About

Information About Faculty Positions

History and Mission

For more than 80 years, local and state government officials in North Carolina have relied on the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for assistance in matters of public law, administration, leadership, and finance. Established in 1931 as the Institute of Government, the School provides educational, advisory, and research support for local and state governments. Our mission is to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government.

As the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the United States, the School of Government offers up to 200 classes, seminars, schools, and specialized conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year. In addition, faculty members annually publish approximately 50 books, periodicals, and other reference books related to state and local government. The School of Government is also home to a nationally ranked graduate program in public administration and specialized centers focused on information technology and environmental finance.

Role of the Faculty

The School of Government assists North Carolina's local and state officials in obtaining information and honing skills they need to conduct public business. The School helps them learn what the law requires them to do and what the law prohibits them from doing, how best to manage their departments and agencies, how to ensure fiscal soundness and how to prepare proper financial reports, how to plan effectively for community and economic development, and how to make informed policy decisions. Officials attend classes and webinars taught by the 49-member faculty; stock their professional libraries with bulletins, monographs, and books written by faculty members and other professionals; and consult with individual faculty specialists.

Despite their roles as educators and advisors to officials at all levels of government, School faculty do not initiate or advocate changes in governmental policies and programs. The School also strives to be nonpartisan.

The current 48 interdisciplinary faculty members hold specialty degrees or come with experience in a broad range of areas, including conflict analysis and resolution, economics, finance, political science, public administration, leadership, public affairs, public policy administration, or in specialty areas of the law such as taxation or public employment. About 83 percent of the faculty have tenure-track or tenured appointments at the University. A number have been honored with awards from professional organizations or by scholarships clients have established in their honor.

Clients include city, county, and agency budget officers; school officials; city and county managers; county commissioners; city mayors; public defenders; state judges; social services workers; planners; mappers; city and county attorneys; and a host of other elected and appointed officials.

The School's reputation extends beyond North Carolina's borders. Moody's bond-rating service called the School of Government "a university for public officials" and commended its "rigorous and highly respected certification programs." Though the Institute was the nation's first "university for public officials," it has served as the model for similar ones in Georgia and New York, and has hosted delegations from many other states to share information about how the School does what it does.

More than 90 professional staff provide administrative support in the areas of business and finance, facilities and distribution services, information technology, library services, marketing and communications, program management, publications, and registration and support services.

Forty-one percent of the School's $23 million annual budget comes from state appropriations to the University; the remaining portion comes from revenues received from local government membership dues, publication sales, course fees, private contributions, and payments from governmental agencies for long-term consulting projects or specialized teaching.

Teaching

The School offers up to 200 courses, conferences, and webinars annually, each tailored to fit a specific purpose: for example, to introduce new social services attorneys to the social services system, to improve the management skills of local government department heads, or to keep trial judges up-to-date with civil and criminal law and procedure developments. Each year more than 12,000 clients attend or participate in training that lasts from one day to 16 weeks.

Some faculty members produce self-paced online modules on specific topics that may be included as part of a course or offered separately to clients. Course content is highly practical: it deals with real issues faced by public officials in their work.

The nationally ranked Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program serves up to 60 students annually and offers a strong focus on local government management. Established in 1966, the program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Many School faculty--especially those with expertise in subjects other than law--teach in both traditional School of Government courses and in the MPA Program. A few faculty also teach in other parts of the University, including the School of Law, the School of Public Health, and the Department of City and Regional Planning.

Scholarship

Only a limited number of public officials can attend School classes, but through publications written by faculty specialists, officials can still get the information they need to perform their jobs well. The School publishes a great deal of faculty research. However, faculty also publish in other forums, including governmental agency publications, professional journals, and with outside publishers. A law bulletin or monograph published at the School may analyze the implications of a Supreme Court decision on zoning for planning officials or a state appeals court ruling on child support for family court judges. Faculty-written books may serve as texts in School and other courses (County and Municipal Government in North Carolina, for example); serve as reference works for public officials and members of the bar (Legislative Zoning Decisions: Legal Aspects); or serve as texts at community colleges and the North Carolina Justice Academy (Arrest, Search, and Investigation in North Carolina).

The School publishes numerous substantive blogs, which reflect our areas of expertise and provide a convenient and timely format for disseminating faculty research.

