Department Head
Cal Poly Experience Industry Management
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo, California, is seeking a full-time 12-month department head for its Experience Industry Management Department.

This position has a starting date of no later than September 1, 2024. The Department Head is a tenure-track position and will provide leadership for all programmatic and administrative functions including instruction, research, and alumni and industry engagement. The Department Head leads a talented team of 7 tenure-track faculty members, 1 full-time lecturer, a pool of part-time lecturers and 1 staff member who engage with approximately 340 undergraduate students enrolled in the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration major and 70 students enrolled in the Event Planning and Experience Management minor.

This position will provide leadership for the Experience Industry Management Department in the following areas:

  • Faculty and staff hiring, development, mentoring, and workload assignments
  • Development of external funds and advancement
  • Management of budget, facilities, and departmental resources
  • Departmental curriculum development, assessment, and strategic planning
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts

The successful candidate will also teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the program. The successful candidate will be expected to engage in scholarly activities (i.e., research, publishing, grant writing) as part of professional development. Additional duties will include advising students, and participating in University, College and Departmental activities. The Cal Poly community believes in the "teacher-scholar model,” which emphasizes scholarly activities (i.e., research, presentations, publishing, proposal writing and program development) in addition to teaching excellence.

Department Head appointments and 12-month assignments are made and continue at the pleasure of the College Dean. Tenure is earned only in the instructional portion of the position, which includes teaching, research, and service. Credit towards tenure at the time of appointment may be awarded depending on the candidate’s years of teaching experience, professional development, and rank. Academic rank and salary will be commensurate with the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience.

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees, and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Required Qualifications

  • A Ph.D. in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Hospitality, Experience Industry Management, or a closely related field with qualifications for appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor with the ability to attain tenure
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership, effective management and interpersonal skills
  • Strong professional record of academic achievement, including publications, grants, and cooperative projects in the experience industry
  • A broad-based knowledge of the experience industry in areas such as event planning, experience design, experiential marketing, sport management, hospitality, community recreation, outdoor and adventure recreation, tourism planning, and destination marketing and management
  • Strong commitment to teaching excellence
  • Demonstrated experience in collaborative priority setting and decision-making
  • Demonstrated experience in carrying out CAFES’ mission through an appropriate combination of teaching, research, and advancement
  • Demonstrated ability to manage resources in order to solve problems with creativity and innovation
  • Ability to interact with Experience Industry stakeholders in developing research and industry initiatives of local, national and global importance
  • Evidence of leading institutional development such as fundraising, collaboration and contracts including travel to advance the mission of the department and CAFES
  • Outstanding written and verbal English communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in successfully allocating, directing and monitoring annual budgets
  • Evidence of working collaboratively with partners including industry, local, state or national government agencies, non- governmental entities, and an advisory council
  • Experience in interdisciplinary research and coordinating a center, institute, or research lab
  • Familiarity with instructional technology and online learning
  • A track record of effectiveness in teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses and overseeing comprehensive curriculum development
  • The ability to collaborate on research with faculty across the College and the University
  • International experience or the desire to cultivate international partnerships
  • Experience working with underrepresented students in research, teaching, service, advising, mentoring or the community

Special Conditions
The person holding this position must be willing to travel and attend training programs off-site for occasional professional development.

The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

In accordance with the California State University (CSU) Out-of-State Employment Policy, the CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU related work outside of California.

About the Department
The Experience Industry Management Department of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences offers a B.S. in Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration and a minor in Event Planning and Experience Management. The Experience Industry Management department, accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions, offers areas of study in Event Planning and Experience Management, Tourism, Hospitality and Destination Management, and Sport and Recreation Management.

The Experience Industry Management department’s vision is to cultivate leaders and innovators in industries that promote healthy lifestyles, protect memorable places, and facilitate life-enhancing experiences for individuals, communities, and the global society.

About the College
The College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences is the fifth-largest public college of agriculture in the United States, with over 4,100 undergraduate students, 184 full time faculty and staff, 15 majors, and five graduate programs. We have a very strong faculty and an accomplished student body with an incoming high school GPA of 4.0, a large university farm (over 10,000 acres of cropland, pasture, and forest, with student-run enterprises in dairy, beef cattle, poultry, sheep, horses, organic and conventional crops, and a food science pilot plant, the new Oppenheimer Family Equine Center, a commercial winery in the Justin and J. Lohr Center for Wine and Viticulture, under construction, and many other facilities), several research centers, and the Learn By Doing ethos that is central to Cal Poly’s mission. See for more information about CAFES.

How to Apply
Applicants are encouraged to submit materials by February 26, 2024 for full consideration; however, applications received after this date may be considered. Interested candidates must attach (1) a cover letter providing some detail of applicant’s qualifications and interest in the position; (2) resume/CV; (3) unofficial transcripts of the highest degree; (4) a statement of philosophy on leadership and management of an academic department; (5) a statement describing the candidate’s experience(s) with diversity and inclusion and how their experiences have prepared them to advance Cal Poly’s commitment to inclusive excellence (, (6) goals and plans for research and (7) at least three professional references with names and email addresses. The selected candidates will be required to provide official transcripts prior to appointment for final consideration. Please contact Dr. Keri Schwab, Search Committee Chair, at [email protected], with questions.

To apply:


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