Social Work launches a search for three full-time faculty members with specializations in human rights, child welfare or clinical practice

Social Work building in Detroit

Position openings for three full-time faculty members:

Assistant/Associate/Full Professors

Job Description - PDF

Wayne State University School of Social Work:

WSU School of Social Work, accredited since 1945, is situated in a dynamic urban setting in ‘Midtown’ - the heart of Detroit’s Cultural and Historic District. 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 is supported by the activities of the Center for Social Work Research and Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. Housed in the SSW, Center staff provide support for faculty research, scholarship, community engagement and interdisciplinary collaboration. Additional information about the School.

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 candidates will be involved in research consistent with this philosophy and capitalize on our established and emerging connections to academic units, service agencies, and communities. Evidence of a beginning research trajectory, potential for external funding and teaching experience is desirable at the tenure-track Assistant Professor rank. Appointment at the ranks of Associate or Full Professor with tenure require a strong record of research, external funding, publications, teaching and service.


Content areas for each position:

  1. Social Justice/Human Rights; Any rank (Posting # 045267):  We are interested in a dynamic leader who can step into our strong history of social justice, particularly focused on racial and economic equity and human rights. This social justice faculty position work would be ‘macro oriented’ and could focus on one of several domains (i.e. equity in the criminal/legal system; poverty; child welfare, access to health care; etc.), and should be able to teach courses in social justice and engage in community-based research. Our new minor in Social Work/Social Justice is a strong draw for interdisciplinary connections in the university’s College of Literature, Arts and Science (CLAS).  In addition, WSU School of Social Work houses the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice which supports communities, organizations, and behavioral health and criminal-legal agencies through the implementation of evidence-based practices.
  2. Child Welfare; Any rank (Posting # 045268): We are recruiting a scholar with in-depth knowledge of the child welfare system, with expertise in abuse/neglect, foster care, and work force development in child welfare and/or integration of child welfare with other systems of care. Experience in management and analysis of large data sets would be advantageous. Wayne State University School of Social Work has excellent relationships with Wayne County and the State of MI Department of Health and Human Services. Currently we are involved in several funded projects that provide support and technical assistance and opportunities for research. WSU is also home to the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child and Family Development – a world renowned center of translational research – that includes an Infant Mental Health Program and Early Childhood Center.
  3. Clinical Practice/Direct Practice with Adults/Children/Families; Any rank (Posting # 045269): The ideal candidate will have experience in direct practice with adults, children and/or families and a strong theoretical orientation (i.e., Cognitive Behavioral, Family Systems, Psychodynamic, etc.). Our curriculum provides students with opportunities to build their clinical skills using multiple frameworks and we are searching for a faculty member who can augment current faculty expertise and enrich student learning opportunities. This faculty member will support our urban mission through the demonstrated understanding of engagement with high risk individuals and those who are from racially and ethnically diverse communities. 


General Qualifications FOR ALL THREE POSITIONS:

  • An earned doctorate in social work or related field; with an MSW
  • A record of scholarly publications
  • A track record of external funding preferred, particularly for those applying at the ranks of Associate or Full Professor
  • Strong analytic ability (quantitative/qualitative analysis)
  • Interpersonal skills that facilitate communication and connection in diverse communities and disciplines
  • Teaching expertise in one or more of the following areas: practice, research methods, policy, macro practice, human behavior and social justice/human rights.


How to apply:

Applications must be made online, at using the appropriate Posting Number. Please upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, teaching preferences/experience, research, and diversity statements as well as the names and full contact information of three references and one writing sample. Contact Kim Jaffee (, Chair of the Search Advisory Committee for additional information. Applications will be accepted between October 16, 2020 and January 1, 2021 (or until position is filled).


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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