The University of Alabama at Birmingham, an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center, seeks an academic leader and researcher in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy or Rehabilitation Science to serve as Program Director of the PhD Program in Rehabilitation Science. Reporting directly to the Dean of the School of Health Professions, the Program Director is a 12-month, tenure-earning, full-time appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. Applications and nominations are now being accepted. The expected start date is July 2020.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is an autonomous, comprehensive urban university and academic health center within the University of Alabama System. The University has wide-ranging programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Optometry and Public Health with graduate programs serving all major units. Enrollment has steadily increased and UAB now serves nearly 22,000 students.
Situated in downtown Birmingham, UAB is the state’s largest single-site employer, with more than 25,000 employees and an economic impact exceeding $7.15 billion annually on Alabama. The campus stretches across 100 square blocks and occupies more than 100 primary buildings.
The School of Health Professions (SHP) is one of the six schools comprising the world-renowned UAB Academic Health Center. The fastest growing school at UAB, SHP also is one of the largest health professions schools in the nation.
Providing UAB students with vast resources, state-of-the-art facilities and progressive research, SHP has more than 20 programs and over 40 offerings at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. All of SHP programs are accredited by their respective accrediting agencies and every program (where applicable) is ranked by U.S. News & World Report including the M.S. in Health Administration program, which is the first in the University’s history to rank #1 in the nation.
SHP is renowned for its research in Nutrition Sciences. UAB is home to one of only 11 Nutrition Obesity Research Centers (NORC) in the U.S. and to one of only 17 Diabetes Research Centers (DRC) in the U.S. It is one of only three institutions in the nation with a NORC and a DRC.
In 2009, UAB joined forces with Lakeshore Foundation, a Birmingham organization committed to improving the lives of people with physical disabilities and chronic conditions, to establish the UAB/Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative. With a focus on research in applied rehabilitative science, researchers work together to develop and evaluate new programmatic and service efforts plus new supportive technologies.
SHP houses several disciplines key to the Research Collaborative, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, nutrition sciences and health services administration. Since establishing the UAB/Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative, SHP has been a nationally recognized leader in rehabilitation science.
In addition to the UAB/Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative, NORC and DRC, SHP faculty conduct research in the Exercise Neuroscience Research Laboratory, the Human Performance Laboratory, the Mechanisms of Spinal Manual Therapy Laboratory, the Vestibular and Oculomotor Research Clinic and the UAB Constraint Induced Therapy Research Group.
SHP has grown its funding to more than $20 million with sources from revered organizations that include the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
The PhD in Rehabilitation Science program is an interdisciplinary program?sponsored by the Department of Occupational Therapy and the Department of Physical Therapy?in SHP.?The PhD program has 24 students currently enrolled.
Established in 2011, the program is designed to prepare graduates to become: 1) academicians, scholars, scientists and researchers in education, health care, industry and government institutions, and/or 2) consultants to individuals, communities and governments. It is not a clinical training program.
UAB graduates have received post-doctoral fellowships, including ones at Harvard University and the University of California San Diego. Several graduates currently serve as faculty members at top-tier universities worldwide.
The Department of Occupational Therapy and the Department of Physical Therapy have a dynamic mix of faculty with outstanding educational preparation, research and expertise in clinical practice. The departments are housed in a state-of-the-art facility that includes research laboratories focused on clinically relevant studies of human motion and exercise physiology for those whose research agendas address such topics.
Students and faculty participate in a variety of education and research endeavors throughout the UAB campus in collaboration with campus venues such as the Center for Healthy Aging, the Center for Disability Health and Rehabilitation Science, the Center for Exercise Medicine and other clinical specialty areas.
The PhD in Rehabilitation Science program seeks a new Program Director who has the vision and knowledge to advance the program to its next level.
The primary responsibility is to maintain the academic quality and integrity of the program by ensuring that the overall program curriculum prepares students to perform their specific role in a safe, effective and professional manner. Additional responsibilities are to ensure the cost-effective operation of the program and provide sound, evidence-based recommendations to the Chairs of the Departments of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy with regard to the annual budgeting process and new program initiatives.
The Program Director will provide instruction through teaching graduate courses, laboratories and tutorials consistent with programmatic needs and departmental workload policies. This administrator also will contribute to the advancement of knowledge through institutionally approved research projects, professional presentations and peer-reviewed publications.
As a faculty member, the Program Director is responsible for accepting assignments that contribute to the departments’ overall mission. The major responsibilities include teaching, scholarly activity, service and administration. The performance of responsibilities and activities is expected to be conducted in a manner that demonstrates respect for others, commitment to excellence and high ethical standards.
Through negotiation with the two Department Chairs and in compliance with departmental workload policies, the Program Director assumes specific job-related responsibilities. While the Program Director’s potential scope of responsibility is large, it is expected that the person will have a unique set of responsibilities that balance individual needs with those of the program and the departments.
