Department Chair - Physical Therapy & Athletic Training

  • Northern Arizona University
  • Flagstaff, AZ, USA
  • Mar 09, 2022
Full time Health Sciences/OT/PT/Kinesiology

Job Description



Department Chair - Physical Therapy & Athletic Training

Job ID

Physical Thrpy & Athletic Trng

Full/Part Time


Workplace Culture

NAU is a community devoted to student success and sustained by an unshakable commitment to our shared mission, vision, and values. We—faculty, staff, and administrators—thrive by combining our efforts and working side by side to further NAU's culture of excellence.


Northern Arizona University (NAU) and its College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) invites applications and nominations for the position of Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training (PT & AT). This is a unique opportunty to lead and grow innovative, nationally ranked programs during a time of unprecedented financial investment in Arizona's healthcare workforce through the New Economy Initiative .

This is a 12-month, tenured position at the rank of associate or full professor. The successful candidate will operate primarily out of either the Flagstaff Mountain or Phoenix Biomedical Campus, although a majority of responsibilities are necessary in Flagstaff. The expected start date is July 1, 2022 or sooner dependent on the successful candidate's availability.


The Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training includes a Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs in Flagstaff and Phoenix. The DPT program in Phoenix is housed along with the departments of Occupational Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies in the $187 million, 268,000 sq. ft. Health Sciences Education Building in the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus. This campus also houses the recently-expanded University of Arizona Medical School as well as the UA College of Pharmacy and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

The chair supervises 10 tenured/tenure track, 13 non-tenure track faculty and reports to the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. There are approximately 400 students enrolled in the department's programs. The successful candidate can be physically located in either Flagstaff or Phoenix with the expectation to balance visibility and advocacy for programs at both sites.

The department's research is largely directed to three areas of research 1) Health service research, 2) Musculoskeletal and Sports Science, and 3) Neuromotor. Department of PT/AT faculty generated $2.M in extramural funding in 2018-21, including from federal sources such as NIH and HRSA.

Learn more about Physical Therapy and Athletic Training programs which are located in Flagstaff and at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

Job Description

NAU is seeking a proven leader to serve as Chair of the highly regarded Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training. This department offers two fully accredited and nationally ranked programs. This includes the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs located at both the Flagstaff Mountain and Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

Reporting to the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services, the Department Chair is responsible for the vision, leadership, and administration of the DPT and MSAT programs. This entails ensuring a culture that supports a rich educational environment, the advancement of research, service to the university and community, and the enhancement of clinical practice programs. Responsibilities include but are not limited to faculty and staff development and evaluation, fiscal planning, and maintaining accreditation. The successful candidate must have a record sufficient for appointment as a tenured full or associate professor according to NAU's department of PTAT standards for promotion and tenure. Salary and rank are commensurate with experience and qualifications.


The next Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training will have the opportunity to lead key initiatives, including:

• Directly support and facilitate PTAT program growth to meet needs for health care providers in Arizona and beyond. Multiple new funding initiatives are immediately available to support this growth.
• Specifically work to recruit high performing students from rural and underserved areas that are prepared upon graduation to meet the unique health care needs of rural and underserved communities.
• Support faculty success in all areas of responsibility (Teaching, Service, and Research). In the area of research support, foster a collaborative environment that supports extramural success (e.g. NIH funding) and values scholarship of teaching and learning.

General Information


The mission of the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) is to prepare students to become, and remain, excellent health professionals. The college aims to facilitate high quality learning and education, to advance knowledge and practice in the health professions, and to provide service to improve the health and well-being of the communities served, particularly Arizona residents, Native Americans and individuals considered disadvantaged.

With over 4,800 students and 150 faculty members, the CHHS is NAU's third largest college and serves as home to a diverse set of academic programs, highly engaged faculty, and motivated undergraduate and graduate students. CHHS has experienced the fastest rate of growth amongst the University's colleges and over the past several years the number of degree seeking students has more than tripled in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Our programs are offered throughout the state of Arizona and the country, and we serve students using online and face-to-face modalities. Thirteen (13) of our programs are accredited by their national governing bodies, and our students provide over 539,132 hours per year to the underserved. The College offers programs at multiple locations including: NAU's main campus in Flagstaff, the state-of-the-art Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson, and the Navajo Nation. In all, the College offers sixteen baccalaureate and five clinical graduate degree programs. In addition, the College offers online programs in Nursing, dental hygiene degree completion, public health, speech-science and technology, and multiple allied health degree options. The CHHS is comprised of the following units:

• School of Nursing (Flagstaff, Yuma, Tucson, Navajo Nation)
• Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (Flagstaff)
• Department of Dental Hygiene (Flagstaff)
• Department of Health Sciences (Flagstaff)
• Department of Occupational Therapy (Phoenix)
• Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training (Flagstaff, Phoenix)
• Department of Physician Assistant Studies (Phoenix)


Northern Arizona University rests on a student-first foundation. This was true when we opened our doors more than 120 years ago, and it's true now. The traditions and values of our past inform the innovations helping us shape the future.

