Founding Program Director and Department Chair, Department of Physical Therapy

  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Harlingen, TX

UTRGV seeks an academic leader to serve as the Founding Director and Academic Department Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy.The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

Position Overview

UTRGV seeks an innovative, experienced academic leader to serve as the Founding Director and Academic Department Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. This individual must be committed to promoting and fostering excellence in teaching, research, professional practice, and service. The Founding Director will play an instrumental role in implementing programs that will align with UTRGV’s mission to enhance health care available to the population of South Texas.

This is an exciting opportunity for the Department of Physical Therapy to build a world-class program and prepare for the future where technology and new practice models are changing the landscape of health care delivery and professional education. The Founding Director of UTRGV’s Department of Physical Therapy will be expected to have a deep commitment to students and their success in addition to a record of accomplishment with building strong and abiding interpersonal relationships.

The Founding Director will be expected to develop the program for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The successful candidate will be instrumental in recruiting, promoting, and retaining outstanding faculty, students and staff to the program. The Founding Director reports directly to the Dean of the College of Health Professions and works collaboratively with other senior leadership at UTRGV and external audiences, including community and professional organizations. The Founding Director serves as one of the state’s leading voices for assessing health care needs of its residents and addressing them through the education of physical therapists and other medical professionals.


  • Earned academic doctoral degree with credentials and scholarly activities that merit appointment at the rank of Associate Professor, Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, or Clinical Professor of Physical Therapy. A doctorate in physical therapy is preferred.
  • Holds an active license as a physical therapist or is eligible to obtain physical therapy licensure in Texas.
  • A minimum of six years of full-time higher education experience, with a minimum of three years of full-time experience in a physical therapy education program.
  • Strong, sustained record of senior leadership and administrative experience in support of students and faculty in teaching, service and scholarship excellence gained within an academic health care setting.
  • Experience in accreditation and strategic planning, budgeting and financial oversight, building planning, and degree development.
  • Involvement in an active research program or history of successful program of funded research is preferred.
  • Ability to manage an academic organization and work effectively and collaboratively with community leaders, interdisciplinary professionals and colleagues in a complex university environment.
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