Assistant Professor (Open rank) – Physics & Astronomy

Assistant Professor (Open rank) – Physics & Astronomy

Job category: Education

Job Type: Full Time

Rohnert Park, California

Closes on:

Job Description:

Assistant Professor (Open rank) – Physics & Astronomy

Sonoma State University


(Tenure-Track) Assistant Professor-Open rank

Starting August 16, 2019

Refer to #104716 on all correspondence and inquiries regarding this position.


Guided by our core values, Sonoma State University offers an exceptional educational experience that fosters intellectual, cognitive, social, and personal growth. As the only member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges in California, we are uniquely positioned to foster ethical exploration, civic engagement, social responsibility, and global awareness combined with a solid foundation in an academic discipline. We have a strong commitment to graduating students who have the ability to think critically and communicate effectively in an ever-changing world. The unique campus culture fosters our Seawolf Commitment to integrity, respect, excellence, and responsibility and is integrated into all campus life. We nurture inclusive excellence through a celebration of the rich diversity of our local communities and our interconnected global economy. Members of the University community are expected to work effectively with faculty, staff, and students from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. SSU is especially interested in candidates who make contributions to equity and inclusion in the pursuit of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.


Sonoma State University’s beautiful 274-acre campus is located in Sonoma County wine country, an hour north of San Francisco. The campus offers the ideal setting for teaching and learning and access to a community of rich cultural, environmental, and recreational opportunities. Founded in 1960, Sonoma State University is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University System. As members of the largest public higher educational system in the nation, we provide accessible, high quality education to more than 9000 students. Sonoma State University is proud to be a Hispanic Serving Institution committed to achieving the goals of equal opportunity and endeavors to employ faculty and staff reflecting the ethnic and cultural diversity of the region and state.


In addition to teaching and scholarship, faculty are expected to engage in service to the department, school, and community. Sonoma State is committed to the Teacher/Scholar model and places an emphasis on faculty support of undergraduate research. Faculty are also encouraged to participate in our distinctive, high-impact Freshman and Sophomore year programs and to foster our commitment to the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 through excellent teaching, advising, and mentoring. Potential applicants are encouraged to review the University’s Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Policy. All faculty are required to have the ability to work effectively in a multicultural environment.


The Department of Physics & Astronomy provides excellent education to the Sonoma State University student population through a strong undergraduate major program, important support courses, and a robust offering of general education courses. There are currently 4 tenured or tenure-track faculty members, several highly qualified lecturers and a well-renown Education and Public Outreach program. There are approximately 60 majors in the department, and they may pursue one of our degree offerings: a B.S. in Physics, a B.S. in Physics with an Astrophysics Concentration, or a B.A. in Physics. The Department provides students with a fundamental background in physics and its applications and offers considerable hands-on experience with close student-faculty interaction in classes and required capstone research experiences. The Department prepares graduates for work in a diversity of careers. Our graduates work in industry, in government laboratories, and pursue graduate degrees. They teach in schools, colleges, and universities. They work as scientists, engineers, analysts, programmers, writers, consultants, and run their own businesses. The Department has dedicated teaching laboratories, research laboratories including the Keck Microanalysis Lab, and astronomical observing facilities. The Department is active in University and Community Service, and is connected to the intellectual life of the greater Bay-Area research community through the venerable ‘What Physicists Do’ lecture series.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to see the department’s Web page at:


The duties of the position fall under the categories of: Teaching; Scholarship, Research and Creative Achievements; University Service; and Community Service. Faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy are expected to teach with an assignment each semester of approximately 12 weighted teaching units of lecture and laboratory, and to participate in developing the Department’s curricula. The successful candidate is expected to teach across our core physics curriculum, including upper-division and lower-division major courses. The selected individual will be committed to teaching undergraduates, including the supervision of undergraduate research projects in experimental physics. The successful candidate is expected to initiate and maintain research activities that involve undergraduate students, to seek grant funding for these, and to publish the outcomes in scientific or educational journals. All faculty have academic advising responsibilities, assist the department with administrative and/or committee work, and are expected to assume campus-wide committee responsibilities. It is expected that the successful candidate will contribute to growing the department through championing a new degree program whose development is underway. A new B.A. in Physical Science will provide a variety of pathways for students outside our B.S. Physics degrees. This program will pair well with STEM students studying related disciplines and with students preparing for teaching careers.


