Illinois State University - Chair of Electrical Engineering

IL, Normal

Illinois State University (ISU) invites applications for the position of founding chairperson of the Department of Electrical Engineering in the newly created College of Engineering. The 12-month position has a preferred starting date of July 1, 2023.

Founded in 1857, Illinois State is the oldest public university in the state. Located in Normal, 125 miles southwest of Chicago, ISU hosts a diverse community of scholars committed to fostering a small college atmosphere with large university opportunities. Illinois State’s mission is based on a shared set of core values: learning and scholarship, diversity and inclusion, respect, collaboration, individualized attention, civic engagement, and integrity. Students at Illinois State find rigorous academic programs that challenge them to be their best and a welcoming and supportive campus atmosphere that helps them grow and mature as scholars, citizens, and leaders. ISU has a total enrollment of 20,683 students (18,055 undergraduate and 2,628 graduate) situated on a 1,111-acre campus.

Established in 2022, with the first cohort of students expected to enroll in the fall of 2025, the College of Engineering will initially offer electrical, mechanical, and general engineering degree programs in two departments (electrical and mechanical engineering). The college will be uniquely designed with a vision of student success, diversity, and workforce development. Illinois State University aims for its new college to be recognized for excellence in the education of a diverse community of students who possess the attitudes, behaviors, and skills of engineering professionals. Leveraging Illinois State’s reputation as a student-focused institution, the College of Engineering will prepare students for success by melding theory and practice in core engineering disciplines and innovative cross-disciplinary experiences.  

Working closely with the founding dean, the inaugural chair will be tasked with hiring faculty members for the newly created Department of Electrical Engineering. The chair will work closely with the dean and the chair of mechanical engineering to foster a culture of student success and research excellence for the new college. The two chairs (as well as future chairs if new departments are formed) will constitute the dean’s leadership team. The chair will work with faculty colleagues, content experts, and university leaders to ensure the creation of an interdisciplinary, cutting-edge curriculum that supports an ABET-accredited BSEE degree, contributes to the core engineering curriculum with a focused integration of electrical and mechanical engineering, and fosters the creation of new academic topics in the general engineering degree program. The chair will work collaboratively with the dean and college leadership team to design the annual evaluation, promotion and tenure, administrative, budgetary, and personnel structures and processes.

The candidate will provide academic and administrative leadership, manage and secure resources for the department, promote excellence in research and teaching, encourage the pursuit of external funding, and foster a collegial atmosphere that supports diversity, equity and inclusion as well as ISU’s mission. Candidates who have experience in creating or starting up new programs, working with a diverse range of faculty, staff, and students, and who can contribute to a climate of inclusivity are especially encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, a significant record of research and teaching excellence, demonstrated leadership abilities, and a commitment to shared academic governance. The chair must possess a record of scholarship, teaching experience, and service that merits appointment as associate or full professor. State law mandates demonstrable oral proficiency in English language as a requirement for this position. This position is security sensitive, and employment is contingent upon the candidate’s satisfactory clearance of a criminal background investigation based on university policy.

WittKieffer is proud to partner with Illinois State University for this search. All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by March 20, 2023

Applications, inquiries, and nominations can be sent to Jessica Herrington and Luis Bertot at

Illinois State University, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding affirmative action, nondiscrimination, and anti-harassment. Illinois State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, order of protection, gender identity and expression, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, unfavorable military discharge, or status as a veteran in employment, educational programs and activities, or admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed by contacting the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access by email at, by calling (309) 438-3383, or by mail at Illinois State University, Campus Box 1280, Normal, IL 61790.