Endowed Professor Initiative

Mike and Cindy Watts with Jonathan KoppellMike and Cindy Watts with Watts College Dean Jonathan Koppell

A $30 million investment from Mike and Cindy Watts of Phoenix, Arizona, is advancing our vision for a new model of integrated teaching, research and service to transform neighborhoods, communities and cities.

This generous gift establishes the Watts College Endowed Professor initiative: five endowed professorships dedicated to community-engaged scholarship that creates a more just society. We seek highly accomplished academic leaders who thrive as engaged scholars and public intellectuals, visionaries who identify and advance solutions to our most pressing challenges.

Watts Professor of Public Policy

Summary: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions seeks an established and entrepreneurial scholar or public intellectual to fill the Watts Endowed Professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Affairs at the Arizona State University. The Endowed Professor will advance the discovery, organization, transmission, and application of knowledge, as well as cultivate solutions to the challenges of modern governance in a way that builds inclusion and prosperity for current and future generations. This faculty position is a full-time, 9-month appointment. The Endowed Professor will receive annual funding from the Watts College endowment to advance research in the area of public policy, as well as train students to have an impact in the field.

Responsibilities: We seek a candidate with a distinguished scholarly record of research and a renowned reputation in public policy. The focus of the Endowed Professor will be primarily research, mentoring PhD students and junior faculty, and teaching. The Endowed Professor will engage in institution building by collaborating with organizations and individuals both within and outside the university. Successful candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equity in education through their scholarship, teaching, and/or service. Other responsibilities include seeking external support for research and participating in committee service as well as regional and national professional activities. All candidates must have an earned doctorate in public policy, public administration, economics, political science, sociology or a related social science discipline.

School: ASU’s School of Public Affairs is among the nation’s leading schools for public policy and public management, with unique strengths in information technology, science and technology policy, local government management, emergency management and homeland security, nonprofit management, and environmental policy.  We have an interdisciplinary faculty that includes 7 fellows of the National Academy of Public Administration, and we have consistently ranked in the top 20 Schools of Public Affairs in US News and World Report rankings, including for all areas of specialization.  The school has a racially and ethnically diverse student body committed to public service, including an undergraduate degree in Public Service and Public Policy, MPP and MPA degrees, and a competitive Ph.D. program.  Collaboration with other schools in the College is welcomed, given the diversity of policy-relevant research centers and degrees throughout the Watts College.

College: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions is located at the ASU downtown Phoenix campus in the heart of the nation’s 5th largest city and Arizona’s state capitol. It is part of the multi-campus Arizona State University that provides a multitude of academic and professional connections for students, research, and community engagement throughout growing and thriving metropolitan Phoenix. Watts College is a leading comprehensive public service college, dedicated to a model of fully integrated teaching, research, and service to strengthen our communities and co-create solutions to shared challenges. Whether the focus is on public policy, public safety, social welfare, public administration or community development, the diverse academic programs and research initiatives of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions offer a multifaceted approach to solving society’s shared challenges. Through our four schools and multiple centers, we help build stronger, more resilient, dynamic communities.

University: ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Watts Professor of Community Safety

Watts Professor of Community Safety

Summary: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions seeks an established, visionary public intellectual scholar to fill the Watts Endowed Professor of Community Safety in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ). The Endowed Professor will advance the discovery, organization, transmission, and application of knowledge, as well as cultivate solutions to the challenges that the 21st century present to crime and justice. This professor position is a full-time, 9-month appointment. The Endowed Professor will receive annual funding from the endowment to advance research in the area of crime and justice, as well as train students to have an impact in the field.

Responsibilities: We seek a candidate with a distinguished scholarly record of research and a renowned reputation in the field of crime and justice. The focus of the Endowed Professor will be primarily research, mentoring PhD students and junior faculty, and teaching. The Endowed Professor will engage in institution building by collaborating with organizations and individuals both within and outside the university. Successful candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equity in education through their scholarship, teaching, and/or service. Other responsibilities include seeking external support for research, and participating in committee service as well as regional and national professional activities. All candidates must have an earned doctorate in criminology, criminal justice, or a related social science discipline.

