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Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies - African American Studies (24/25)

Apply now Job no: 532503
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Faculty - Social Sciences, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time
Position Description

THE ETHNIC STUDIES DEPARTMENT - The Department of Ethnic Studies in the College of Liberal Arts at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), invites candidates to apply for a full-time, tenure-track, academic-year Assistant Professor position in African American Studies to begin September 16, 2024.

We seek Ethnic Studies candidates with expertise in African American studies and whose work is primarily focused on the U.S. context. We prefer candidates with expertise in cultural studies, popular culture, Queer/Trans studies, or closely related field(s) in their approaches to African American studies.

Overall, the ideal candidate should demonstrate the desire and the ability to establish a record of effective interdisciplinary teaching in Ethnic Studies; to be able to teach both lower and upper-division African American Studies courses; and, to conduct research that draws on insights and methods from a variety of disciplines but that is ultimately grounded in the field of Ethnic Studies.

The Department of Ethnic Studies offers both an undergraduate major and minor designed to centralize the interdisciplinary and intersectional study of race, ethnicity, and racism in the United States. Our curriculum prioritizes historically marginalized groups in the United States such as: Native Americans, African Americans, Latinas/os/xs, and Asian Americans.

Anticipated Hiring Range: $81,888 - $87,550/year, $6,824-$7,296/month 
(Note that hiring level will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate.)

Although Cal Poly is primarily a teaching university, our faculty are expected to balance teaching with an active program of research/professional development (including publication), student supervision and advising, and participation in service activities at the department and college/university level. The typical teaching load is 12 units (three courses) per quarter, with a reduction in course load in each of the first two years to help new faculty establish an active program of research and professional development. Cal Poly strongly values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), especially in the classroom and among its areas of study.

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) sees diversity as central to its mission and is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment within the college and university. We value our diversity of complex and intersecting identities, while striving to maintain an environment that is socially just, equitable, respectful, and inclusive. The successful applicant should be able to clearly demonstrate how they have infused these values and student learning objectives into their work. They should be prepared to present clear examples of how they would infuse these areas into their work as a faculty member. 

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 DEI informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring, and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an equal-opportunity employer.

Due to CSU policies, the person hired must reside in the state of California at the time of hire and for the entirety of the appointment.  


  • Teach/develop lower- and upper-division courses according to expertise and department’s curricular needs;
  • Sustain an ongoing record of research with scholarly publications/creative works;
  • Contribute to service duties at the department, college, university, and professional levels;
  • Engage in the mentorship of Ethnic Studies students.


  • Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies or a closely related field at the time of appointment. 
  • Evidence of scholarly and/or creative achievements in Ethnic Studies or related field.
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to equitable learning and teaching practices, as well as the ability to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary settings.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral use of the English language. 


Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • an excellent teaching record
  • experience working with diverse populations and who foster a collaborative, supportive, and inclusive environment. 
  • demonstrated ability to teach courses in African American/Africana/Black Studies and/or Queer/Trans of Color Critique (with a focus on African American communities).
  • relevant work experience and professional abilities closely related to African American communities and African American studies.


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. At Cal Poly, tenure-line faculty are expected to establish an on-campus presence.


The Ethnic Studies department emerged out of the Civil Rights movements in the United States. As such, its aim is to provide students with an understanding of the historical processes (that include: slavery, capitalism, genocide, colonialism, nativism, war, etc.) that have formed the United States as a nation-state and as an imagined community. The department specifically focuses on the differential impacts these large-scale historical, economic, and political phenomena have had on diverse communities within local, national, and global contexts but with a specific focus on the four, core racial/ethnic minoritized populations in the U.S.: Native Americans, African Americans, Latinas/xs, and Asian Americans. We also study the histories and legacies of cultural, economic, and political resistance to these oppressive forces and in the process highlight various movements for liberation. Overall, our department Ethnic Studies provides a relevant education—one that maintains a deep commitment to justice, equity, and positive social and institutional transformation.


To apply, please visit, complete a required online faculty application and apply to Requisition #532503. Please upload the following required materials as part of the electronic application:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover Letter - In the cover letter, the applicant should address the feasibility of maintaining a research program within the context of a primarily teaching-oriented university.
  • Diversity Statement: [Statement of demonstrated commitment to DEI in teaching, scholarship, and/or service that describes past experiences, contributions to DEI efforts, their 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] (2-page maximum)
  • Unofficial transcripts showing highest degree earned [Note: Official transcripts showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment].
  • Candidates who become finalists will be asked to submit a writing sample and two sample syllabi.

Please be prepared to provide three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the online faculty application. Cal Poly will directly solicit letters from the individuals listed by applicants.

For full consideration, please apply by the REVIEW BEGIN DATE: November 15, 2023. Applications received after this date may also still be considered.

Projected Start Date: September 16, 2024

Direct inquiries for the Ethnic Studies search to: Dr. José Navarro, Search Committee Chair, at:

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