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Assistant Professor of Media, Culture and Law with a focus on Designing Just Futures

Position overview

Position title: Assistant Professor
Salary range: A reasonable salary range estimate for this position is $74,600-$97,200. ​​ The posted UC Academic salary scales set the minimum pay as determined by rank and/or step at appointment. See the following table(s) for the salary scale(s) for this position Table 1: Faculty -- Ladder Ranks - Professor Series, Academic Year. The base salary range, from the salary table(s), for this position is $74,600-$97,200.
“Off-scale salaries” and other components of pay, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions, qualifications, and experience. ​ ​Additional UCSD salary information can be found here:
Review timeline: Open until filled. Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled, but those received after the initial review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Application Window

Open date: August 30, 2023

Next review date: Friday, Oct 13, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Saturday, Mar 23, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Department of Communication at UC San Diego seeks faculty candidates at the level of Assistant Professor whose research, teaching, and service will advance scholarship and institutional solutions for designing more just and equitable systems and structures. We seek an interdisciplinary scholar, artist, or practitioner who engages with the study and design of laws and policies related to media, communication, and culture with a focus on Native American/Alaska Native/Pacific Islander, Indigenous, Black, and/or migrant futures.

This search is part of a UC San Diego-wide cluster hire on Designing Just Futures (DJF) that aims to recruit scholars, artists, or practitioners who can contribute to the advancement of design, social justice, and futures and seeks engagement across disciplines to address issues of territory, access and equity, and social and political debates pertinent to Native American, Indigenous, Black, and migrant communities, while also working within their home departments and professional communities.

Faculty hired under this initiative will join the UC San Diego Design Lab and the Indigenous Futures Institute to forge a new paradigm of engagement and collaboration that draws on the geographic, academic, institutional, and cultural strengths of our tri-national region across Southern California, Baja California, and the Kumeyaay region.

As a member of the UC San Diego Design Lab and the Indigenous Futures Institute, the successful candidate will center Native American, Indigenous, Black, and/or migrant people and communities in collaborative and shared efforts toward inclusive and justice-oriented design solutions to complex socio-technical problems. We seek an interdisciplinary scholar, artist, or practitioner whose work interrogates what it means to design, and whose work decenters dominant technocratic design practices in favor of interdisciplinary approaches informed by Native American and Indigenous Studies, Black, and/or migration studies in dialogue with critical race studies and critical legal studies. We seek a colleague who, likewise, addresses questions of how design engages with or raises critical questions about legal ownership, territory, and citizenship.

Areas of research and design may include but are not limited to the following: legal questions in genetics and health, for example as they relate to consent in genetic data collection and the ownership and management of digital genetic databases; the unauthorized appropriation of Indigenous, Black or migrant knowledge and culture, its relationship to conventional intellectual property laws, and its implications for envisioning alternative conceptions of law and property; questions of surveillance, power, and freedom that arise in Indigenous, Black and migrant interactions with digital technology; the questions raised for citizenship, territory, and sovereignty in both the breach and upholding of Indigenous, Black and migrant rights in treaties, laws and policies at federal, state, and local level; questions of justice that arise at the intersection between Indigenous, Black and migrant rights and disability rights, including conceptions of disability and access; responses to the challenges of environment and climate change, for example in rights to water and other resources, and forest management. In all these areas we are especially interested in scholars whose work holds promise for Indigenous, Black and migrant futures.

As part of their teaching portfolio, faculty hired under Designing Just Futures will be expected to design and teach courses that align with the Department of Communication, the Design Lab, and the Indigenous Futures Institute programs.

The faculty member will advance UC San Diego’s commitment to the inclusion of Indigenous, Black, and/or migrant communities, anti-racism, anti-oppression, equity, and social justice. We especially welcome candidates whose professional experience, community engagement, and personal background have facilitated their understanding of and ability to better serve students from Indigenous and other underrepresented populations.

UC San Diego was built on the unceded territory of the Kumeyaay people. Today and every day, we honor their stewardship of this land and their tremendous contribution to our region. Land acknowledgements are an important gesture of collective recognition and accountability. But we also commit ourselves to action, to truth in learning and teaching the history of this place and its people, a reckoning with injustices, past and present, and a pathway forward that respects the dignity and human rights of all.

The Department of Communication and the University of California San Diego are committed to academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff, and student body. We seek candidates who will maintain the highest standards of scholarship and professional activity and make a strong and meaningful contribution to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Candidates should have a JD, Ph.D, or other relevant terminal degree, or have advanced to candidacy at the time of application.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Completion of JD, Ph.D, or other relevant terminal degree by start date and should have at least 1 peer-reviewed journal article or book chapter in a relevant area of the arts, humanities, or social sciences by start date.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - A two to three page cover letter

  • Statement of Research - Statement detailing your research interests

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Applicants should summarize their past or potential contributions to diversity. See our Faculty Equity site for more information.

  • Writing Sample(s) - Writing sample(s) up to 50 pages total.

  • Statement of Teaching - Statement detailing your teaching experience and philosophy.

  • Designing Just Futures Statement - A one page statement. Applicants should describe how they are currently or planning to engage in frameworks focused on futures, futurities, and/or futurism at the intersection of design and social justice that prioritize Indigenous, Black, and/or migrant communities. Applicants are encouraged to read about how we engage indigeneity on the DJF website.

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

Applicants will be notified before the department reaches out to References directly.

Apply link:

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Campus Information

The University of California, San Diego is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, covered veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

The University of California prohibits smoking and tobacco use at all University controlled properties.

The UC San Diego Annual Security & Fire Safety Report is available online at: This report provides crime and fire statistics, as well as institutional policy statement & procedures. Contact the UC San Diego Police Department at (858) 534-4361 if you want to obtain paper copies of this report.

Job location

La Jolla, CA