Loyola University Maryland

Center for the Humanities

Director

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Mark OsteenMark Osteen

Mark Osteen, Ph.D., a Professor of English at Loyola, became the Director of the Center for the Humanities in July, 2015. His goals for the Center include reactivating the Aperio Series of Humane Texts, which sponsor projects in which undergraduates collaborate with faculty on original research; and creating a series of student-led seminars. More generally, Dr. Osteen hopes to make the Center a source of innovative interdisciplinary projects and initiatives that will link Loyola to the Maryland and national humanities communities.

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About the Position

The Mission of the Center for the Humanities is to provide strength and vision to the study of the humanities at Loyola University Maryland, reclaiming and renewing the centuries old tradition of Jesuit education in the humanities. The work of the Center for the Humanities is guided by a steering committee and the Center’s director. The director is selected from among the humanities faculty by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (having consulted the Steering Committee), and reports to the Dean.  

The Center’s director provides leadership to the steering committee in envisioning how the Center is to fulfill its mission as the University continually evolves and grows. The director is also responsible for overseeing the day-to-day work of the Center. To that end, the director’s job consists of the following:

I. Promotion and Planning of Center Activities

With regard to the promotion and planning of the Center’s work, the director:

  • guides the Center’s Strategic planning processes in cooperation with the Dean and Steering Committee, and oversees implementation of the Center’s plans.
  • serves as a liaison between the Steering Committee and other persons or divisions of the College in matters concerning the Center and promotes conversations with other foundations and centers for the humanities.
  • oversees the content of the description of Center programs and policies, along with other materials publicizing the Center’s work, including the annual report of the Center.

II. Program Administration

With regard to program administration, as part of his/her duties the Center’s director: 

  • Consults with, and is available for consultation by the dean to ensure that the Center’s work is consistent with the larger aims of the College and that its work furthers Loyola College’s humanities learning aims.(1)  The director also functions as an advocate to the dean and other administrators on behalf of the Steering Committee with regard to Center matters.
  • Oversees preparation of monthly meeting materials (with the assistance of the program’s coordinator), and chairs the Center’s monthly meetings.
  • Is available for consultation by members of the College community seeking advice on preparation of proposals or other matters pertaining to the Center.
  • Ensures that Center funds are being spent in accordance with its overall mission and the mandate of its endowment, and ensures that individual grants are appropriately administered.
  • Shares responsibility with the Symposium director to see that Symposium events are administered according to the mission and mandate of the Center’s endowment, and with the mission of the Symposium Program, and serves as resource and advisor to the Symposium director.
  • Issues an annual report at the end of each academic year. The report summarizes the activities of the Center during the previous year as well as the plans for the next year in relation to the strategic plans of the Center and the College.

III. Budget

The director oversees the budgeting process on a yearly basis, and maintains the budget over the course of each year.  
This includes:

  • submitting the Center’s yearly budget for the following academic year in the regular annual budgeting process of  the college;
  • preparing budget statements on a regular basis throughout the year;
  • preparing a final budget as part of the yearly annual report.

IV. Supervisory Roles

The Center’s director serves as co-supervisor, with the Honor’s director, of the Center’s programs coordinator, and as supervisor of an assistant director, as applicable.

V. Compensation

The Director receives a stipend of $2,500 per semester, or a course release per semester, at the rate of $2,500 per course.  

Process for Hiring Center for the Humanities Director

Evaluation of the Director

Every three semesters the Dean will ask the members of the Steering Committee to evaluate the Director’s performance on the basis of the Director’s job description.  The Dean and Director will discuss the evaluations. The Dean will take the evaluations into account during the Director’s annual review, and the Director will keep the Steering Committee informed of the general direction of the Steering Committee’s and Dean’s evaluations.

Midway through the third year of the Director’s three year appointment, the Dean and Director will discuss whether each would consider a reappointment.  Whether or not reappointment is under consideration, the Dean will conduct the evaluation (above) of the Director by the Steering Committee.  The Dean and Director will take the Steering Committee’s evaluation and advice into account in the decision about reappointment.

Selection of a New Director

When hiring a new director for the Center the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will circulate a job description and call for applicants among the humanities faculties.  The post will ordinarily (2)  be advertised in Newshound and by an email from the Dean to Humanities faculty, soliciting a resume and letter speaking to the reasons candidates are interested, and, as the candidate sees fit, a discussion of the candidate’s vision for the Center.  The Dean will discuss the strengths and weakness of the candidates with the Steering Committee as well as seek the individual members’ personal recommendations. The Dean will announce the appointment to the Steering Committee, then the Humanities faculty and broader Loyola community.


1The Center web page twice mentions the goal "to further education in the humanities." Mentioning the brand-newly Senate approved humanities learning aims is, of course, new.

2 The director will ordinarily be appointed from current Loyola humanities faculty.  But this does not rule out appointment  (having consulted the Steering Committee) of a humanities faculty newly hired from outside the College.