Founded in 1899, Northern Arizona University (NAU) began as a teachers college, and its commitment to building a better tomorrow through education remains a high priority. Students, mentored by faculty members renowned in their fields, are at the center of all the university's institutional efforts. In the classroom and online, through hands-on experiences in an unparalleled learning environment, and with the NAU community cheering them on, students discover and hone their ambitions. NAU's academic programs, research, public service, and creative endeavors enrich lives and create opportunities in Arizona and beyond. The institution's mission is focused on developing solutions to challenges and driving innovation in a supportive, inclusive, and diverse environment.

NAU has maintained boundless growth in its student population, research endeavors, and creative scholarship since its inception. Today, the institution serves almost 29,000 students through multiple offerings: the traditional college experience on a scenic campus, situated in Flagstaff's remarkable landscape at the base of the San Francisco Peaks; the convenience of attending classes at one of more than 20 locations across the state, providing flexibility and accessibility; or an award-winning online experience where students can choose from more than 125 virtual programs. NAU upholds the same high standards of education across all locations and delivery options.

Seven academic colleges, along with the Honors, Graduate, and online colleges, together offer numerous programs, including more than 180 undergraduate degrees, 125 graduate degrees, and 90+ undergraduate and graduate certificates in a wide variety of disciplines, including the social sciences, humanities, education, engineering, natural sciences, business, and more.

Additional NAU attributes include:

• 15 Division I sports teams
• #1 best school in Arizona and #7 in the nation for veterans
• #3 best online college in Arizona
• #6 most diverse college in Arizona
• #144 top public school in the US
• #191 in national research rankings with an FY19 performance of $58.91 million
• Top 3 for excellence in delivering virtual student services
• Best master's in communication for documentary studies nationwide
• Best online communication program in the Southwest
• #2 best online psychology degree program
• #7 best online social work degree program

The institution has a long history of increasing diversity and inclusion. University diversity commissions, individuals, and departments have dedicated countless hours to related education, programming, and initiatives. The formal long-term diversity strategic planning process, through which the current Diversity Strategic Plan (DSP) has evolved, began in early 2016. The current DSP provides for immediate action and lays a strong foundation for continuous improvement and implementation over the long term. NAU aims to become a True Diversity University, positioning attention and resources around diversity, inclusion, and a culturally competent environment for all, with particular attention to underrepresented, marginalized, and underserved groups in higher education. The DSP aligns with the University Strategic Plan (USP) that, in turn, aligns with the Arizona Board of Regents Strategic Plan, "Impact Arizona." It is intended to be a living, evolving document.

In June 2021, Dr. José Luis Cruz Rivera took office as the17th president of the institution following a national search. Dr. Cruz Rivera is dedicated to expanding access to education and improving educational outcomes for all students—especially those who have historically been underserved. NAU has received external recognition for its diversity initiatives, and the composition of NAU's student body reflects the university's support for historically underserved students:

• 46% of NAU students are the first in their family to attend college
• 25% of NAU undergraduates identify as Hispanic
• NAU meets US Department of Education Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) criteria and has earned recognition from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
• NAU is in the top 10 producers of bachelor's degrees for Native American students nationwide
• Members of 113 Native American tribes are among the NAU student body


Academic Search is assisting Northern Arizona University in this search. Nominators and prospective candidates may arrange a confidential conversation about this exciting opportunity with senior consultant Maria Thompson at

NAU affirms the importance and critical need for diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in higher education and we seek to hire individuals with a strong commitment to DEIJ in their professional endeavors. We are committed to our shared mission, vision, and values. We—faculty, staff, and administrators—thrive by combining our efforts and working side by side to further NAU's culture of excellence. NAU is committed to enhancing campus diversity and creating a more inclusive and diverse institution.Northern Arizona University has a student population of 29,569, including approximately 21,000 on its main campus in Flagstaff and the remainder at more than 20 locations statewide and online.

Committed to a diverse and civil working and learning environment, NAU has earned a solid reputation as a university with all the features of a large institution but with a personal touch. NAU carefully balances teaching, scholarship and service with a faculty and staff dedicated to each student's success. All faculty members are expected to promote student learning and help students achieve academic outcomes. For information about diversity, access and equity at NAU, see the Center for University Access and Inclusion webpage.

