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Director of the Blum Center on Poverty, Inequality and Democracy

University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Closing date
Jun 19, 2024

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Position Type
Dean / Department Head
Full Time
Organization Type

Director of the Blum Center on Poverty, Inequality and Democracy

University of California Santa Barbara

Position overview
Salary range: The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at the time of appointment. See Table 1 for the salary ranges.
Off-scale salaries and other components of pay, i.e. a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions. A reasonable estimate for this position is $138,400 - $160,100 at the Associate level and $142,000 - $228,00 at the Professor level. Anticipated start: 7/1/25

Application Window

Open date: April 23, 2024

Next review date: Thursday, Aug 1, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Tuesday, Apr 15, 2025 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The University of California, Santa Barbara seeks to hire an internationally recognized scholar as Director of The Blum Center on Poverty, Inequality and Democracy. The successful candidate may specialize in any area of the social sciences, broadly defined including history, and will have a tenured faculty appointment in the appropriate department in the division of social sciences. The initial appointment as Blum Center Director will be for a 5-year period, and is renewable. The ideal candidate will have a strong record of success in innovating and applying public-facing or community-centered scholarly research in critical political economy (or related fields) to address social issues across geographic and social scales. Job duties include: working with a diverse and interdisciplinary community of faculty, students, staff, and community-based partners to sustain existing and develop new initiatives that advance the Blum Center's core mission; overseeing the administration of the Center; and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Founded in 2018, the UCSB Blum Center fosters interdisciplinary, socially engaged research and learning about the inequities that shape contemporary social and economic life and obstruct the aspirations of democratic societies. The Center's work is intended to contribute to collective action that advances intersectional economic and social justice in the South-Central Coast region of California (where UCSB is located), the United States, and globally. The next director of the Blum Center will have the academic expertise to address this critical political-economic nexus, be committed to public-facing and/or community-centered scholarship and impact, and have a passion to generate and nurture collaborative projects with community organizations.

The Blum Center generates and supports a variety of public-facing research projects, as well as an undergraduate Minor degree. The director will assume responsibility for an administrative portfolio that includes co-leading established programs focused on cooperative economics and on promoting regional equity within and across California's Central Coast communities, as well as collaborating with faculty and community leaders to foster the development of emerging initiatives, including: the Central Coast Community Labor Project; Organizing Knowledges; the Marxist Institute for Research; and the Amazon Corporation and Economic Justice Project. With assistance from professional and paid student staff, the director will also assume responsibility for: annual budget planning and administration; grants administration; fundraising; communications and public outreach; public programming; and staff oversight and development. In addition, the director will provide leadership for a vibrant interdisciplinary Minor in Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice, which provides undergraduate students with tools to understand the roots, dynamics and consequences of poverty and intersectional inequality; conduct original research; and engage meaningfully in efforts to address poverty through policy, practice and social action.

The Director will be hired as a tenured professor. The ideal candidate for this position will have a strong record of impactful scholarship deploying applied or community-centered approaches, institution building and organizing experience at the local, regional or community level. While a candidate's research may be committed to a local scale, the implications of this research should simultaneously respond to broader theoretical questions and social phenomena across geographical scales. The focus of this research should be in the area of poverty, inequality, justice and democracy. Expertise is welcome in intersectional approaches to questions of, for example: land, labor, social reproduction, structural violence, and redistribution. Empirical research areas might include: housing; climate change; the social/structural determinants of health; transportation; migration; agriculture; urban-rural geographies; finance; policy and governance.

Candidates with all forms of social sciences disciplinary training and expertise—broadly defined—will be considered. We hope to attract candidates whose research is committed to understanding global, transregional, and/or national patterns of socio-economic inequality, a commitment to the Blum Center's portfolio and mission of research; an interest and willingness to facilitate deep collaborative relationships with community organizations in the Central Coast region of California is required. The appointment will be at the rank of tenured associate or full professor within a department in the division of Social Sciences.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service as appropriate to the position.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
Applicants should hold a PhD in a relevant social sciences discipline and must currently hold an associate or full professor rank or equivalent title with tenure.

Preferred qualifications
The search committee will use these metrics when analyzing the candidates:

• Strong record of research with and / or contributions to the core areas of the Blum Center

• Demonstration of effective teaching and mentoring through teaching statement and optional sample syllabi

• Evidence of generative, beneficial relationships with communities and grassroots organizations that could be principal interlocutors in Blum Center activities;

• Expression of an innovative vision for campus leadership and for publicly facing scholarship and pedagogy;

• Evidence/promise of contributions to diversity in an academic community through research, teaching, leadership, and/or service.

All information about candidate dossiers, search committee deliberations and decisions will be kept confidential.

Application Requirements

Document requirements

• Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

• Cover Letter

• Statement of Research

• Statement of Teaching

• Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and/or service.

• Misc / Additional - (One-page max) Vision statement for the Blum Center.

Reference requirements

• 3 required (contact information only)

The committee will request letters of reference for candidates selected for serious consideration (or campus visits). Candidates will be informed prior to letters being solicited.

Apply link:
Help contact:

About UC Santa Barbara

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the University of California's Affirmative Action Policy please visit: For the University of California's Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location
Santa Barbara, CA

To apply, please visit:

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