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Assistant Professor for Rhetoric

Apply now Job no: 503656
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time, Faculty - Communications/Journalism

The Department of Communication Studies at California Polytechnic State University invites candidates to apply for a full-time, academic year, tenure-track position as Assistant Professor specializing in Rhetoric to begin September 15, 2022. We are open to a range of scholarly interests but especially interested in scholars working in one or more of the following areas: Black and/or African American rhetoric; critical race, sex, class and/or gender studies; cross-cultural rhetoric; digital humanities; digital cultures; issues of social justice, activism and/or advocacy; or visual rhetoric. Approaches with an international or intercultural element are welcome and encouraged. Scholars who examine issues of diversity, equity, and/or inclusion are highly encouraged to apply.  


Cal Poly strongly values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), especially in the classroom and among its areas of study. This position is part of a college-wide cluster of searches designed to increase curricular coverage of areas related to DEI, as well as to promote inclusive and equity-minded teaching strategies across the university. Successful candidates will be expected to contribute to the college’s goals in these areas. 


The other searches are for positions in the following disciplines across campus:  

  • African American Literature (English) 
  • World History (History) 
  • Public Policy (Political Science) 
  • Counseling/Clinical Psychology with Cultural & Linguistic Competency (Psychology & Child Development) 
  • International Political Economy (Social Sciences) 
  • Feminist/Queer/Trans* Dis/Ability Studies (Women’s, Gender & Queer Studies)
  • Latinx Studies

Candidates selected through this DEI cluster hire will be given start-up funds to support their work in DEI. Once hired, candidates will collaborate with their dean and others to develop a plan for utilizing these funds for supplemental compensation, assigned time, or professional development activities.


Teaching responsibilities may include courses such as Rhetorical Studies, Rhetorical Criticism, Contemporary Rhetorical Theory, Classical Rhetorical Theory, Media Criticism, Critical Cultural Studies, Public Speaking, Senior Project and other courses as determined by applicant background and department need. During the regular academic year, the normal teaching load averages 12 units (3 classes) per quarter. During the first two years, the successful applicant will have a reduced teaching load of 8 units (2 classes) per quarter. Non-instructional duties include engaging in productive research and scholarship, service, and academic advising and mentorship of undergraduate students.

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.



A Ph.D. in Communication Studies or closely related field at the time of appointment. ABD candidates will be considered with degree completion expected by August 2022. Coursework relevant to the instructional assignment is required as the minimum academic
preparation. Candidates should provide evidence of a demonstrated commitment to successful undergraduate teaching and scholarly activity, in line with Cal Poly’s teacher-scholar model. The ideal candidate will also demonstrate attention to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion across their teaching, scholarship, and service. Candidates must also demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills.


Preference will be given to those with experience in working with diverse populations and fostering a collaborative, supportive and inclusive environment. Preference will also be given to those with relevant work experience and research related to the specializations listed above.


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.

The California State University system is requiring that all employees and students accessing campus be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by September 20, 2021. Accordingly, you may be required to show proof of vaccination by your start date. You can find more information here.

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.


The Department of Communication Studies offers a highly selective BA degree in Communication Studies, with nearly 350 undergraduate majors, as well as a minor in Communication Studies. The department also offers general education courses to the university.


To apply, please attach the following items to your electronic application: 

(1) cover letter 

(2) vita 

(3) transcript copy 

(4) statement of teaching philosophy 

(5) evidence of teaching effectiveness 

(6) DEI statement 

(7) names and contact information for three professional references. 

In the cover letter, you should address the feasibility of conducting a research program within the context of a primarily teaching-oriented undergraduate program.  Applicants must include a statement of demonstrated commitment to DEI in teaching, scholarship and/or service describing past experience, contributions to DEI efforts, the impact on students, faculty, staff and/or your field and a description of how you will demonstrate a commitment in these areas in teaching, research, and/or service at Cal Poly (upload under ‘other’).  Please be prepared to provide three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the application. Cal Poly will directly solicit letters from the individuals listed by applicants. Official sealed transcript showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment. This position is open until filled. REVIEW BEGIN DATE: September 30, 2021. Applicants with complete files by the Review Begin Date will be given full consideration.

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 and experiences fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry and reflection on impacts of cultural context, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to DEI informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Questions about this position may be directed to Dr. Lauren Kolodziejski (, Search Committee Chair and Associate Professor, Communication Studies Department or Dr. Grace Yeh (, Interim Chair, Communication Studies and Professor, Ethnic Studies.



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