Chair, Physical Therapy Department

  • Virginia Commonwealth University, College of Health Professions
  • Richmond, VA, USA
  • Oct 27, 2020
Full time   Health Sciences, OT, PT, Kinesiology

Job Description


Mission or Goal of Unit:

Based in Richmond, Virginia, the Department of Physical Therapy has led the way in advancing physical therapy education since it was founded in 1931. It offers programs leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree as well as programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree, in conjunction with the VCU Schools of Medicine and Education. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program ranks in the top 8 percent of the 200 plus U.S. programs according to U.S. News & World Report. In addition to the leadership in physical therapy education, the department has a long history of research excellence. Many of its faculty are active in conducting cutting edge research that addresses critical health issues.

The Department of Physical Therapy sits within the College of Health Professions (CHP). CHP recently marked its 50th anniversary with the opening of a state-of-the-art 154,000 square feet, eight level, LEED Silver certified building. Reporting to the Dean of the College of Health Professions, the next Chair will foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, and equity in one of the top programs in the country. The Chair will champion innovation at every turn, leading a curricular review to ensure that VCU continues to produce the next generation of physical therapy leaders. The next Chair will be charged with expanding enrollment, recruiting and retaining a diverse and talented faculty and staff, overseeing residency programs, and engaging with a large and successful alumni base. The Chair will be in a strong position to support faculty scholarship, facilitate collaborations within the College of Health Professions and with health centers and community groups, and to provide new opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.


Chief Purpose of this position in support of above mission or goal:


Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) seeks a visionary and transformative leader to be the next Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Health Professions. The successful candidate will grow a strong and diverse Department by anticipating the changes in physical therapy and providing the tools needed to succeed in a dynamic environment. The Department of Physical Therapy serves the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation by providing educational programs related to physical therapy. The department provides an environment that encourages education through problem solving, free inquiry, professional behavior. and scholarship. The department’s primary focus is to prepare individuals for general physical therapy practice. These practitioners are educated to serve as an entry point into the health care system for consumers. Post-professional programs provide quality education leading to careers in teaching and research. The department also provides assistance and services to the community and engages in research and scholarly activities related to the practice of physical therapy.


This role is a full time 12-month faculty position. Salary, tenure, and rank will be commensurate with qualifications.


The Chair of Physical Therapy ensures the long-term viability, growth, and quality of the Department’s programs. As a member of the College’s Executive Leadership Committee, the Chair collaborates with the Dean’s Office and other Department Chairs to promote the mission of the College throughout the University and the healthcare industry. The position serves as a key adviser to the Dean on all issues related to the governance and direction of the College. The incumbent will be responsible for managing and directing discretionary funds, serving as a strategic partner for the Dean as well as playing an active role in fundraising and external relations. Additional responsibilities include the following:



  • Teaches doctoral level courses in Physical Therapy, in both on-line and on-campus formats.



  • Has a well-developed scholarly research portfolio with evidence of multi-disciplinary applications and external funding appropriate to complement and expand existing expertise in the Department.



  • Serves on university, community, and professional committees.



  • Supervises a thriving residence program.


Other (for instance administrative duties)

  • Ensures effective governance and management of the Department in accordance with procedures of the College of Health Professions and Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Ensures acquisition of funds and human resources to support Department’s programs and functions through justification of University funds and procurement of external support.
  • Ensures efficient and effective functioning and internal communication within the Department.
  • Ensures effective management of Department resources.
  • Ensures management of physical therapy program planning and curriculum development, revision and integration of new topic areas.
  • Ensures and maintains the quality and currency of the educational programs.
  • Ensures faculty development, accountability, and opportunities for professional growth as well as establishment of productivity measures and faculty evaluation criteria/norms.
  • Develops and maintains an acceptable balance of faculty teaching, research and scholarly activities based on the resources of the Department.
  • Development of continuing education opportunities as needed.
  • Preparation of periodic reports concerning departmental activities, progress, and achievements of the Department for the Office of the Dean or University officials.
  • Promotes student recruitment and engagement as well as development of technology to support student learning.
  • Ensures effective recruitment and advisement programs are established for prospective and current students.
  • Assures the maintenance of accreditation, quality, and currency of the educational programs.
  • Maintains a strong development and fundraising program with alumni and the community as well as state and national professional organizations in collaboration with the Dean’s Office.
  • Ensures Department responsiveness to its various constituencies including students, alumni, preceptors, and potential employers.
  • Promotes a strong Department image through faculty participation in national organizations as well as scholarly publication and research and connection to practitioners.
  • Promotes faculty and staff collaboration and morale.
  • Assumes teaching, research, and service activities in keeping with responsibilities of a Department faculty member.
  • Performs other duties as related to the operation of the Department.

Preferred and Required Qualifications

Required Qualifications:


  • A PhD or terminal degree from an accredited institution in Physical Therapy or a closely related discipline
  • A proven record of teaching, scholarly productivity, and service
  • Extensive administrative leadership experience in the healthcare industry, higher education, and/or public service
  • A fierce commitment to diversity and inclusion, including demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU
  • Significant evidence of supporting students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds
  • A demonstrated record of success to ensure the Department’s national reputation for educating physical therapy professionals and researchers
  • Experience guiding organizational change and growth
  • An ability to define and articulate a compelling vision that engages faculty, staff, students, partners, and alumni
  • Demonstrated managerial, business and financial acumen
  • An interest in fundraising and outreach
  • A strong dedication to collaboration and interprofessional development
  • Experience in the recruitment and development of excellent faculty, staff, and students
  • An entrepreneurial, creative, innovative and driven spirit


Preferred Qualifications:


  • Be eligible for tenure and Professor Rank
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching
  • Demonstrated commitment to community service
  • Demonstrated research and scholarly achievement which is recognized in national and professional circles
  • Demonstrated leadership in state or national professional organization

Application Details

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Application Deadline

Open until filled