The Program Director is expected to achieve an overall balance among the areas of teaching, scholarly activities and service while developing expertise in at least two of these areas.
The Program Director will:
Supervise program core, adjunct and clinical faculty to ensure that individual course curriculum is accurate, relevant and current.
Monitor and evaluate the educational structure, process and outcomes of the program.
Communicate with the administrative supervisor to ensure that program’s clerical needs are met.
Provide a thorough and objective evaluation of all program faculty performance to the Department Chairs for Occupational and Physical Therapy for the purpose of performance evaluation and merit ratings.
Ensure that the proper academic records are maintained for the generation of required reports, summaries, surveys and accreditation materials.
Ensure the safety of faculty, staff and students both by requiring safe practices in the operation of the program and in the preparation for dangerous events (e.g. fire, tornado).
Provide strategic planning to respond proactively to opportunities and threats to ensure stable program operations.
Ensure fair practices for all students and maintain intellectual honesty of student work and evaluation of all courses of the program curriculum.
Document, share, review and update, as needed, policies and procedures regarding the program and participants to include but not limited to admissions, tracking student progress, student handbook, etc.
Seek and expand collaborative relationships with other schools, programs and relevant entities.
Maintain up-to-date knowledge in appropriate fields of teaching and research.
Maintain licensure or certification in the appropriate discipline(s), if appropriate.
Participate in a program of self-development focusing on advancing job-related skills and knowledge that will enhance performance as a program director.
Participate in activities and projects conducted by the Program and Departments of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, such as curriculum review, continuing education activities, student recruitment and compilation of data for reports and surveys.
Serve on committees established by the Program and Departments of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, SHP and UAB.
Participate in activities sponsored by community agencies, professional organizations and other entities that support program, department goals and professional goals.
Advise pre-professional and professional phase students for purposes of meeting academic requirements, maximizing academic and professional performance, improving personal development and choosing employment.
Maintain records as required by the Program or Departments for academic, management and accreditation purposes.
Participate in student recruitment and retention activities.
Participate in student admissions.
Coordinate education assignments to achieve high quality outcomes.
Ensure appropriate use of resources.
Adhere to UAB policies and procedures for faculty and enforce those for students.
Candidates must hold a research doctorate degree (e.g., PhD) and must have previous academic/administrative or research experience in rehabilitation. The candidate is expected to have the skills and knowledge to provide the leadership and vision to ensure quality doctoral educational programming.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham traces its roots to the 1859 founding of the Medical College of Alabama and the 1936 opening of the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama. Today, UAB is a comprehensive urban university with a nationally recognized academic health center.
UAB’s award-winning faculty teach 140 programs in a dozen academic divisions to students around the world. Its nationally respected degree programs provide students with engaging and innovative learning experiences. Established in 2013, the University’s Division of eLearning and Professional Studies houses UAB Online, which provides working professionals with the flexibility to earn their degree while meeting personal and career commitments.
As one of the nation’s leading research institutions, UAB emphasizes both basic and applied research. Although the majority of the University’s research effort is in the biomedical sciences and related areas, all instructional programs are expected to participate in research activities.
UAB’s urban setting necessitates the development of research programs that are responsive to the city’s economic, social and cultural needs. Much of the research conducted at UAB is interdisciplinary in nature and is organized through centers that bring together experts in a number of related fields to concentrate on a particular problem or issue. UAB’s research grants and contracts exceeded $527 million in 2018, and the University currently ranks in the top 10 among public universities in funding from the National Institutes of Health.
UAB also has the primary responsibility for meeting the state’s health professional needs. It offers a comprehensive range of programs which encompass both basic preparation and sophisticated graduate and specialty training in medicine, dentistry, optometry, nursing, the health professions and public health.
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama, with more than a million residents in the metro area. Named one of the five most progressive cities in the South by The Globe and Mail, the city is diverse, smart, competitive and proud.
U.S News & World Report ranked Birmingham No. 89 on its 2019 “Best Places to Live” list. The Birmingham area has a cost of living index rating of 79 and a median home cost of less than $204,000. Living there is more affordable than the national average.
Health care, technology, innovation, biotech and banking are major industries in the area. MarketWatch named Birmingham the No. 2 up-and-coming tech mecca in the nation.
The city embraces diversity. More than a third of residents identify themselves as black, Hispanic or Asian according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data.
Birmingham is an excellent place to live, work and raise a family. The area offers community activities, recreational venues, live entertainment, sports and cultural arts to explore and enjoy. Many state and national parks, lakes, green space, hiking and biking trails and beaches and mountains are within easy reach.
Application & Nomination Process
Confidential inquiries are welcomed; nominations are invited.
Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Jennifer Barfield, Senior Vice President, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, are assisting the University of Alabama at Birmingham with this search. Request a confidential conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.