Head, Department of Computer Science

Maryland, United States
26 Sep 2018
End of advertisement period
26 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

The Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University invites nominations and applications for the newly created position of Head of the Department of Computer Science. This is an outstanding opportunity for an accomplished scholar with leadership experience, in collaboration with a growing faculty and an enterprising dean, to further strengthen an exceptional department at the nation’s first research university. The best candidates will evidence the intellectual distinction, entrepreneurial capacity, collaborative spirit, transparency, inclusiveness, and creativity that characterize the School’s culture, along with the scholarly credentials required for appointment as full professor. Serving a renewable five-year term, the Head will be appointed as a full-time tenured faculty member in CS and will be encouraged to remain active in research, though strategic leadership of the Department will be his/her top priority.

The Department of Computer Science

Established in 1986, the Department of Computer Science (CS) has grown to become one of the largest departments in the Whiting School of Engineering. It currently has 29 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members, three full-time teaching faculty, 11 full-time and adjunct research faculty members, over 450 undergraduate students pursuing a first or second major, and approximately 250 graduate students. Each semester, the department offers 30 to 35 lecture courses and provides over 3,000 instructional seats to students from across the University.

The department’s research focus areas span theoretical to applied topics and include Computational Biology and Medicine; Information Security; Machine Learning & Data-Intensive Computing; Robotics; Vision & Graphics; Language & Speech Processing; Systems; and Theory & Programming Languages. The Department is regarded as a key player in the University’s wide- ranging interdisciplinary research efforts. Its faculty are deeply involved with many of the University’s major cross-departmental research centers, including the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science, the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute, the Center for Language and Speech Processing, the Human Language Technology Center of Excellence, the Institute for Computational Medicine, the Center for Imaging Science, the Center for Computational Biology, the Mathematical Institute for Data Science, and the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare. With five of its faculty members holding primary appointments that span two or more schools, and with leadership and key participation in multiple research centers, the CS department is arguably one of the most collaborative departments at Hopkins. Beyond the University, CS has increasingly active collaborations with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL), the largest DoD university- affiliated research center (UARC) in the country.

Within these research areas, the department has tremendous strength and impact. The annual research budget has grown to over $20 million per year, and the research portfolio includes hundreds of papers appearing at top conferences and journals. Eleven faculty members hold endowed chairs, two faculty members are listed on the 2017 Thomson Reuters list of Most Highly Cited Researchers, and current junior faculty members hold five early career awards and two Sloan Foundation Fellowships. Many other members of the Department have been recognized by election as fellows of academic societies and by other programs such as the MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 list and the IEEE Technical Field Award. The department is also notable for its translational activities, including developing several widely used open-source software packages, the launch of several successful companies, and policy leadership on issues of national and international interest such as secure voting and communication.

Over the past decade, the department has seen transformative growth in the number of faculty, staff, students, and courses. As Computer Science plays an increasingly central and important role for all STEM fields, Whiting School and CS faculty expect that over the next decade the department will continue to further solidify its core research areas as well as to branch out into new areas that are currently underrepresented. The new Department Head will play a pivotal role in defining this growth, including through the strategic recruitment of new faculty, the development of new resources and curricular innovation, and other initiatives to serve the next generation of students and researchers.

More information about the CS Department can be found at https://www.cs.jhu.edu.

Dean Schlesinger sees the core opportunities for impact to include continued expansion of the breadth, depth, and intensity of research and teaching in the Department; recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty and students; increasing the diversity of faculty, students, and staff; broadening the Department’s engagement with industry as well as with other departments, centers, and institutes in the University; increasing gift and grant support; increasing translation of discoveries and new knowledge to benefit society; and ensuring that degree programs are in the forefront of their fields.

The Dean is committed to providing the support that will enable the Department to dramatically advance its mission. The appointment of a full-time department Head (rather than a Chair rotating from the faculty, as was the previous Whiting School practice) constitutes a shared commitment between the Dean and the Head to pursue the aspirations described in this document and establishes the Head’s expanded scope of responsibility for faculty, staff, and students, for financial resources, for research and scholarship, and for fundraising and alumni relations.

The Department Head will work with colleagues in and beyond the Department to increase its stature and elevate its reputation. The means to these ends, the measures of success, and the prioritization of activities designed to achieve them are matters the Head will define in collaboration with the faculty and the Dean. Each of the Department’s mission areas, like those of the Whiting School, provide opportunities for impact and accomplishment.

  • Continued expansion of the CS research program is expected to be an important priority for the new Head. The role will entail promoting research collaborations across the institution, developing incentive programs for new research endeavors, and recruiting, developing, and retaining faculty who will thrive in Hopkins’ rich intellectual and entrepreneurial research environment. CS’s research enterprise already encompasses collaborations with Hopkins’ other excellent divisions such as the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Carey Business School, and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, along with industry partners and other national laboratories. The Head will apply his/her energy and talent, along with those of the faculty and the Dean, to broaden and deepen the Department’s research activity.
  • The new Head will work to enhance and expand diversity at all levels in the department, from its faculty and staff to its graduate and undergraduate students.
  • The new Head will work with the Dean and the faculty to grow the depth, breadth and capacity of educational programs within the department. Whiting attracts substantial numbers of the very best students at all levels. To build on this existing strength, the Head will identify opportunities for curricular review and innovation, will work with leaders within the Department and across Whiting to expand popular programs, and will further develop resources to connect student experiences with future employment opportunities.
  • More broadly, the Head will foster connections with industry as part of the Department’s efforts to expand its base of resources and relationships, to disseminate knowledge and discoveries, and to develop and transfer technologies that may have an impact in the world. In these various external activities, the new Head will work with the University’s technology commercialization program, with faculty and students, and with industry partners. S/he will also work closely with the school’s Development and Alumni Affairs leaders to increase philanthropic support.

