting annual reviews, promoting faculty development and opportunities for success convening and presiding over regular faculty meetings in a culture of transparency and healthy communication;
  7. overseeing and collaborating with leadership and faculty in the Program for Public Discourse; and
  8. actively engaging with the public.


The School of Civic Life and Leadership seeks an academic leader with experience rooted in the liberal arts and sciences. Candidates must have a PhD in a related academic field and a demonstrated record of research and scholarship in a discipline, but also show evidence of interdisciplinary interest and experience.

This position is open to scholars in any discipline. The College seeks a candidate who has demonstrated:

– an intellectual commitment to robust argument and clear communication to a broad audience in their own discipline and beyond;
– a vision for how to guide students through a well-integrated liberal arts curriculum that not only prepares them for a career but also for a life sustained by curiosity, lively debate, shared reflection on profound questions, service to others and our democracy, and relationships across deep difference; and
– an appreciation for the role of the natural sciences and the scientific method of inquiry in civic life.

Preferably, the successful candidate will also possess, a national reputation for scholarship and a demonstrable record of fostering excellence in research, teaching, and service; a broad interdisciplinary scope in accomplished work or teaching; a demonstrated record of collaboration and cooperation across diverse units and negotiating competing objectives in a university environment; a demonstrated administrative experience, a high standard of professional integrity and strong team-building skills; and the ability to effectively articulate the school’s vision and mission to the students, faculty, alumni, and the public.

Application Instructions:

Interested applicants should submit:

  1. a current curriculum vitae;
  2. and a letter of interest that addresses the responsibilities and qualifications described above.

For more information and to apply, click here >>

Priority consideration will be given to materials received by November 15, 2023.



View JMC’s entire list of academic opportunities on the Academic Opportunities page >>



Facebook iconTwitter iconFollow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates about lectures, publications, podcasts, and events related to American political thought, United States history, and the Western tradition!



Want to help the Jack Miller Center transform higher education? Donate today.