003755-2017 - Chair of the Department of Theatre


Chair of the Department of Theatre, tenured position at the rank of Associate or Full Professor; 12-month contract, 3-year term/renewable as chair; appointment begins July 1, 2018.


Commensurate with rank and years of experience


Reporting to the Head of the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts, the Chair of The Department of Theatre administers the academic programs and serves as the producer of mainstage and workshop productions. Administrative responsibilities include coordinating curricular development; strategic planning; staff supervision; advocacy; outreach and recruitment; alumni, audience and donor relations; resource management; facility oversight, and service activities while demonstrating a commitment to excellence in teaching. The Chair should understand the needs of the undergraduate and graduate programs and will bring a collaborative approach and a commitment to honest and transparent communication.


Required qualifications are a terminal degree (MFA or PhD) in theatre or related field, professional experience in the theatre, prior administrative and teaching experience at the university level, and a record of artistic and/or scholarly endeavors that meets the University’s standards for a tenured appointment at the rank of Full or Associate Professor. Preference will be given to candidates with a strong record of administrative leadership, producing experience, and the ability to lead a program through a rapidly changing 21st century. The successful candidate will bring appreciation and respect for the unique contributions of members of the theatre department and be committed to fostering diversity, inclusion, and intercultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. Any teaching responsibilities will be based on the candidate’s areas of expertise and should complement the current programs at Purdue.

The preferred candidate will have demonstrated experience:

  • Providing dynamic leadership as the public face of a theatre program
  • Building meaningful relationships with theatre patrons, supporters, and donors
  • Marketing theatre programs, both within the university and in the larger community
  • Collaborating on projects outside of a theatre department or theatre company
  • Supporting and producing new works
  • Advocating for the value and contribution of the performing arts across all disciplines
  • Cultivating face-to-face relationships in academic and local communities
  • Strategizing and visualizing the promotion of theatre programs
  • Recruiting on national and international levels


The Department of Theatre is one of four academic units (including Art & Design, Dance, and Music) in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. The Department of Theatre has more than 100 undergraduate theatre students (majors and minors), 21 graduate students, 10 full-time faculty, and 7 staff. The Department is housed in Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts (2006). Purdue University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and is a member of the University/Resident Theatre Association.


Purdue University’s Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement. Candidates should address at least one of these areas in their cover letter, indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.

Send letter of application, resume, and three current letters of recommendation to:

                                      Heather Philhower, Secretary



The preferential deadline is Monday, November 16th, 2017. Screening will continue until the position is filled.

Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.


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