Employment Opportunities

Executive Director - Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, Associate Professor or Professor Level

Apply now Job No: 498516
Work Type: Faculty Full Time
Location: Dayton, OH
Category: Faculty
Department: Fitz Cntr for Ldrship in Community - 208720
Pay Grade: D - Exempt
Applications close:

Position Summary:


The University of Dayton (UD) seeks a collaborative and strategic leader to serve as the Executive Director of the University’s Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and as a tenured faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences. This is an exceptional opportunity for an innovative leader to mobilize faculty and students to engage in partnership with members of the Dayton community to address important community needs and advance the University’s commitment to civic engagement, community engaged learning, student leadership development, as well as excellence in scholarship, teaching, and service.

The Executive Director of the Fitz Center will prioritize faculty engagement, development, and scholarship, as well as student programming. In addition, the Executive Director will have a record and credentials appropriate for a faculty member tenurable as an Associate Professor or Professor in a department in the College of Arts and Sciences, a scholarly record of community building or civic engagement, as well as administrative and leadership experience in higher education, community development, civic engagement, or leadership formation.

The Executive Director will have the opportunity to align the structure, goals, and programming of the Fitz Center with community needs and opportunities as well as the University’s strategic vision. This alignment will enhance existing and new productive partnerships with academic units and foster greater student and faculty engagement. By broadening its network, the Fitz Center will ensure that its work creates opportunities for the University to collaborate with Dayton’s diverse community in an interculturally competent manner.

In addition, the Executive Director will have the opportunity to add a Senior Director to the Fitz Center leadership team. The individual in this role will work closely with the Executive Director, focusing on connections to the Dayton community, and will lead much of the community-facing work. This new position affirms the breadth and core mission of Fitz Center’s work and the centrality of community engagement to the University’s strategic vision.


Established in 2002, and named in honor of the celebrated past president of the University, Bro. Raymond Fitz, S.M., the Fitz Center is an interdisciplinary center housed in the College of Arts and Sciences and of central importance to the entire University. It is built on sustained relationships with dozens of neighborhood, community, nonprofit, and government organizations and associates and serves as a connecting point for community engaged learning and scholarship. In all of its work, the Fitz Center adopts innovative asset-based strategies to civic and community needs and focuses on creating mutually beneficial partnerships. It reflects the University’s long-standing commitment to community engaged teaching, service, research and partnerships, a commitment affirmed in 2015 when the University received the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching “Community Engagement Classification.”

A national leader in civic engagement and community-based learning and service, the Fitz Center initiates and sustains partnerships with urban neighborhoods and regional communities that promote comprehensive community building, provides a context for broadly connected learning and scholarship, and develops students and faculty as community leaders. The University’s Catholic and Marianist foundations and the broader Catholic Intellectual Tradition imbue the Fitz Center’s work. Its asset-based community building programs are founded on the co-creation of a widely shared vision and guided by the values of mutual respect, the common good, and a preferential option for the poor. Collaboration--between University faculty, staff, students and community partners--is at the core of the Fitz Center. In developing all of its programs, the Fitz Center is guided by best practices of community engaged learning and scholarship and the principles of the Catholic social tradition. Four of its prominent programs are Leadership in Building Communities (LBC) Seminar - This annual seminar partners UD students with residents of a City of Dayton neighborhood to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by those residents. Rivers Institute and River Stewards Program - This institute and leadership program are comprised of students, faculty, staff, and community partners who see rivers as a strategic natural resource central to the communal, economic, aesthetic and ecological vitality of any region. Semester of Service Program - The Semester of Service Program invites students to pause their full-time studies for a semester to provide 450 hours of direct service in the Dayton community. Dayton Civic Scholars Program - The Dayton Civic Scholars Program is a co-curricular scholarship program that creates for students an intentional pathway from the classroom to community leadership and public service. More information about Fitz Center initiatives can be found here.

The next Executive Director joins UD at an important moment in its history. In 2016 the University welcomed Eric F. Spina, Ph.D. as its 19th president. Under his leadership, the University launched “For the Common Good,” a vision that helps define UD’s distinctive aspirations for the next two decades. This vision emphasizes long-standing priorities of the Fitz Center, including building UD’s capacity for servant-leadership, creating deeper and more enduring community partnerships, emphasizing inclusion and equity, developing a transdisciplinary faculty, and working with the Dayton community to advance the common good. More about UD’s progress with this strategic vision can be found here. Dr. Spina’s 2017 installation address can be found here.

