Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Applied Anthropologist in Museum Studies or UX Research 24/25

Job no: 530124
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Faculty - Social Sciences, Probationary, Full Time

The Social Sciences Department in the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, is seeking applications for a full-time, academic-year, tenure-track Assistant Professor to begin September 16, 2024. Area of Specialization (AOS): Applied Anthropology in Museum Studies or UX Research.

The ideal candidate will have a combination of university-level teaching experience, and research potential. We are seeking applicants with an earned doctorate in Anthropology at the time of appointment, with demonstrable qualifications in Applied Anthropology in the specialized field of either museum studies or user experience research (UX).

Primary teaching duties include a general education Cultural Anthropology course as well as an upper division Applied Ethnography course already in offering. The candidate will also be expected to develop and teach a course in Qualitative Research Methods or UX Research Methods as well as any other upper division major courses in their area of specialty as needed by the department.

Other advising duties include supervising senior projects, mentoring students in concentrations, academics and professional development, and guiding and engaging them in research projects. Other departmental administrative responsibilities and service to the university are required. Continued professional development is required. 

Although Cal Poly is primarily a teaching university, our faculty are expected to balance teaching with an active program of research/professional development (including publication), student supervision and advising, and participation in service activities at the department and college/university level. The typical teaching load is 12 units (three courses) per quarter, with a reduction in course load in each of the first two years to help new faculty establish an active program of research and professional development. Cal Poly strongly values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), especially in the classroom and among its areas of study.

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) sees diversity as central to its mission and is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment within the college and university. We value our diversity of complex and intersecting identities, while striving to maintain an environment that is socially just, equitable, respectful, and inclusive. The successful applicant should be able to clearly demonstrate how they have infused these values and student learning objectives into their work. They should be prepared to present clear examples of how they would infuse these areas into their work as a faculty member. 

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly's values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to DEI informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an equal-opportunity employer. 

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Anthropology or closely related discipline at time of appointment
  • Evidence of potential for scholarly and/or creative achievement in AOS
  • Ability to teach anthropology courses related to area of concentration
  • Ability to teach Cultural Anthropology
  • Demonstrated university teaching experience
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral use of the English language

Preferred Qualifications

  • Practical or professional work experience in UX or Museum settings desired
  • Proficient in project-based teaching methods
  • Demonstrated ability to engage students in faculty-student research projects
  • Demonstrated ability to mentor students in professional development and achieving internships related to Museum Studies or UX Research
  • Ability to teach Applied Ethnography
  • Ability to develop and teach Qualitative Research Methods
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse populations and fostering a collaborative, supportive and inclusive environment
  • The ability to collaboratively work in multidisciplinary settings

Special Conditions

The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

In accordance with the California State University (CSU) Out-of-State Employment Policy, the CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU-related work outside of California.

About The Department

The Social Sciences Department is comprised of two majors, Anthropology & Geography and Sociology, and has 15 tenured or tenure-track faculty members. The Anthropology and Geography program serves 148 majors and 50+ minors, as well as students throughout the university in General Education offerings. The department’s website is

How to Apply:

To apply, please visit, complete a required online faculty application and apply to Requisition #530124.

Please upload the following required materials as part of the electronic application:

  • Cover letter: address the feasibility of conducting a research program within the context of a primarily teaching-oriented undergraduate program
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Example of scholarship
  • Teaching portfolio: provide evidence of student evaluations, syllabi and example assignments
  • Statement of diversity, equity and inclusion: describe interest in contributing to DEI efforts through research, advising and/or teaching
  • Unofficial transcripts showing highest degree earned, official transcripts showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment.

Please be prepared to provide three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the online faculty application. For full consideration apply by the REVIEW BEGIN DATE: 10-09-2023.  Applications received after this date may be considered.

Projected Start Date: 09-16-2024

Review Begin Date: 10-09-2023. Applicants with complete files by the Review Begin Date will be given full consideration.

For questions about the position please contact search chair Stacey L. Rucas via email at

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close: Open Until Filled

©Society for Applied Anthropology 

P.O. Box 2436 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 • 405.843.5113 •