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Assistant/Associate Professor of Physics & Engineering, Tenure-Track

Job Details

Forest Grove Campus - Forest Grove, OR


Pacific University achieves excellence and distinction by investing in exceptional people to think, care, create, and pursue justice in our world. We embrace discovery in a close nurturing environment that leads to genuine transformation. Our community is diverse, sustainable, and dedicated to discovery and excellence in teaching, scholarship and practice. 


At Pacific University we thrive in an extraordinary environment, surrounded by the beauty of the great Pacific Northwest, with campus locations in Forest GroveHillsboro, and  Eugene. We humbly acknowledge and thank the original caretakers of the lands on which we live, work, teach, acquire and share knowledge.



The Department of Physics & Engineering at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position to lead the implementation of our new Engineering Physics major beginning in August 2024. This is an opportunity to contribute to the creation of an exciting, student-centered, ABET-accredited engineering program in a liberal arts setting.  We are crafting a program that develops strong problem-solving and design skills for a diverse student body, integrated with a holistic liberal arts perspective.


A Pacific physics education is characterized by outstanding student-centered research-based teaching, small class sizes, hands-on learning, close interaction with approachable faculty and staff, and opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research with faculty.  We strive to foster a welcoming and inclusive community that values and respects diverse voices, where students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds and identities can thrive. 


We seek a candidate who values being in a blended physics and engineering department at a liberal arts college, including the ability and desire to teach a range of physics and engineering courses. The successful applicant will demonstrate knowledge of and commitment to research-based, student-centered pedagogies in Engineering and Physics, which are at the core of the department’s teaching. 


Faculty contracts are across 9 months and include a 3+2 teaching schedule, serving as faculty advisor to students (not in year 1, however), active research, and service at the department, college, university, and professional levels.


Applicants must have a PhD in engineering or a closely related field at the time of appointment.  We welcome applicants with backgrounds in any engineering or engineering-related area of research. Successful applicants will demonstrate ability and commitment to implement a high-quality research program that involves undergraduates.


Benefits, sabbaticals, and leaves: This position is eligible for full benefits (information at our HR website). Every 7 years, tenured faculty are eligible for sabbatical. Faculty can take a half-year sabbatical for their full yearly salary or a full-year sabbatical and receive half their annual salary. Faculty may take up to two years of unpaid leave (e.g., with salary paid through other sources). Faculty are also eligible (and encouraged to take) family leave for life events such as the birth or adoption of a child or care of a sick family member.


For consideration please submit: cover letter, CV or resume, teaching statement, a diversity, equity, and inclusion, (DEI) statement, research statement, unofficial graduate transcripts, and contact information including email addresses for three (3) professional references.


To facilitate our review, please combine all application materials into a single file (.doc or .pdf), in the order listed below, and give the file a name following this pattern:


Last Name, First Name, Engineering 2023



  • The cover letter should detail your specific interest in contributing to and leading the Engineering Physics program at a liberal arts school, how you would fit into our blended engineering-physics department, your interest in being part of the Pacific University community, and what unique strengths and opportunities you would add to our community.
  • The CV or resume should summarize your educational and professional experiences and accomplishments, including student mentorship and grant applications (funded and unfunded).
  • The teaching statement should convey your interest in undergraduate teaching, describe your approach to teaching, emphasizing strategies you will use to engage students from a variety of backgrounds and create an inclusive classroom, and identify courses across the physics and engineering curriculum to which you can contribute. In addition, describe your past teaching experiences, including mentoring and advising, and how they inform your thinking.
  • The diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement should describe your past work and future plans to contribute to a diverse and inclusive environment that is more equitable for all faculty, staff, and students.
  • The research statement should address your plans for a research program that involves students and leads to peer-reviewed publications, and should describe the resources needed for the work and how undergraduates will be involved. 
  • Unofficial graduate transcripts. These may be a separate file, if needed.
  • References will be contacted by Pacific University to submit letters of recommendation electronically.



Review process: The search committee will include Physics Engineering department faculty, one non-physics science faculty, one faculty from outside of the sciences, two Pacific students, and a non-voting administrator who is responsible for ensuring equity in the review process. All applications will be initially reviewed using a rubric that includes teaching experience, research experience, experience or promise in mentoring undergraduates in research, potential for success of research program at Pacific, responses to EDI prompts above, and commitment to service or community engagement. Contact Department Chair Dr. Stephen Hall ( with questions.


Review timeline: Consideration of applications will begin February 1, 2024 and continue until the position is filled. Reviews will begin immediately after the deadline for receipt of materials. We expect to conduct preliminary interviews with top candidates by phone or Zoom in late January, and then invite a short list of candidates to campus in February. Campus visits are typically 1-2 days in length, and include meetings with Physics faculty, lab support staff, the School of Natural Sciences director, students, and the Dean of the College. We will provide more details about campus visits to invited candidates.


Pacific University’s Forest Grove and Hillsboro campuses are located on the land of the Tualatin Kalapuyas, who called themselves the Atfalati. They are now part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. 


The Forest Grove area: Pacific University is located in Forest Grove, OR, a town of approximately 25,000. The town is home to some of the state’s oldest and most respected wineries, but you’ll also be able to find an abundance of local beer, kombucha, sake, artisan sourdough bread, and local farm-fresh produce. A weekly farmers market is held May – Oct just one block from campus in the small and vibrant downtown area. Forest Grove is within the Portland TriMet district and is served by a public bus line which operates 7 days per week, making commuting from the surrounding area seamless. Forest Grove is home to Fernhill Wetlands Park, a 240-acre nature preserve that serves as both a critical wildlife habitat and part of the local water treatment system. Pacific University has been one of the most distinctive aspect of the town throughout its history, and Old College Hall on campus is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Forest Grove is within a 30-minute or less driving distance of downtowns for Portland, Beaverton, and Hillsboro. Forest Grove also provides easy access to many exceptional natural areas for a variety of outdoor activities (hiking, biking, surfing, climbing, etc.), including the Cascade and Coastal Mountain Ranges, volcanos, rivers, lakes, high deserts, and the Oregon Coast.


At Pacific University we are dedicated to providing experiences that are authentic, holistic, equity minded, and responsive. We continue to develop our equity practices with a particular focus on racial equity.


For qualifying employees, our benefits include generous paid time off for vacation, holidays (including winter break) and sick leave. We offer medical coverage with alternative care (in-network services covered at 100% after payroll deduction), comprehensive dental, vision plans, 9% contribution to retirement after one year of service with no match required, free mental health appointments, and tuition remission for employees and their dependents. We cover employer paid life, short term disability, and long term disability insurance. On campus benefits include free access to our sports facility and library, with discounts on campus food, bookstore purchases, clinic services, and gear rentals through our outdoor program (kayaks, snow shoes, bikes and more).


Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Studies have shown that candidates that are female and/or BIPOC are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet all of the qualifications they find in the job description. We are seeking the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be a person who comes from a less traditional background. We encourage you to apply even if you don't meet every minimum qualification described or are unsure if your experience could be considered related experience.




It is the policy of Pacific University not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, disability, sex or gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, military, veteran or Vietnam Era status, or any other protected classification recognized by applicable law, in admission, access to, or treatment in employment, educational programs or activities as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or any other applicable state or federal law, or city ordinance. Questions or complaints may be directed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR


Application materials will be screened and interview candidates will be selected and notified by telephone.  The hiring process normally consists of several interviews and can last several weeks depending on the position.  All applicants will be notified once the position is filled.  Employment is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.