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Three-Year Faculty Position in Physics at Berry College


The College

Berry College is a selective liberal-arts college with about 2100 students. The College offers graduate degrees in business and education, but is primarily focused on undergraduate education in the arts and sciences. Berry is located in scenic Northwest Georgia on a 26,000 acre campus (the largest college campus in the USA), most of which is occupied by natural forest. The mission of the College is to provide students with an education of the head, heart, and hands. Berry combines a strong academic curriculum with an active student work program in which the vast majority of students participate. Spiritual exploration is encouraged through the College's Religion-In-Life Program (though Berry has no specific religious affiliation).


The Department

The Physics Department at Berry is a joint department with Geology, but the geology faculty are mostly independent. There are currently three full-time faculty in physics: two tenured and one visitor whose position will be replaced by a tenure track line next year (we have already hired for this tenure track position).  The available job is for a three-year Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics, which will increase the number of physics faculty at Berry to four.

We offer two majors in physics (one designed for those who wish to pursue graduate study, and another designed for future secondary teachers and others with an interest in physics but no plans to pursue graduate work) as well as a minor. In recent years we have graduated 3-6 physics majors per year (approximately 40% female). We have sent several students to physics graduate programs in recent years.  The department is committed to employing teaching methods based on physics education research. Current faculty employ active learning strategies such as peer instruction, guided-inquiry worksheets, inquiry labs, and classroom presentation of homework to keep students fully engaged during class time. For more information on our teaching methods, see the Active Learning at Berry blog. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to learn about active learning methods from two instructors with many years of experience using these methods. We offer courses in physics and astronomy that support the College's General Education curriculum, algebra-based and calculus-based introductory sequences, and upper-division courses in computational physics, mathematical methods, classical mechanics, electromagnetism, modern physics, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and advanced laboratory methods (2 courses).  We occasionally offer electives in astrophysics/cosmology or solid-state physics.  The opportunity exists for the successful candidate to develop new courses at the General Education or advanced level.

The physics program is housed in McAllister Hall, named for Berry's first physics professor. The facilities for the physics program consist of a central lounge area with three adjoining faculty offices, research labs for each faculty member, a student computer room, a workshop room, two teaching labs (seating up to 24 students each) each with an adjoining prep room, and various storage spaces. Although the department does not have a lab manager, student workers typically assist in setting up equipment for the teaching labs. Physics shares a secretary with the other science departments. In addition, the College has a small observatory located on the campus.

The Position

This is a three-year visiting position that will begin in August 2014. The successful candidate will be expected to teach 24 contact hours per academic year, with full credit given for lab courses. This typically equates to four "lecture" courses and six labs, spread over two semesters.  This position does not have any requirements for scholarship, but candidates interested in conducting research with undergraduates will be viewed favorably.  Summer teaching is optional.  This position does not entail any specific service obligations (such as committee work or advising), but the successful applicant will be expected to assist in normal departmental activities such as recruitment, curriculum development, and maintenance of facilities.

Teaching assignments will depend on the strengths and interests of the successful candidate, but likely courses include: a physics course for non-science majors with associated lab, algebra-based introductory physics (two semesters) with associated labs, modern physics, and another upper-level physics course.


For More Information

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