While our emphasis is undergraduate education, we offer a wide range of graduate programs and research that extend to such national concerns as forest health and bioterrorism. Our institution has carefully integrated on-campus education with distance learning, forming seamless avenues for students to earn degrees.

Flagstaff has a population of about 70,000, rich in cultural diversity. Located at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff is 140 miles north of Phoenix at the intersection of Interstate 17 and Interstate 40.

With its elevation of 7,000 feet and four-season climate, Flagstaff is ideal for year-round outdoor activities. Nearby attractions include the Grand Canyon, Lowell Observatory, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Monument Valley, Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater, and Arizona Snowbowl.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

As of 12/10/21, the Safer Federal Workforce employee vaccination requirement is currently suspended pending the outcome of a federal court-issued injunction. This injunction has suspended the recent executive order issued by President Biden requiring all employees of federal contractors to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. For current status of the vaccine requirement and/or questions, please visit FAQs for Employee Vaccination Requirement.

Background Information

This position has been identified as a safety/security sensitive position. Therefore, per AZ Revised Statute, Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, employment history investigation, degree verification (in some cases) and fingerprinting. If you are applying for a job that requires a CDL, you will be required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse and adhere to the clearinghouse requirements. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


Commensurate with experience.


This is an Administrative Faculty (ADF) position. NAU offers an excellent benefit package including generous health, dental and vision insurance; participation in the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP); 22 days of vacation, sick leave accruals, and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page. Administrative Faculty are hired on a contract basis, renewable annually according to the terms of offer. Upon completion of the administrative assignment, employees will return to the faculty role, renewable according to the Conditions of Faculty Service. Academic year (9 month) faculty do not accrue vacation. Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU's BCBS Plan). Employees will have 31 days from date of hire to enroll in benefits, and their benefits will then be effective the first day of the pay period following their completed enrollment. If a new employee chooses the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) retirement option, participation in the ASRS Plan (and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it) will begin on the first of the pay period following 183 days of employment. New employees who choose to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP; an alternative to the ASRS plan) will begin to participate on the first day of employment. The long-term disability plan that accompanies the ORP will begin on the first day of the pay period following 90 days of employment. More information about NAU benefits is available at the NAU HR benefits page.
NAU is a tobacco and smoke-free campus.

Preferred and Required Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications

For the rank of ASSOCIATE Professor:

  • Eligible for licensure as a PT or AT in the state of Arizona
  • Earned academic doctorate (e.g. PhD, EdD)
  • A minimum of six years of full-time higher education experience
  • Academic track record in education and/or research commensurate for appointment as associate professor at NAU
  • Minimum of 5 years' clinical experience
  • Evidence of a commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity in the workplace and the classroom

For the rank of FULL Professor: (in addition to those for associate)

  • Prior appointment as full professor in department/school and institution comparable to NAU
  • Academic track record in education and/or research commensurate for appointment with tenure as Professor at NAU

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated visionary leadership in PT and/or AT program innovation, development, and delivery centered around excellence in clinical practice
  • Experience in program review, development, and accreditation
  • Academic administrative or program coordinator experience in PT and/or AT
  • Experience at a multi-site institution
  • Experience managing change to advance academic programs
  • Experience building and motivating high-performance teams
  • Evidence of preparing and administering departmental budgets and resources
  • Nationally or internationally recognized leader in scholarship, research, and extramural funding
  • Successful record of facilitating and mentoring faculty in teaching, service, and scholarship
  • Commitment to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community
  • Leadership in PT and/or AT related professional organizations
  • Demonstrated commitment to adopting strategies that are framed through centering justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion perspectives in the workplace and the classroom

Application Details

Submission Deadline

This vacancy will be open until filled or closed. Applications received by March 21, 2022 will be given first consideration.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button at the end of the job description if viewing this position through the NAU HR website. Otherwise, to view the original post and to apply, proceed to, follow the 'Faculty and Administrator Openings' link, locate vacancy 606065, and then "Apply" at the bottom of the page.

Application must include: (1) a cover letter highlighting your particular qualifications for this position; (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) a 1-page statement demonstrating your commitment to DEIJ initiatives; (4) a statement of research interests; and (5) names and contact information for three professional references, including email addresses and a brief note of the candidate's working relationship with each reference. Save all items as PDF and/or Word documents.

If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the HR website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006 or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

To apply:

When inquiring or applying for positions within Northern Arizona University, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and professional and administrative staff employment opportunities at Northern Arizona University and at other institutions of higher education in the region on

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