Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology – Pennsylvania

Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology

Pennsylvania State University



Job description

Job Number: REQ_0000040892


The Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education(AESE)is hiring an Assistant Professor in Rural Sociology. This is a nine-month, tenure-track Assistant Professor position with a 40% teaching and 60% research appointment in AESE in the College of Agricultural Sciences (CoAS)at Penn State. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an internationally recognized research program on rural poverty and related issues including but not limited to social stratification, racial and ethnic disparities, spatial or regional inequality, and/or social policy. Applicants should provide evidence of strong potential for conducting and publishing research, being competitive for external funding to support research and outreach activities, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and mentoring and advising graduate and undergraduate students. The applicant should also demonstrate interest in and ability to contribute to interdisciplinary research collaborations in one or more areas central to the CoAS strategic plan, including integrated health solutions, human and community connections, citizens’ socioeconomic well-being, and environmental sustainability. The successful candidate is expected to teach three courses per year. Potential teaching responsibilities will be focused on the Rural Sociology graduate program, and the Community, Environment, Development (CED) undergraduate major.

AESE is a welcoming community with our scholarship focusing on people, society, and economic systems grounded in theory and methods from the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Faculty and students develop and employ rigorous approaches to discover fundamental and applied principles that advance science in their core disciplines. The department strives to improve the health, prosperity, and welfare of people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond. Our core areas for teaching and research are (1) Agricultural and Food Systems, (2) Community Development and Engagement, (3) Environment and Natural Resources, and (4) Population Processes in Global Perspective. The department offers three resident and one online graduate programs and oversees four undergraduate majors. For more information visit our site at

Qualifications: A Ph.D. in rural sociology, sociology, demography, or related field. The successful candidate must have completed all degree requirements by the appointment date. Applicants should demonstrate excellent research and communication skills. Teaching experience along with experience indicating independence, productivity, and capacity to work effectively on multi-disciplinary teams is preferred. A demonstrated ability to engage professionally with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students is required, and the successful candidate will actively strive to provide an inclusive learning environment for all students.

Application Requirements: The review of applications will begin on April 15, 2023 with a start date of August 15, 2023. Candidates should provide a cover letter, curriculum vitae, names and contact information for three references, a forward-looking statement on research interests and a statement of teaching/pedagogy related to the position description. Applicants should provide evidence, either woven through their application materials or as a separate diversity statement, of a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, inclusive excellence, and belonging and of engagement which creates an inclusive environment in their classroom, department, and the University.

Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with university policies. Questions can be directed to the search committee chair: Dr. Brian Thiede ([email protected]).

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

University Park, PA

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

How to apply


  • CURRENT PENN STATE EMPLOYEE (faculty, staff, technical service, or student), please login to Workdayto complete theinternal application process. Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.
  • CURRENT PENN STATE STUDENT (not employed previously at the university) and seeking employment with Penn State, please login to Workdayto complete the student application process. Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.
  • If you are NOT a current employee or student, please click “Apply” and complete the application process for external applicants.

From agricultural college to world-class learning community — the story of The Pennsylvania State University is one of an expanding mission of teaching, research, and public service. But that mission was not so grandly conceived in 1855, when the Commonwealth chartered the school at the request of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society. The goal was to apply scientific principles to farming, a radical departure from the traditional curriculum grounded in mathematics, rhetoric, and classical languages. 


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