School: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions’ SCCJ is a comprehensive public research unit named #5 in the United States for graduate programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice (US News and World Report), and #7 in best online graduate criminal justice programs (US News and World Report). SCCJ is highly regarded for its distinguished faculty and research productivity. We are a community of interdisciplinary scholars committed to having a racially and ethnically diverse faculty and student body. SCCJ offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees, as well as several certificate programs. SCCJ is conveniently located on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus in the heart of the sixth largest city in the United States.

College: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, located in the dynamic hub of metro Phoenix, is part of the multi-campus Arizona State University that provides a multitude of academic and professional connections for students. Watts College is a leading comprehensive public service college, dedicated to a model of fully integrated teaching, research, and service to strengthen our communities and co-create solutions to shared challenges. Whether the focus is on public safety, social welfare, public administration or community development, the diverse academic programs and research initiatives of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions offer a multifaceted approach to solving society’s shared challenges. Through our four schools and multiple centers, we help build stronger, more resilient, dynamic communities.

University: ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Watts Professor of Child Well-Being

Watts Professor of Child Well-Being

Summary: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, School of Social Work seeks an established, visionary public intellectual scholar to fill the Watts Endowed Professor in Child Well-Being. The Endowed Professor will advance the discovery, organization, transmission, and application of knowledge in family and child well-being systems. This tenure-line faculty position is a full-time, 9-month appointment. The Endowed Professor will receive annual funding from the endowment to advance research in this area, educate and train students to develop knowledge and impact services.

Responsibilities: We seek a candidate with a distinguished scholarly record of research and a renowned reputation in the area of child and family well-being, child welfare, child development, family systems through the lens of human behavior, systems theory, child development, human development, family studies, human services, and service delivery. The Endowed Professor will lead the research agenda for SSW to investigate aspects of child well-being, linkages between practice and children and family policies, evidence-based interventions, and program evaluations. The focus of the Endowed Professor will be primarily research, mentoring PhD students and junior faculty, and teaching. Other responsibilities include seeking external support for research, school, college and university committee service, regional, national, and international professional activities. The Endowed Professor will engage in institution building by collaborating with organizations and individuals both within and outside the university. Successful candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equity in education through their scholarship, teaching, and/or service. We especially encourage candidates who have undertaken research and teaching with diverse populations and whose scholarship, teaching, and service will contribute to the diversity of our academic offerings to apply.  All candidates must have an earned doctorate in social work or a related social science discipline

SSW: The School of Social Work is a vibrant community of scholar teachers that is committed to diversity and inclusive excellence. The School’s curriculum, research, and community partnerships emphasize understanding and respect for the unique social, political, and cultural diversity of the Southwest Region. SSW provides an intellectual, collegial, and supportive environment that fosters interdisciplinary, community-based, regional, national and international research. Our strong research, educational, and training infrastructure includes the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, Center for Child Well-Being, Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, Global Center for Applied Health Research, Family Violence Center, Office for Gender-Based Violence, Office of American Indian Projects, Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research, and the Office of Community Health, Engagement, and Resiliency. SSW engages in collaborative projects across Watts College, the State of Arizona, the Southwest region, globally and has a strong commitment to be an active participant in the increasingly diverse urban and community life of Phoenix metropolitan area.

College: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, located in the dynamic hub of metro Phoenix, is part of the multi-campus Arizona State University that provides a multitude of academic and professional connections for students. Watts College is a leading comprehensive public service college, dedicated to a model of fully integrated teaching, research, and service to strengthen our communities and co-create solutions to shared challenges. Whether the focus is on public safety, social welfare, public administration or community development, the diverse academic programs and research initiatives of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions offer a multifaceted approach to solving society’s shared challenges. Through our four schools and multiple centers, we help build stronger, more resilient, dynamic communities.

University: ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Watts Professor of Urban Solutions

Watts Professor of Urban Solutions

Summary: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, School of Community Resources and Community Development seeks an established, visionary public intellectual scholar to fill the Watts Endowed Professor in Urban Solutions. The Endowed Professor will advance the discovery, organization, transmission, and application of knowledge to the ongoing challenge of developing robust, equitable, vibrant communities. This tenure-line professor position is a full-time, 9-month appointment. The Endowed Professor will receive annual funding of $100,000 from the endowment to advance research and related activities in the area of community development broadly construed and educate and train more students who can help integrate the many disciplines and activities that must be harnessed to create the thriving neighborhoods people aspire to inhabit.