In 2020, UD reaffirmed its commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion through The Flyers Plan for Community Excellence. The University has also committed to becoming an antiracist institution. Fitz Center programs and initiatives and the leadership provided by the Executive Director are integral elements of the on-going implementation of the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusive efforts.


The Executive Director provides vision and leadership for the Fitz Center. Duties and responsibilities include: promoting effective collaboration between University faculty, staff, and community partners; cultivating student leadership; developing new and sustaining existing community partnerships; creatively envisioning new areas for growth; obtaining external funding through grants or other funding sources; supervising, developing and mentoring staff members; review current programs and structures; and effectively stewarding the Center’s resources. Given the Fitz Center’s reach on campus and in the community, the Executive Director interacts with leaders across campus and serves on the College’s leadership council. Working closely with the Dean of the College and reporting to the Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Research and Experiential Initiatives, the Executive Director supervises a dedicated group of staff, graduate assistants, and undergraduate interns.

For a complete description of the role of the Executive Director including the opportunities and challenges please see the scoping document scoping document

Minimum Qualifications:

- An earned doctorate or terminal degree with qualifications that merit the rank of associate professor with tenure in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Dayton.

- Record of scholarly activities involving community building or civic engagement.

- Successful experience developing academic collaborations with faculty and students in community engaged learning or community engaged scholarship.

- Administrative and leadership experience in higher education, community development, civic engagement, or leadership formation.

- Demonstrated leadership and effectiveness in advancing organizational priorities and strategic planning.

- Demonstrated record of applying for external funding.

- Effective written communication skills.

- Experience supervising staff.

- Appreciation for the Catholic and Marianist mission and values of the University of Dayton.

- Evidence of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through their work.

In addition to the above qualifications for appointment at the rank of associate professor, appointment at the rank of professor requires a record of teaching, research and service commensurate with the criteria for the rank of professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Dayton.

Preferred Qualifications:

While not everyone may possess all of the preferred qualifications, the ideal candidate will bring many of the following:

- Experience with assessment-based continuous improvement of programs and initiatives.

- Experience with asset-based model of community building.

- Demonstrated success developing and managing budgets.

- Success involving students in research projects.

- Effective interpersonal skills.

- Effective presentation skills with diverse audiences.

- Effective oral communication skills.

- Demonstrated effectiveness in designing organizational structures to achieve goals.

- Experience effectively supervising staff at multiple levels.

- Five years or more administrative or leadership experience.

- Ability to articulate how the Catholic social tradition informs community engaged learning.

- Success developing, executing, and assessing programming for community building and/or civic engagement.

- Record of working effectively with community-based, non-profit organizations and a variety of governmental and public agencies.

- Demonstrated individual action and institutional leadership to advance diversity and inclusion.

- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in writing with diverse audiences, including external funders, the media, faculty, and students.

- Demonstrated success leading teams in advancing multiple organizational priorities.

- Success securing extramural funding for a wide array of activities in the areas of community building, student leadership development, service learning, and experiential learning.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

A representative search committee has been convened to conduct the search and to recommend finalists to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Inquiries and nominations should be directed to Dr. Grant Neeley, search committee chair, at FitzCenterSearch@udayton.edu. 

A complete application consists of: 1) Letter of interest which highlights community building or community engaged learning and how diversity, equity, and inclusion inform your work; 2) a curriculum vitae; and 3) contact information for at least three professional references. Letters of reference may be requested later in the search process.

Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.

Posting closes at 11:55 PM EST

Closing Statement:

The University of Dayton is a top tier, Catholic research university with offerings from the undergraduate to the doctoral levels.  Founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary, the University is a diverse community committed to advancing the common good through intellectual curiosity, academic rigor, community engagement and local, national and global partnerships. Guided by the Marianist educational philosophy, we educate the whole person and link learning and scholarship with leadership and service.

Informed by its Catholic and Marianist mission, the University is committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Informed by this commitment, we seek to increase diversity, achieve equitable outcomes, and model inclusion across our campus community. As an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer, we will not discriminate against minorities, women, protected veterans, individuals with disabilities, or on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The University is also pleased to provide support for spouses of prospective and newly hired faculty through its dual career program. While we cannot guarantee placement, we serve as an effective resource and support system for your spouse. Information can be found at http://www.udayton.edu/hr/employee_resources/dual_career_resources.php


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