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Michigan State University (MSU), the nation’s premier land-grant university, seeks applications for the position of Director of the Muslim Studies Program (MSP) who provides leadership in shaping and implementing innovative initiatives to advance strategic international research and engagement relating to the Muslim world. This search is conducted in collaboration between MSU’s Office of International Studies and Programs (ISP) and James Madison College (JMC), MSU’s undergraduate college of public affairs. We seek candidates for appointment at the Associate Professor or Professor level to direct MSU’s Muslim Studies Program and to teach and conduct research on the Muslim world, with likely appointment in JMC’s International Relations or Comparative Cultures and Politics programs.


The MSP Director will provide intellectual and programmatic leadership to advance and promote excellence in MSU’s diverse research, teaching, and outreach activities relating to Muslim studies. This includes coordinating the Program’s activities and representing MSP at MSU, across the nation, and around the world. As coordinator of MSP, the Director develops and sustains strategic partnerships with higher education and other institutions around the world to advance collaborative research, teaching, and engagement activities relating to the Muslim world. that positively impact critical global issues and transform the lives of people. The Director will have particular responsibility for overseeing current and new partnership development initiatives in the Greater Middle East and Central, South and Southeast Asia. The Director will facilitate and catalyze collaborative, multi-disciplinary and cross-college faculty research with emphasis on priority research themes; will build collaboration among social science/arts/humanities and STEM/health disciplines; develop proposals for external funding for such research; and secure external funds for MSP activities. Additional duties include advancing knowledge of Muslim studies; enhancing instruction of relevant languages and course offerings with Muslim studies content; overseeing the Muslim Studies undergraduate specialization program; and building and strengthening relationships with diverse constituent and stakeholder groups such as faculty, administrators, students, academic programs, K-12 institutions, local Muslim communities, government and policy organizations, alumni, and others in the United States and in key countries. In fulfillment of these duties, the Director will be required to periodically travel internationally to develop and enhance MSU’s strategic partnerships and advocate for MSU with relevant institutions in the Muslim world and elsewhere.

The Director’s appointment will be at least 50%, and up to 75% in MSP, with the exact percentages there and in an academic department, the tenure home, to be mutually agreed among the successful candidate, the Dean of ISP, and the Dean of MSU’s James Madison College. The appointment will be on an annual (12-month) basis for a five-year period with renewal possible. Salary and rank are commensurate with experience.

The Muslim Studies Program

The Muslim Studies Program (MSP) is a cross-regional program that coordinates a large and diverse set of educational offerings. Unlike Middle East Studies programs, MSP is distinguished by the breadth of its geographical focus in the design of its curricula, foci of faculty research, and scope of outreach activities.

In addition to research, MSP reflects the university’s overall commitment to internationalization. The increase in international attention to the Muslim world and interest from MSU students and faculty, and business and government in Michigan and the Midwest have led to the development of a Muslim Studies curriculum aimed at meeting new needs and advancing the genuinely multicultural quality of MSU. MSP also conducts extensive outreach programs for K-16 educators, non-governmental organizations, governments, the media, and business communities.

MSP is a unit of International Studies and Programs (ISP), and its Director reports to the ISP Dean. ISP incorporates MSU’s extensive study abroad programs and international student and scholar services. To pursue trans-regional and interdisciplinary strategic initiatives the MSP actively partners with other ISP centers including: African Studies; Asian Studies; Canadian Studies; Center for the Advanced Study of International Development; Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies; Center for Gender in Global Context; Center for International Business Education and Research; Center for Language Education and Research; and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Other campus partners include the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages and the Institutes of International Agriculture, International Health, and International Studies in Education, and International Business. MSP has more than 20 affiliated faculty members in the humanities, social and natural sciences, agriculture, business, law, and other professional programs who carry on research, and undergraduate and graduate teaching related to the Muslim world. More information about MSP and its activities can be found at:

James Madison College

James Madison College offers a large and diverse program of international studies that spans several undergraduate majors. Applicants should demonstrate excellence in undergraduate teaching and a substantial record of scholarship. The successful candidate will have great familiarity with Muslim issues worldwide with special expertise on the Greater Middle East. The successful candidate may come from a wide variety of academic disciplines consistent with the mission of the college, including political science, sociology, anthropology, history, economics, area studies, international relations, and others, and will specialize in one or more of the following areas: ethnic or religious conflict, political Islam, culture and development, migration, and comparative and international politics of the Muslim world. Expertise on the Greater Middle East is highly desirable.

James Madison College provides a liberal education in public affairs, combining the ethos of a small liberal arts college with the advantages of a large, diverse university. The faculty’s primary mission is excellence in undergraduate teaching, and the College is noted for its rigorous academic standards and attention to the analytical, writing and speaking skills of its students. In addition to the Muslim Studies specialization, the College is home to specializations in Western European Studies, Political Economy, and Science, Technology, the Environment and Public Policy. Through its faculty, the College has close working relationships with Michigan State’s many international teaching and research centers. For more information on the College, visit the JMC website at


Candidates from all relevant academic disciplines will be considered, and are expected to have an outstanding record of research and scholarship related to the Muslim world. Experience working in, and expertise about, the Greater Middle East is desirable. Candidates must have an earned Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree and must meet the standards for appointment to the rank of associate or full professor (with tenure) in James Madison College. Candidates are expected to have demonstrated leadership and administrative skills, and abilities to secure external funding from diverse sources; establish and sustain strategic partnerships with universities and other institutions in key countries around the world; facilitate and catalyze programs of collaborative, multi-disciplinary research on priority research topics; build collaboration among social science/arts/humanities and STEM/health disciplines; and actively contribute to the ISP leadership team. The position requires policy development and implementation capabilities, with the ability to work collaboratively with faculty, administrators of academic units, and area studies and international thematic centers in promoting international research, education, outreach, and service programs. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess proficiency in at least one language relevant to predominantly Muslim countries.


Candidates should go to to apply for posting number 5949 in the Faculty/Academic Staff postings. Submit a letter of application addressing your interest and how your research and teaching interests would contribute to a college curriculum focused on public affairs. The letter also should discuss your qualifications relevant to the position description, and your vision for the position. Supporting materials should include a vita, three references, evidence of quality teaching experience and commitment to undergraduate teaching (including at least one syllabus), and a sample of scholarship (e.g., book chapter, article, conference paper). The deadline for applications is 25 March 2012.

For additional information about the University and its extensive international commitments see, and, and

MSU is an affirmative action-equal opportunity employer.

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