Tucson, AZ, United States 🇺🇸

Position Summary:

The Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy is a University-wide Research Institute/Center (, reporting to the Office for Research & Discovery (ORD), that is the intellectual home for interdisciplinary, stakeholder-based policy research and outreach. As such, the Udall Center’s charge is to advance cross-cutting inquiry and connect diverse policy research efforts and researchers, gain increasing external support for policy research, and deliver measurable public impact.

Currently, the Center focuses on policy research and outreach in three primary policy areas: environment, Native nations, and immigration. Given the strong record of success in these areas, and the University of Arizona’s strategic plan to grow sponsored research, the next Director is expected to focus on further growing interdisciplinary policy research, expanding extramural funding of its activities, and connecting diverse policy researchers across campus in synergistic and thoughtful ways to increase the visibility of University of Arizona policy research to external entities. The Director should bring public policy expertise that complements and/or augments the Center’s capacity and focus in order to coalesce and advance a wide range of interdisciplinary policy research, whether or not it is in the Center’s current policy domain.

The Udall Center’s work is motivated by the legacy of Arizona’s Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, who as advocates and public servants worked on behalf of the environment, the Southwest and U.S.-Mexico border region, Indigenous peoples, and other issues including public health, public lands, and energy resources. To achieve its aims, the Center builds bridges across disciplines, viewpoints, and geography to link research with decision-making and to co-produce and distribute policy-relevant knowledge. It does so by identifying problems, methods of inquiry, and solutions together with partners, constituents, and other stakeholders within the UA, and with other universities, Native nations, governmental agencies, foundations, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, and businesses. The Center employs between 35 and 40 staff, including faculty members (most of whom have joint appointments in other units), other professionals, and support personnel, plus about 10 graduate research assistants and several undergraduate students. The Center is supported from a diverse portfolio of funding – grants, contracts, private donations, and program revenue. A network of affiliated policy scholars and associates advise and contribute to the Center’s endeavors.

Depending on candidate interest and experience, and fit with the unit’s goals and expectations, a tenure-line academic appointment (and accompanying responsibilities) is negotiable in an appropriate academic unit. The Udall Center website can be found at

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

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Duties & Responsibilities:

The Director of the Udall Center is responsible for leading and participating in activities that foster interdisciplinary collaboration to address key policy issues, generating increasing external support to grow policy research and outreach that leads to substantive public benefit, and connecting policy research efforts in a considered manner that increases external visibility. The Director also oversees and manages all Udall Center operations including research and outreach programs and relationships both within and outside the university, among them a close relationship with the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation (a federal agency). The Director executes these responsibilities in a manner that coordinates and utilizes ORD resources and programs, as well as those of relevant UA colleges. The Director works with Center program directors/managers to determine priorities and supports their work to the highest standards. The Director regularly reports to the Senior Vice President for Research on Center activities, metrics, and outcomes relative to targets and goals.

The ideal candidate will be a researcher of substantial and widely recognized accomplishment relevant to the Center’s mission, have significant administrative experience, and is expected to have a clear, strategic and compelling vision for how the Center can grow, expand its impact and increase extramural funding. Specifically, the new Director will be expected to: i) work with ORD services and staff as a part of the university research institute/center mission; (ii) complement the Udall legacy in the Center’s approach and outcomes; (iii) oversee multiple, sometimes complex, streams of funding for projects and personnel, including flexible academic arrangements and opportunities; (iv) have a collaborative approach to leadership and management and skills in fostering common goals and teamwork; (v) work productively with a diverse staff, across multiple disciplines and topic areas, and with numerous external and internal organizations and constituencies in a thoughtful, even-handed manner.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • An earned doctorate in related field with scholarly credentials commensurate with appointment at the rank of Professor at the University of Arizona.
  • A demonstrated record of collaborative leadership that fosters common goals within a department/program and the broader university community.
  • Demonstrated success in identifying, cultivating and forming relationships to increase targeted activities and advance success in outcome metrics.
  • Record of productive collaboration with external organizations and constituencies, in particular with diverse/underserved constituencies

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous administrative experience as a department head, chair, or other significant administrative responsibilities.