Advising

Advising at the School covers a wide range of activities. Some faculty members answer frequent telephone or e-mail queries from clients. Examples include: May a county legally stop a business from hauling petroleum-contaminated soil into the county and dumping it on vacant farmland? How many bids must a city receive to award a contract for purchase of police cars? How should a prosecutor approach an evidence issue in the courtroom?

Advising also involves projects that require a longer time frame. An accountant may be asked to evaluate a local government's financial statements or provide assistance solving complex accounting and reporting issues; a specialist in public administration may help a town or county plan and administer delivery of services and evaluate their effectiveness; a member of the leadership faculty may conduct a retreat for a governing board dealing with implementation of welfare reform; a lawyer may review a school system's disciplinary policy, draft a firearms policy for a police department, or serve as counsel to a legislative committee.

Legislative Reporting Service

When the General Assembly is in session, the Legislative Reporting Service (LRS) publishes the Daily Bulletin, in electronic format, for members of the legislature and others who need to follow the course of legislation. School of Government staff produce these reports, working both in the Legislative Building in Raleigh and at the School of Government in Chapel Hill. 

Faculty Expertise

Faculty members with specialties in conflict analysis and resolution, economics, finance, political science, public administration, public affairs, and public policy come to the School with the doctorate and other specialized degrees and expertise of their professions. They develop their expertise on the job through research and teaching. The primary mission of all faculty members is service to North Carolina public officials. However, it is understood that individual faculty members may need to do research or write for different audiences as well, depending on their area of specialty. In defining the work assignments for new faculty, the dean of the School tries to accommodate both School needs and an individual's interests.

New members of the faculty quickly acquire much the same duties as senior members, becoming responsible for identifying and meeting the needs of public officials in their areas of specialization. This early assumption of responsibility, combined with considerable discretion in carrying out the work, is a main attraction of work at the School. Typically, the dean appoints a committee of three tenured faculty members to advise and assist each new colleague and review his or her work.

Current faculty

Among the 48 faculty members, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is represented most with 19 doctoral and law degrees. Five faculty have their highest degrees from Duke University, four from North Carolina State University, three from Michigan, and two from Harvard. Other schools from which faculty have received law and doctoral degrees include George Mason University, Georgetown University, Georgia Tech, Mississippi University, New York University, State University of New York at Albany, Syracuse University, University of California at Davis, University of Georgia, University of Oklahoma, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Yale University. Twenty-four faculty are men, and 24 are women. The School is committed to achieving a racially diverse faculty. Currently, three faculty members are African-American.

Faculty rank

The School most often hires faculty for tenure-track appointments, subject to the same rules governing other faculty appointments at the University. An initial appointment for a new faculty member is typically for a four-year term as an assistant professor. Employment is for the full 12 months of the year (less state holidays and 24 days of paid vacation) rather than for the academic year.

Qualifications

The School looks for strong academic qualifications in faculty candidates. A candidate must have strong analytical skills, as well as possess the ability to write and speak well and to work effectively with a wide range of clients. A candidate's graduate or law school record must demonstrate superior ability.

Continuity of the faculty is perhaps more important at the School than it is in other departments of the University. Public officials with whom we work don't "graduate" after a set time; rather, they often remain clients for many years, and it is important that they establish strong, ongoing working relationships with faculty members. Therefore, the School expects that each newly appointed faculty member will remain for the long term; these positions are not intended to be short-term preparation for other employment.

Salary

Annual salary increases depend primarily on state legislative appropriations; therefore, salaries do not rise as quickly or as far as they would in management or a consulting practice. Because of potential conflicts with School work, opportunities for paid outside consulting in North Carolina are limited. University faculty members participate in the state or optional retirement plans and the state health insurance plan.

Recruiting

The School's recruitment techniques depend upon the particular faculty expertise for which we are searching. Open positions are always advertised via the websites of the University and the School. We typically advertise in the Chronicle of Higher Education and other relevant professional publications, as well as with relevant professional associations. For law faculty recruitment, School representatives typically interview at about a half dozen law schools during the fall hiring cycle, including Duke, Harvard, North Carolina, North Carolina Central, University of Michigan, University of Texas, and University of Virginia law schools. We welcome candidates from other law schools as well. We may also recruit law faculty through other processes, like the Equal Justice Works Career Fair and the American Association of Law Schools faculty recruitment process. For each faculty vacancy, several prospective candidates are invited to campus to interview.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will be accepted without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability status, veteran status, or sexual orientation.