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Job ID: 197481

Director of the Institute for Energy Studies (Academic Administrator)
Western Washington University

Date Posted Oct. 20, 2022
Title Director of the Institute for Energy Studies (Academic Administrator)
University Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA, United States
Department Institute for Energy Studies
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Environmental Sciences/Ecology/Forestry

The Institute for Energy Studies at Western Washington University (WWU) invites applications for a director. The director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the institute's programs and execution of its mission.

About the University

Western Washington University, with over 15,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

About the Department

The Institute for Energy Studies (IES) is a multi-college collaboration at WWU, which is designed to meet growing demand, from students and from Washington's growing clean energy economy, for interdisciplinary education related to the science, technology, policy and business aspects of human conversion and use of energy. Our energy programs are designed to provide both breadth and depth, with a practical toolkit of technical and analytic skills from classroom and experiential learning.

The IES academic program is unique in the country in offering undergraduate degrees that directly address key energy/climate challenges and their solutions, via hands-on experiential learning, such as our “Campus as a Lab” initiative, preparing graduates to hit the ground running as practitioners and leaders of a clean energy transition. We take a problem-based approach to blending technical and social science concepts in the design of clean energy solutions from multiple perspectives. These programs attract a wide range of students and are designed to be accessible to students of diverse backgrounds and preparation levels, especially in STEM topics.  Through of efforts of the IES, WWU was named one of 12 institutions globally by the U.S. Dept of Energy for their first-ever Zero Energy Design Designation.

The Institute for Energy Studies supports Western’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement.  We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position

The director position is a full-time, 12-month academic administrator position reporting to the Provost’s Office, with a five-year term with option to renew. The director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the Institute's programs and execution of its mission. It is the responsibility of the director to develop and maintain high quality research and academic programs, provide support and feedback to institute faculty, oversee institute staff, supervise the operation of institute facilities, and ensure the responsible accounting of funds. The director provides strategic leadership by initiating new directions and helping to secure internal and external support. 


  • Develop and foster excellence in the Institute’s academic programs and research
  • Plan and oversee faculty and instructor recruiting, and faculty tenure and promotion processes
  • Plan and oversee IES budgets, including state operating funds, self-sustaining, grants, and Foundation funds
  • Negotiate and manage allocation/sharing of resources with Colleges & Departments
  • Work with faculty to design and update a unique, interdisciplinary curriculum, including the institute’s graduate program, certificates, and other new curricula
  • Plan and coordinate “Campus as a Lab” activities with Facilities Management, IES faculty and students
  • Develop student scholarships, internships and employment options with faculty and external contacts
  • Actively engage and energize faculty, students, board members, and funders, and serve as liaison between IES, the campus community, professional and industry leaders, and the greater community
  • Maintain, and support a strong board of advisors to foster collaboration between the institute and the private and public sectors of the energy industry
  • Expand private fundraising to support existing program operations and expansion of curricular and research opportunities
  • Lead marketing and recruiting in the local community, among community and technical colleges, and statewide
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications, from external relations to online presence to, and represent IES in State and local energy programs and policy forums and the media

Required Qualifications

  • Masters’ degree in an academic field related to human use of energy
  • Ability to advance interdisciplinary research and educational collaborations in the science, policy, and business of energy
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Administrative and budgetary experience
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people inside and outside the organization

Preferred Qualifications

  • A PhD or JD degree
  • Leadership or management experience within the energy sector (e.g., academia, government, industry, NGOs)
  • Ability to perform curricular development and administration at the university level
  • Marketing, public relations, or fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of external stakeholders
  • Ability to work with an advisory board and to cultivate new and existing relationships
  • Demonstrated experience developing and implementing a strategic vision, including resourcing the accompanying workplan

Conditions of Employment

All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including COVID vaccination by time of hire and Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.

Application Instructions

All application materials must be submitted electronically via Western’s Electronic Application System for Employment at Applications should include three items: 1) A cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications and contact information for three references; 2) Curriculum vitae; and 3) A one page statement demonstrating your past and current ability and commitment to cultivating learning and/or working environments that are equitable and inclusive of diverse students, faculty, and staff regarding race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, disability, and other marginalized identities.

You will be asked to provide contact information of three references. References are only anticipated to be contacted for finalists.

Applicants can contact or direct questions to the Search Committee Chair,


Commensurate with experience and qualifications. Anticipated starting salary range is $140,000-$150,000. Relocation assistance may be available per University guidelines. Salary and Start-up funds are to be determined upon being offered the position.

Closing Dates

Application review begins November 11, 2022; position is open until filled.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires and rehires, which includes a sexual misconduct background check.

  • Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Western Washington University, Old Main 126 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

    WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3303 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Dr. Andy Bunn
    Institute for Energy Studies
    Western Washington University
    516 High Street
    Bellingham, WA 98225


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