Social Work launches a search for a full-time faculty member with specializations in behavioral health and criminal/legal systems

Wayne State University School of Social Work, accredited since 1945, is situated in a dynamic urban setting in Midtown Detroit, the heart of Detroit’s Cultural and Historic District. Opportunities to engage in a real life research/practice/advocacy incubator abound! We are national leaders in preparing students for professional practice and research careers. The School’s status as part of the premier urban research institution in Michigan is also supported by the activities of the Center for Social Work Research. Housed in the School, Center staff provide support for faculty research, scholarship, community engagement and interdisciplinary collaboration.

The School of Social Work is committed to social justice and the urban mission of social work practice. We strongly encourage a ‘person in environment framework’ with a particular interest in equity and attention to urban, poor or vulnerable populations. The ideal candidate will be involved in research consistent with this philosophy and capitalize on the SSW established and emerging connections to academic units, service agencies, and communities.

We invite applications for a faculty position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. We are looking for an outstanding candidate with focused research, exemplary teaching, and commitment to community engagement. Evidence of a beginning research trajectory, potential for external funding and some teaching experience is desirable at the Assistant Professor rank. Appointment at the rank of Associate Professor with tenure requires a strong record of research, external funding, publications, teaching and service.

Position content area

Behavioral Health and Criminal/Legal Systems; Assistant or Associate (Posting# 045979). We are interested in a dynamic leader in both these areas expertise who can collaborate as part of our Center for Behavioral Health and Justice; capitalizing on the ongoing research, evaluation and technical assistance currently in place in 26 counties across the state with a team of over 40 full time employees. We seek scholars with expertise in behavioral health including mental health, substance misuse, and /or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. We prefer candidates with expertise in criminal/legal systems include one or more of the following: law enforcement, diversion, courts, community supervision, jails, prisons and/or reentry. We are particularly interested in recruiting a scholar whose research agenda is integrated across these two disparate systems and can be effective ‘boundary spanners’ in developing, implementing and evaluating interventions at the individual and policy levels. Because the genesis of problems facing individuals involved in the justice system are multidimensional, faculty in the position will be strongly linked with Wayne State University scholars in other departments and colleges such as Criminal Justice, Sociology, Psychiatry, General Medicine and Public Health.

General qualifications

  • An earned doctorate in social work or related field (e.g., psychology, criminal justice, sociology)
  • An earned MSW is preferred
  • A record of scholarly publications (particularly for those applying as Associate)
  • A track record of external funding preferred, particularly for those applying as Associate
  • Training/experience in intervention research and evaluation preferred
  • Strong analytic ability (quantitative/qualitative analysis)
  • Experience in primary data collection preferred
  • Commitment to and ability to teach within a social work curriculum
  • Interpersonal skills that facilitate communication and connection in diverse communities and disciplines
  • Teaching experience in one or more of the following areas: research methods, policy, macro practice, and human behavior


Applications must be made at the WSU Careers website using Posting Number 045979. Please upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, teaching, research and diversity statements as well as the names and full contact information of three references and one writing sample.

Contact Faith Hopp (, Chair of the Search Advisory Committee for additional information.

“Wayne State University is a premier, public, urban research university located in the heart of Detroit where students from all backgrounds are offered a rich, high quality education. Our deep rooted commitment to excellence, collaboration, integrity, diversity and inclusion creates exceptional educational opportunities preparing students for success in a diverse, global society. WSU encourages applications from women, people of color, and other underrepresented people. Wayne State is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer”.

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