To be recommended for appointment, the candidate must have a Ph.D. in physics or a closely related field. The successful candidate should have a demonstrated ability and desire for undergraduate teaching and be actively involved in research in physics or a related field. We are seeking an individual who will support an undergraduate research program in laboratory-based experimental physics. A research plan that can be accomplished within an undergraduate program is required. The successful candidate will be capable of exemplary teaching of upper-division and lower-division physics major courses. Prior teaching and/or post-doctoral research experience is preferred. We are seeking candidates with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additionally, the successful candidate will have a commitment to undergraduate education in a liberal arts environment and the ability to assist in the successful design and implementation of a B.A. in Physical Science.

To be recommended for tenure, the candidate must demonstrate satisfactory performance in four areas: teaching effectiveness; scholarship, research, creative achievement and professional development; service to the University; and service to the community. Although tenure may be granted at any time, contract provisions specify that “the normal period of probation shall be a total of six (6) years of full-time probationary service and credited service, if any. Any deviation from the normal six (6) year probationary period shall be the decision of the President following his/her consideration of recommendations from the department or equivalent unit and appropriate administrator(s).” Tenure is required for promotion above the level of Associate Professor.


Salary and service credit depends upon academic preparation and professional experience. The salary for this position is $76,490.


To apply for this position, please and select Job Opportunities. If you are not currently employed at Sonoma State University, select the External Applicants box. You will be redirected to a list of all available jobs at Sonoma State University. Find and select the faculty position you are applying for to view the description and select Apply Now. If you have not applied for a job at Sonoma State University previously you will be asked to Register Now in order to proceed. After submitting the application letter and curriculum vitae, please proceed to My Career Tools to attach the additional required documents. Your statement of research interests may be a statement of scholarship and/or creative activity if appropriate to your discipline. PDFs are the preferred format for all submissions. Once you have submitted all materials, a confirmation email will be automatically sent to you. If you encounter difficulties during the application process, please email Applications submitted to the faculty search email address will not be considered, so please use the link above.

Please submit:


• Application letter that includes: 1) a research statement that includes plans for student involvement; 2) a teaching statement that includes a description of your instructional philosophy and experiences; and 3) a statement regarding your potential to support SSU’s commitment to diversity

• Curriculum vitae including three (3) references to be contacted by committee members

Additional Required Documents

• Student Evaluations and/or evidence of teaching experience

Letters of Recommendation will be requested from finalists only.

Official transcripts may be required at the time of hire.

Sonoma State University hires only individuals lawfully authorized to work in the United States. We are unable to sponsor any international candidates for this cycle. All offers of employment are contingent upon presentation of documents demonstrating the appointee’s identity and eligibility to work, in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU.


Applications received by January 4, 2019 will be given full consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

Questions concerning this position may be directed to:

Professor Scott Severson


Phone: (707) 664-2376

Questions concerning the application process may be directed to:


Other Information

Equal Employment Opportunity: The University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, or protected veteran status.

Mandated Reporting: This position may be 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.

About Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University, located 48 miles north of San Francisco, is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University. Sonoma State University is a liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students and 530 full-time and part-time faculty. Our beautiful campus is located in Rohnert Park, at the foot of the Sonoma hills in the Wine Country.

Sonoma State University is proud to be a smoke-free campus, where smoking and other uses of tobacco products, such as smokeless tobacco, the use of e-cigarettes and similar devices, are prohibited.

Sonoma State University’s Jeanne Clery Act Annual Security Report is available at; Annual Campus Housing Fire Safety Report is available at

Contact Information

Sonoma State University

Human Resources

Main (707) 664-3100

Fax (707) 664-3196

1801 East Cotati Avenue

Rohnert Park, CA 94928

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