Assistant/Associate Professor for Racial, Social, and Environment Justice and Social Work

The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare (KU SSW) is seeking dynamic candidates with experience in racial, social, and/or environmental justice for three faculty hires. We are recruiting for two tenure-track assistant professors and one tenured associate professor to begin Fall 2022 for academic year appointments. Faculty candidates with a Ph.D. in Social Work or related fields with scholarly expertise in racial, social, and/or environmental justice are invited to apply. Three faculty members will be hired and affiliated with the KU SSW Toni Johnson Center for Racial and Social Justice and provided Center funds and resources to facilitate their research and scholarly agendas. Additional collaborative opportunities exist within the community, including Haskell Indian Nations, one of two federally operated tribal universities in the U.S.

Candidates should have a research agenda and experience broadly pertaining to racial, social, and/or environmental justice. We welcome research attending to anti-Blackness and Black liberation; Indigenous communities and Native Sovereignty; Latinx communities and anti-Latinx racism; Asian populations, Sinophobia, and anti-Asian racism. We also embrace research that addresses racial, social, and/or environmental justice through inquiries on climate change, environmental racism, and food insecurity; Disability justice; immigrant and refugee justice and equity; and health disparities, including rural health disparities and aging across intersections of oppression. We welcome all types of research within a social justice-informed, anti-racist or racial justice lens including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods; creative methodologies; community-based and engaged research; conceptual, historical, and theoretical scholarship; and innovative methods. We value and understand that a broad range of methodologies are necessary to impact and affect change in racist and oppressive systems and societies. A history of funding is not a requirement for these positions; we encourage candidates to demonstrate a commitment to supporting their research and scholarship through a variety of funding, community-based partnerships, and other mechanisms.

Faculty candidates should have experience in and/or a desire to teach across the BSW, MSW, and/or PhD programs. As part of our ongoing curriculum innovation process and new course redesigns, we are particularly interested in candidates with experience in teaching macro practice or environmental justice, and incorporating social and racial justice into their teaching, although we welcome candidates with interest across our social work curriculum. Teaching responsibilities include a variety of formats to increase accessibility for students such as evenings, weekend, and at partnership sites.
The KU SSW is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive educational environment for students, faculty, and staff. We also encourage our school community members to engage in practice and research related to racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.  We aim to recruit and retain faculty to assist us in this mission to identify and challenge oppression in our own school, university, community, and profession. The successful candidates will have a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in social work practice and research, centered in social work values and ethics, and contribute to the school in these areas.

As a School of Social Welfare within a comprehensive, premier research university, we continually strive to reinvent, innovate, transform, and educate through quality education, research advancement, and community engagement. The KU School of Social Welfare offers the BSW, MSW, and PhD programs. The main University of Kansas campus is located in Lawrence and offers the BSW, MSW, and PhD plans of study. The satellite campus, the Edwards Campus, is located in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City, and offers the BSW and MSW plans of study. The MSW plans of study are also offered at our partnership site, Pittsburg State University.

Situated in the beautiful, historic, and culturally vibrant city of Lawrence, a thriving community 40 minutes from the Kansas City metropolitan area and home to Haskell Indian Nations University, the School of Social Welfare plays a central role in the life of the University of Kansas. Founded in 1865, The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university that serves as a center for learning, scholarship, and creative endeavor. The University of Kansas is the only state university in Kansas to hold membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), a select group of 62 public and private research universities that represent excellence in graduate and professional education and the highest achievements in research internationally. The University enrolls more than 28,000 students, offers 5,000 courses, more than 400 degree and certificate programs and employs 2,800 faculty members, many of them at the top of their fields. In KU’s dynamic, cross-disciplinary research and learning environment, students exchange ideas, discover new ways of processing the world, and address society’s grand challenges.

In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the university actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education. The successful candidates must be eligible to work in the U.S. prior to the start of the position.

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.  

Contact Information to Candidates:

Amy Mendenhall, PhD

Professor & Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development

Director, Center for Community Engagement & Collaboration



Additional Candidate Instruction:

A complete application package will include:

  • Online application submitted at
  • Cover letter addressing: interest in the position; alignment between their practice, values, and experiences and social work values; commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and anticipated contributions to KU and the SSW.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research and scholarship statement addressing: candidate’s area of expertise/interest related to racial, social, and/or environmental justice; community-engaged nature of the candidate’s work; plans for incorporating their research agenda at KU; and inclusion of DEI in research and scholarship.
  • Teaching, Mentoring, & Advising statement addressing: teaching philosophy with attention to DEI; evidence of responding to student feedback and evaluations; courses taught; interests in teaching at KU; experience with and/or interest in course design; experience mentoring students and pre-tenure faculty (associate/full only).
  • Scholarship examples (one or two) may include: evaluation reports, published articles, theoretical/conceptual papers, community dissemination products, grant proposals, policy briefs, creative/innovative dissemination products, etc.
  • List of three professional references

Only complete application packages submitted online at will be considered. In addition to the materials above, learning about each applicant’s contribution and engagement in areas of diversity is an important part of KU’s mission. As a result, applicants will be presented the following question at the time of application:

  • Describe your experiences working with people from diverse backgrounds and explain how those experiences reflect your commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Review of applications will begin on November 8, 2021 and will continue as needed to collect a pool of qualified applicants. First round interviews are tentatively scheduled to occur during mid-November. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until the positions are filled.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university's programs and activities.  Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy.  The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses:  Executive Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY 9for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).