Director, Center for Population Studies and Professor of Sociology


University, MS, US, 38677

Department:  Sociology & Anthropology (10000890)
Employee Designation:  Regular Full-time (Benefits Eligible)

Note for Current UM Employees

Current employees must apply internally via connectU >

Position Description

Director, Center for Population Studies

Professor of Sociology (open rank), Department of Sociology & Anthropology


Job Location: Oxford, MS


The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is a vibrant intellectual community of scholars with a strong interdisciplinary focus. Faculty within the department are award-winning teachers and scholars, with national and international reputations. Both the Sociology and Anthropology programs offer BA and MA degrees that support cross-disciplinary efforts, from team teaching to collaborative research. The Department and the College of Liberal Arts offer resources and support for scholars dedicated to community-based research, as well as those who integrate undergraduate and graduate students into their research activities.

Position Details

Appointment: 9 Month

Assignment Type: Tenure Track


The Department of Sociology & Anthropology invites applications for a sociologist at any rank (full, associate, or advanced assistant professor), to begin in July 2024 as the Director of UM’s Center for Population Studies and State Data Center of Mississippi.


The Center for Population Studies is a research center housed within the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. We seek a tenured (or near-tenured) sociologist of proven research and teaching ability, with an emphasis in one or more of the following areas: rural sociology, community development, demography, applied sociology, health, or education. Research focus should be on the contemporary United States, with preference for those working in the South.


Both the Center for Population Studies and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology are committed to building an inclusive, equitable, and supportive environment for scholars and students from historically underrepresented groups.


This position will lead a growing well-established research center with a successful history of externally funded projects in community-focused research on health, education, workforce development, and demography. The Center has a diverse funding portfolio that includes federal, state, private, and foundation dollars. The Center’s dynamic team works across its subunits to educate, conduct research, and engage in public outreach concerning population issues across a wide range of fields. This includes work with Federal, State, and local governments, community-based agencies, non-profits, and community groups.


The Center comprises three primary units: (1) the State Data Center of Mississippi (SDC), (2) the Applied Policy and Community Research Laboratory (APCRL), and (3) the Society and Health (SOHE) academic minor. The SDC is a joint program between the U.S. Census Bureau and the State of Mississippi. Its responsibilities include disseminating census-related data, offering instruction on data access and analysis, and acting as a liaison between the Census Bureau and the public data users. APCRL’s mission is to provide timely insights on emerging policy issues in the state through its research and policy briefs. Within the Center, the SOHE academic minor introduces undergraduate students to interdisciplinary research on health and well-being. The Center uses these programming units to offer both undergraduate and graduate students a distinctive research and technical training experience within an academic community-based research environment.


The Center Director will serve as the chief researcher and head of the unit's administrative office, ensuring adherence to University and funding policies and guidelines. Reporting to the Chair of Sociology and Anthropology, the Director also holds the responsibility of overseeing diverse stakeholder relationships, particularly with entities in State and Federal government.


Minimum Qualifications

A Ph.D. in Sociology, Demography, or Rural Sociology is required by the time of appointment.


The prospective Director should possess a proven record of accomplishment in leadership, securing grant funding, and managing projects. Candidates should have an active scholarly research agenda, evidenced by a consistent record of external funding, grant oversight, and expertise in leading teams of both staff and students.

Application Procedures

For full consideration, candidates will submit the following documents:

  1.  a cover letter outlining your research and teaching qualifications for the advertised position,
  2.  a curriculum vitae, and
  3.  a research statement, along with your future aspirations as the Center’s Director.


Candidates selected for further review will be asked to provide four references. Three academic references knowledgeable about the applicant's skills and capabilities in relation to this Director and tenured Sociology position. One community partner reference knowledgeable about the applicant’s capacity for building and sustaining non-higher education partnerships.


Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Albert Nylander, chair of the search committee at or (662) 915-2050.Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. Upon hire, faculty members of the University must provide an official transcript.  

About the University of MS & Oxford, MS

Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi (UM), affectionately known to alumni, students and friends as Ole Miss, is Mississippi's flagship university. Included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, it has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics and business. The University of Mississippi, consistently named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a “Great College to Work For,” is located in Oxford, MS, which is ranked one of the “Top 10 Best College Towns.” With more than 24,000 students, UM is the state's largest university and is ranked among the nation's fastest-growing institutions. The University of Mississippi, which has aggressively implemented many health and wellness initiatives for its more than 2,900 employees, has consistently been named one of Mississippi’s Healthiest Workplaces.


Touted as the “Cultural Mecca of the South”, creativity abounds in Oxford as musicians, artists and writers alike find inspiration in Oxford’s rich history, small town charm and creative community. Oxford is a one-hour drive south of Memphis, TN and is known as the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner. Over the years Oxford has also been known for offering exceptional culinary experiences and as the home of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss Rebels, there is always something here to immerse yourself in. Oxford has also been featured as a literary and arts destination in such publications as The New York Times, Southern Living, Condé Nast Traveler, and GQ. Among other cultural activities, annual events include the Oxford Film Festival, a thriving local music scene, and the Ford Center Performing Arts Series. Oxford is a vibrant university town, filled with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants and clubs, historic landmarks, and comfortable inns.


Background Check Statement

The University of Mississippi is committed to providing a safe campus community. UM conducts background investigations for applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial (credit) report or driving history check.


EEO Statement

The University of Mississippi provides equal opportunity in any employment practice, education program, or education activity to all qualified persons. The University complies with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action and does not unlawfully discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based upon race, color, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information.

Interview Requirements: Any candidate who is called for an interview must notify the Department of Equal Opportunity/Regulatory Compliance in writing of any reasonable accommodation needed prior to the date of the interview.

Nearest Major Market: Oxford Mississippi