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Ruth Harris Endowed Professorship

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Posting Details

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Position Information

Position Number F04040
Position Type Teaching and Research Faculty
Rank Open
Working Title Ruth Harris Endowed Professorship
School/Unit School of Education
Department SOESpecEd&DP: Dept
Number of Months 9
Tenure Status Tenure Eligible
Grant funded position? No

Position Summary and Qualifications

Mission or Goal of Unit

The mission of the Department of Counseling and Special Education is to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children, youth and adults in our Richmond community through community-engaged research, teaching and service. Our faculty, students, university colleagues, and community partners work together to generate knowledge, investigate effective strategies, disseminate evidence-based practices, advocate for individuals and their families, and promote exemplary programs.

Chief purpose of this position in support of above mission or goal

Teaching, Research and Services related to advancing the mission of the department, and in particular, the Special Education & Disability Policy programs.

Position Responsibilities

Established in 2007 and endowed in 2010, the Ruth Harris Endowed Professorship in Special Education is designed to enhance research in language learning and reading disabilities with a focus on dyslexia. We seek a faculty colleague whose vision will lead focused reading disability research nationally and internationally and who will support the preparation of special educators with knowledge of evidence-based instructional practices.

Broadly, the Harris Professor will:
•Pursue innovative and impactful research focused on reading disabilities and/or dyslexia,
•Teach and advise doctoral- and masters-level students in special education,
•Seek external funding to support new and ongoing research and personnel development,
•Mentor junior faculty in areas of research and grant writing,
•Collaborate with colleagues in community-engaged research across disciplines,
•Provide leadership and community outreach efforts designed to address learning needs of students with reading disabilities and/or dyslexia, increase teacher capacity, and/or support students and families including those living in the greater Richmond area, and
•Participate actively in ongoing university school, and department service activities.

Required Qualifications

•Earned doctorate in special education, reading, or a closely related field
•Well-established research program in reading disabilities and/or dyslexia that reflects innovation and impact
•Evidence of a national reputation for scholarly productivity
•Track record of securing external funding
•Experience in teaching and advising in special education and related fields at the graduate level
•Experience mentoring masters and doctoral students from underrepresented groups
•Experience working with under-served populations in high-need school or community settings.
•An individual with expertise and demonstrated commitment to urban education, social justice, diversity, and challenges impacting the equity of students in underrepresented groups
•Demonstrated commitment to urban education, social justice, diversity, and challenges impacting the equity of students in underrepresented groups
•Demonstrated experience working in fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment, or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU
•A strong record of research, teaching, and service commensurate with tenure in the VCU School of Education Department of Counseling and Special Education.

Preferred Qualifications

•Experience teaching reading to students with dyslexia and/or reading disabilities in PK-12 schools using evidence-based reading materials
•A research agenda related to evidence-based reading interventions for elementary or secondary students with reading disabilities and/or dyslexia
•Evidence of collaboration with research centers and institutes and/or with community agencies, particularly agencies in urban and high needs settings
•Experience in scholarship, policy, and field-based interventions to address the reading proficiency and achievement among students from underrepresented groups, including students with learning disabilities, specifically dyslexia
•Leadership experience in national or international professional organizations, particularly those that focus on the needs of children, youth, and/or adults with disabilities
•Experience advising doctoral students including serving as chair on dissertation committees

Posting Detail Information

Date Posted 10/23/2017
Open Until Filled Yes
Application Deadline Date
Proposed Hire Date 08/16/2018
Type of Search National
Application Process/Additional Information

To be considered for this position, application materials must be submitted online through VCU eJobs and must include all of the following documents:
•A letter of application addressing the candidate’s qualifications
•A curriculum vitae
•A statement on how the research agenda aligns with one or more of the VCU School of Education Centers/Institutes and reflects impact and innovation
•The name, e-mail address, and telephone number for three professional references

Application materials must be uploaded as one PDF document (in the “Other Document” field) to for review by the Search Committee. Questions may be directed to Dr. Chriss Walther-Thomas, Search Committee Chair at or (804) 828-6976. If selected as a finalist for the position, candidates must agree to current and prior employers being contacted. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


Posted Salary $100,000- 125,000

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you find out about this position?
    • Alumni association magazine
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Community event
    • Email notification
    • HERC (Higher Ed Recruitment Consortium)
    • Higher education publication
    • Internal Recruiter
    • Job fair
    • Job site (e.g.
    • Listserv
    • Newspaper
    • Professional association/journal
    • Referred by person/employee
    • Search firm notification
    • VCU vacancy listing - eJobs
    • Other
  2. * If you selected "Other" for your referral source please indicate where you heard about this posting. (If you did not select "Other," please enter "n/a.")

    (Open Ended Question)

  3. * Do you possess an earned doctorate in special education, reading, or a closely related field ?
    • Yes
    • No

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Other Document
Optional Documents