Responsibilities: We seek a candidate with an earned doctorate distinguished scholarly record of research and a renowned reputation in a field related to the objectives of this professorship. That includes but is not limited to community development, economic development, public policy and administration, and nonprofit leadership and management.  The responsibilities of the Endowed Professor will be variable and negotiated upon hire to include research, teaching (including mentoring of Phd students and junior faculty) and community engagement. Other responsibilities include college and university committee service as well as regional and national professional activities. The Endowed Professor will engage in institution building by collaborating with organizations and individuals both within and outside the university. Successful candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equity in education through their scholarship, teaching, and/or service. We seek individuals who want to engage beyond academia at this critical moment and see participating in a public conversation about the role of the University in crafting urban solutions as part of the role of an intellectual.

School: The School of Community Resources and Development is located in the dynamic hub of metro Phoenix, and a part of the multi-campus Arizona State University that provides a multitude of academic and professional connections for students. The mission of our school is to co-create transformative solutions that enhance the social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being of communities. We provide internationally recognized interdisciplinary research expertise and innovative academic programs in nonprofit leadership and management, parks and recreation management, community sports management, and tourism development and management.  Courses are delivered through in-person, online, and hybrid platforms. 

College: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions embodies a commitment to service and a dedication to research that addresses social problems through our deep engagement in the community. Whether the focus is on public safety, social welfare, public administration or community development, the diverse academic programs and research initiatives of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions offer a multifaceted approach to solving society’s shared challenges. Through our four schools and multiple centers, we help build stronger, more resilient, dynamic communities.

University: ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Watts Professor of Collaborative Solutions for Tribal Prosperity

Watts Professor of Collaborative Solutions for Tribal Prosperity

Summary: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions seeks an established, visionary public intellectual scholar to fill the Watts Endowed Professor of Collaborative Solutions for Tribal Prosperity. The Endowed Professor will advance the discovery, organization, transmission, and application of knowledge in the cultivation of solutions to tribal challenges and the advancement of tribal prosperity. This tenure-line faculty professor position is a full-time, 9-month appointment. The Endowed Professor will receive annual funding from the endowment to advance research in the area of urban solutions, and educate and train students who can help advance knowledge and have impact in the field.

Responsibilities: We seek a candidate with a distinguished scholarly record of research and a renowned reputation in the field of tribal solutions or a related field. The focus of the Endowed Professor will be primarily research, mentoring PhD students and junior faculty, and teaching. Other responsibilities include seeking external support for research, and participating in college and university committee service as well as regional and national professional activities. The Endowed Professor will engage in institution building by collaborating with organizations and individuals both within and outside the university. Successful candidates are expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and equity in education through their scholarship, teaching, and/or service. We are interested in individuals who want to engage at this critical moment in tribal solutions and who see their work as participating in a public conversation about the role of tribal solutions at the University and in contemporary society. All candidates must have an earned doctorate in public policy or other public service and/or social science related discipline.

College: The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, located in the dynamic hub of metro Phoenix, is part of the multi-campus Arizona State University that provides a multitude of academic and professional connections for students. Watts College is a leading comprehensive public service college, dedicated to a model of fully integrated teaching, research, and service to strengthen our communities and co-create solutions to shared challenges. Whether the focus is on public safety, social welfare, public administration or community development, the diverse academic programs and research initiatives of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions offer a multifaceted approach to solving society’s shared challenges. Through our four schools and multiple centers, we help build stronger, more resilient, dynamic communities.

University: ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Solutions and Community Solutions is the nation’s largest public affairs college. With over 8,000 students enrolled in bachelors, masters and doctoral programs across schools of public affairs, criminology and criminal justice, social work and community resources and development, Watts College is a formidable community of students and scholars dedicated to bettering the world through community-engaged research and learning.

It proudly exemplifies the ASU Charter in its commitment to inclusion, innovation, responsibility and service. 

Join us in a unique opportunity to help define the future of a new type of public service college — one dedicated to building more vibrant, equitable communities.