Rutgers University Director of the Institute for Digital Innovation in Social Work in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Position Information

Overview

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state of New Jersey’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Established in 1766 and celebrating a milestone 250th anniversary in 2016, the university is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United States. More than 67,000 students and 22,000 faculty and staff learn, work, and serve the public at Rutgers locations across New Jersey and around the world.

Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information (SC&I;) houses a dynamic and engaged community of scholars studying real world problems related to knowledge, interaction, technology, culture, media, creativity, and their interrelations. It is unique in its mature and dynamic combination of communication, information science, and media studies. Our commitment to solutions is stimulated by intersecting research challenges: health and wellness; social media interaction and collaborative design; global media, community, and democracy; and organizations, policy, and leadership. We value our culture of collegiality and provide generous support for our scholars’ varied research enterprises. The school teaches over 2,500 students in its undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs. Geographically adjacent and closely connected to the world’s largest media and information hubs and supported by Rutgers’ vibrant scholarly community, we embrace the University goals of promoting diversity throughout our networks and programs. For more about the School see: comminfo.rutgers.edu.

Rutgers University’s School of Social Work (SSW) is one of the largest and most diverse schools of social work in the country, offering the BASW, MSW, DSW and Ph.D. degrees to over 1700 students across all three Rutgers campuses. We prepare students for diverse fields of practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Our dynamic and diverse faculty members are engaged in a broad array of research endeavors, from clinical intervention research to prevention science to policy research. The School’s current centers and institutes include the Institute for Families, a multi-million dollar partnership with NJ’s Departments of Human Services and Children and Families, as well as the Center on Violence Against Women and Children, the Center for Prevention Science, the Center for Leadership and Management, the Human Research Center, and the Center for Gambling Studies. The School of Social Work is a collegial, productive and motivated faculty. A recent analysis of publication and grant data found the Rutgers Social Work PhD faculty to be among the most productive in publications, citations, and research among social work faculty in the United States. For more about the School, visit socialwork.rutgers.edu.

Posting Summary

The Institute and the Position

The Schools of Social Work and of Communication and Information at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, are establishing the Institute for Digital Innovation in Social Work to support technology-infused social innovations and interventions, enabling the delivery of social work in a digital age. The institute will:

  • Establish an integrated team of communication and information and social work professionals;

  • Engage relevant communities and stakeholders in defining a development agenda and principles for innovating social work;

  • Develop, test, and support ground-breaking digital innovations in social work;

  • Support the evaluation of the efficacy and legitimacy of innovations and interventions;

  • Provide opportunities for faculty research teams, doctoral, and post-doctoral researchers;

  • Establish certificate programs that complement and support academic programs in both schools;

  • Build external partnerships that will broaden the creative team, add capacity, and stimulate innovation.

Digital innovation involves technical, professional, social, organizational, and institutional change. Some current examples include the following, but each year will bring new puzzles and opportunities:

  • Revamping training opportunities (e.g., designing simulations for a range of therapeutic interventions, simulated internships, podcasts to support learning-on-the-go, virtual field work experiences interacting with avatars).

  • Transforming approaches for assessment and intervention (e.g., real-time assessment/ feedback/intervention, improve the client experience with social services, real-time tracking of interventions via wearable tech).

  • Rethinking/reshaping the professional-client relationship and the way service is delivered (e.g., different ways of communicating and connecting, reimagining the experience of the professional relationship, new evidence-based ways of training best practice).

  • Enabling new community-based prevention efforts and improving access to specialized populations (e.g. in health promotion, domestic violence, child welfare, and mental health; applying games and gamification technologies for behavioral health purposes, using communication advances to provide a range of therapeutic encounter possibilities).

  • Inventing novel applications of emerging technologies along with the socio-technical infrastructure that enables successful implementation (e.g., artificial intelligence, natural language generation, text mining, digital storytelling, data analytics, mobile technology, social media, robotics, gaming/gamification, virtual reality, augmented reality, wearable technologies, and the quantified self).

  • Developing methods and principles of organizational leadership, change management, and inter-organizational collaboration to contend with the realities of new media environments and the associated complexities of organizational change and technology implementation and management.

  • Enabling social entrepreneurship efforts (e.g., businesses choosing social investments, social enterprises that create embedded commercial activities).

The successful candidate will be the first director of the Institute for Digital Innovation in Social Work and therefore will play an important role in shaping its development and ensuring that its work is world-leading in envisioning digital innovation and its positive impact on the quality of social work in society. The successful applicant’s expertise and interest may be grounded in social work or communication and information but he or she will be a leader who will foster robust collaboration among these disciplines and build a global center for innovation in theory and practice. Most importantly, we seek a scholar who is creative, dynamic, and energetic, who is excited about leading a diverse and dynamic team of colleagues, and about engaging in national and international arenas. Responsibilities of the position include undergraduate and graduate teaching assignments in communication, information, and social work, an active program of research in the candidate’s area of scholarly expertise, and service contributions in accordance with university policy.

Qualifications

Minimum Education and Experience

A Ph.D. or equivalent degree in a relevant field is required. Applicants should have a demonstrated record of top-tier peer-reviewed publication and evidence of effective teaching. Applicants should provide evidence of leadership in research, instruction, and service, with a strong record of external funding a plus.

We especially invite candidates who will contribute to undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D programs across both schools. We look for candidates who will thrive in an environment that provides the opportunity to engage with varied ideas and collaborate across disciplines. For queries regarding the positions, please contact Mark Aakhus, Associate Dean for Research in SC&I; and chair of the search committee at aakhus@rutgers.edu.

Posting Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

All applicants should provide a letter of application, a CV, up to three representative publications, and names and contact information for three referees (no letters at this time). Applications should address the points in this job description and clearly articulate the candidate’s fit to specific departmental and school-wide research foci in one or both schools. Active review of applications will begin on December 1, 2016, and the position will remain open until filled.

Recruitment/Posting Title: Director of the Institute for Digital Innovation in Social Work

Department: SC&I; - Dean's Office

Salary: Commensurate With Experience

Statement: Applicants should provide a letter of application, a CV, up to three representative publications, and names and contact information for three referees (no letters at this time). Applications should address the points in this job description and clearly articulate the candidate’s fit to specific departmental and school-wide research foci in one or both schools. Active review of applications will begin on December 1, 2016, and the position will remain open until filled.

Posting Number: 16FA1243

Posting Open Date: 11/03/2016

Quick Link to Posting: http://jobs.rutgers.edu/postings/35770

Campus: Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Home Location Campus: College Ave (RU-New Brunswick)