Position Qualifications

The new Head will be an exceptional and proven leader who can inspire and collaborate with faculty, staff, and students in a shared governance environment. S/he will have the ability to establish and build investment in a compelling vision of CS as a leading department in its field, as a magnet for faculty and students, and as a site of innovation in research, teaching, and application. The Department Head will have a dossier that evidences a strong track record of scholarship and teaching; a passionate commitment to research, discovery, and application; and an interest in academic administration. S/he will have strong skills for mentoring junior faculty and will promote the interests of the entire department. Fundraising experience is preferred.

Required educational background and qualifications:

  • An earned doctorate in computer science or related field and a record deserving appointment as tenured full professor at the Johns Hopkins University;
  • Recognized leadership in his/her respective field of computer science with a distinguished national and international reputation for research and education;
  • Excellent communication skills in both internal and external interactions;
  • A strong commitment to diversity at all levels among faculty, students, and staff; and
  • Three or more years of leadership experience within a complex research environment. The best candidates will also have many of the following capabilities and personal attributes: • Strong budgetary and operational skills;
  • A collegial, problem-solving style based on personal integrity and ethics, professional confidence, and excellent relationship management skills; • Nuanced judgment and personal maturity; and
  • A participatory leadership style that models the values of service, initiative, and collaboration.

The Whiting School of Engineering

The Johns Hopkins School of Engineering was founded in 1912 to develop pragmatic solutions to real world problems and to ensure Maryland’s continued economic growth by providing the state’s burgeoning industrial sector with a workforce trained in the latest technologies. Since that time, the School’s activities in education, research, and professional service have remained integral to the university’s mission. In 1979, the school was named the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering in recognition of a gift from the estate of G.W.C. Whiting, co-founder of the Whiting- Turner Contracting Company.

Whiting School faculty and students have a proud history of deep contributions to engineering science as well as breaking down traditional disciplinary boundaries. The school’s culture of transformative, cross-disciplinary discovery has enabled the Whiting School to leverage the expertise and resources of Johns Hopkins University and positioned it at the forefront of fields including biomedical engineering, data science, materials, mechanics, robotics, and environmental engineering.

The Whiting School of Engineering comprises over 200 full time tenure-track, research, and teaching-track faculty in nine academic programs with a total annual research budget of over $100 million. Research partnerships with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, APL, Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences make the Whiting School of Engineering a unique research and educational environment. Student enrollment exceeds 1,800 at the undergraduate level and includes over 1,000 full-time MS and PhD students. The Engineering for Professionals program enrolls over 2,500 part-time continuing education students and is one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. The Whiting School of Engineering is in the top 20 for both undergraduate programs and graduate school rankings by US News and World Report.

The Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins is one of the world’s premier research universities: with annual research expenditures of $3 billion, it has more grant and research funding than any other American university.

At the time of their founding, the Johns Hopkins University and Hospital set the pace for American higher education and medicine. More than a century later, they remain world leaders. Together, the Johns Hopkins Institutions, which now comprise the University, the Johns Hopkins Health System, and the Applied Physics Lab, are the largest private employer in Maryland, employing 46,000 people, 40,000 of whom work in Baltimore City. The Johns Hopkins Institutions generate more than $10 billion annually in regional economic impact.

The Johns Hopkins University was incorporated in 1867 under the terms of a $7 million bequest from Johns Hopkins, a Quaker merchant of Baltimore, who directed that the funds be used for the establishment of a university and a hospital. The University was founded for the express purpose of expanding knowledge and putting that knowledge to work for the good of humanity. Today, Hopkins is world renowned for undergraduate and graduate study, research, professional practice, and patient care. It attracts the finest undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and more federal research funding than any other university in the United States.

Hopkins opened its doors in 1876 under the leadership of its visionary first president, Daniel Coit Gilman. President Gilman and his first board of trustees conceived of and brought together, for the first time in history, the key elements of the American research university: a creative faculty given the freedom and support to pursue research; fellowships to attract the brightest students; education emphasizing original work in laboratory and theory; and scholarly publication.

The University has grown to encompass 10 divisions: the Whiting School of Engineering, the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Carey Business School, the Schools of Education, Medicine, and Nursing, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Peabody Institute, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and the Applied Physics Laboratory, as well as multiple centers, institutes, and affiliates. Currently, Hopkins has approximately 6,500 faculty, 6,200 undergraduate students, and 17,600 graduate students. The University offers approximately 230 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels.

The University’s operating budget for fiscal year 2016 was $5.3 billion. Its endowment was nearly $3.4 billion at the end of that year. The Homewood campus, site of the schools of Arts and Sciences, Education, and Engineering, is located in north Baltimore. The East Baltimore campus is home of the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, as well as The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Additional locations include sites in downtown Baltimore, Montgomery County, MD, and Washington, D.C., as well as the 400-acre APL campus in Howard County, MD. In addition, the University has a strong international presence, including, but not limited to, centers in Nanjing, China and Bologna, Italy.

The Whiting School of Engineering has engaged Opus Partners (www.opuspartners.net) to support the recruitment of the CS Department Head. Craig Smith, Partner, and Laura Jenks, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Applicants should submit a single PDF containing a letter of interest outlining their research and leadership experience, their CV, and a two or three-page statement of research interests to: laura.jenks@opuspartners.net. Nominations, recommendations, expressions of interest, and inquiries should go to the same address. Applications received by July 31, 2018 will receive full consideration. Every effort will be made to ensure candidate confidentiality.

The Whiting School of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science are committed to building a diverse educational environment, and women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, other legally protected characteristics or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. The University promotes Affirmative Action for minorities, women, individuals who are disabled, and veterans. Johns Hopkins University is a drug-free, smoke-free workplace.