Physician Assistant Department Chair

June 28, 2019
Priority Deadline to Apply:
August 9, 2019
Des Moines University

Position Description

Des Moines University (DMU), in partnership with the national search firm, Scott Healy & Associates, invites applications and nominations for the position of Physician Assistant Department Chair. This is a full-time, 12-month faculty position. Faculty rank is dependent upon the candidate’s qualifications.  Reporting directly to the Dean, the successful candidate will serve as the Program Director and will be responsible for all administrative, educational, research, and clinical functions of the PA program. Anticipated start date is January 2020.                   

DMU’s physician assistant program offers a strong, established didactic and clinical curriculum. In addition to the principal faculty members, the program draws from a network of experts in their respective fields. The classroom and clinical experiences in the program foster intellectual curiosity and develop personal and professional responsibility.

DMU’s PA program enrolls 50 students each year and is a 25-month, full-time graduate program.  Students completing the curriculum earn the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. The DMU PA program achieved a 100% pass rate in 2018 on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and has maintained an average 98% first-time pass rate on the PANCE over the past five years.

The Des Moines University PA program enjoys an experienced and dedicated faculty that shares a deep commitment to student success throughout the PA education experience. The department is supported by seven full-time faculty which includes a full-time Medical Director, and two full-time and two part-time staff members.

Position Overview:

The chair will:

  • Serve as the chair of the Department of PA Education and the Director of the PA program assuring compliance with ARC-PA accreditation requirements;
  • Develop a vision and long-range plan as it relates to both the college and university strategic plans and directives from the Dean, while appropriately reflecting the future of the department;
  • Promote excellence in teaching, research, and service;
  • Appropriately allocate resources and determine priorities as an advocate for the department and in a manner consistent with college and university practices;
  • Select, cultivate and retain the most qualified faculty and staff;
  • Make recommendations to the dean regarding faculty appointments, promotions, and leaves of absence consistent with college and university policy;
  • Manage faculty workload and assign teaching schedules to meet student needs consistent with college and university policy;
  • Teach, conduct research, and pursue scholarly activities as administrative demands allow;
  • Actively participate in the recruitment, admission, and retention of students;
  • Provide guidance for the evaluation and development of curriculum;
  • Administer the accreditation process and compliance with professional organization requirements;
  • Serve as a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council;
  • Facilitate effective communication with the department faculty and staff, as well as administrators from the college and university;
  • Delegate authority and responsibility consistent with faculty and staff strengths and interests within the context of department needs and available resources.

Leadership Responsibilities:

Provide leadership and supervision in the affairs of the department by recruiting and retaining quality faculty and students within the program; encourage excellence in teaching; provide guidance and assistance in scholarly activities to include research and service, assigning faculty teaching, research, and service, and evaluating faculty performance by means of annual performance appraisals, initiating promotion recommendations while addressing, where needed, unsatisfactory performance. Facilitate communication and clarification of university and department policies and procedures; provide leadership through planning and evaluation of the PA Program.

For complete job description please contact:

Dr. Scott F. Healy, President
Scott Healy & Associates


In addition to being an NCCPA-certified physician assistant or board-certified and licensed physician, the successful candidate should also meet the following qualifications:

  • Academic rank as a senior faculty, at the level of Associate or Full Professor with five years faculty experience, preferably in a medical or health sciences college or university; exceptional candidates at the assistant professor rank or with less than five years of experience will be considered;
  • Experience in administration at the department level is highly desirable;
  • Demonstrated accomplishments in research, and a desire to develop a credible research program within the department will be preferred;
  • Ability to effectively mentor faculty within the department.

About The Institution

College of Health Sciences:
Des Moines University’s College of Health Sciences has provided students with the tools and education to become well-prepared health care professionals since 1980. The College of Health Sciences offers health care education at the master's and doctoral levels in a variety of areas.

Whether studying to become a physician assistant, physical therapist, health care administrator or public health professional, DMU’s College of Health Sciences offers many opportunities for hands-on experience through clinical and field-based education. Modern features of the university include a gait lab, human performance lab, ultrasound lab, simulation and standardized patient labs, and technology-supported learning spaces.

Des Moines University:
Founded in 1898, Des Moines University comprises three colleges offering eight degrees. A health sciences university since adding the colleges of health sciences and podiatric medicine and surgery in 1981, the programs share a collective strength – a collaborative campus community where students and faculty come together in the pursuit of knowledge.

The University’s reputation in medicine and health sciences fields is built on the commitment of our faculty who are passionate about training tomorrow’s leaders with unmatched dedication and uncompromised intention. Graduates enter the profession with confidence, compassion and the determination to improve the lives of others on a daily basis.

DMU is the largest Medical School in Iowa – and among the top 25 largest accredited schools in the nation for D.O.s and M.D.s with more than 1,500 students enrolled across all eight (8) programs at the University. The University has more than 14,000 alumni that span the country and the globe, and about 3,100 of those are located in Iowa.

A future of growth and innovation:

Earlier this year, the University announced that it has purchased 88 acres of land in West Des Moines and will move the campus in about three to four years. In April, DMU began the master planning process that included initial creative discussions with all campus constituents to consider options that can help advance the future of health care education and offer clinical services that will meet the needs of the region. The master planning process will continue through the end of this calendar year with the goal of reviewing initial concepts in December 2019 - January 2020. Excavation and construction will begin next spring.

As DMU pursues the goals of its institutional strategic plan, Vision 2021, the faculty and staff are taking advantage of the evolutionary trends occurring in health sciences education and health care delivery and this opportunity to create a new campus. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead the department through this exciting process.

A distinct commitment to diversity and inclusion:

DMU has a rich history of equality and diversity: The very first medical class of 1898 included both sexes and today 50% of the student body is women. Today, one of the core values at the University is embracing and committing to diversity and inclusivity for all students, faculty, and staff.

Application Process

All correspondence relating to the position of Physician Assistant Department Chair at Des Moines University should be directed in confidence to the University’s executive search consultant: 

Dr. Scott F. Healy, President
Scott Healy & Associates

Applicants must apply electronically by submitting the following:

  • Cover letter outlining experience and success in all the areas indicated in the Position Overview;
  • Complete and up-to-date CV;
  • List of five professional references with title, institutional affiliation, e-mail address and direct telephone numbers.

Applications submitted by August 9, 2019, will receive priority consideration.

Des Moines University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, veteran status, genetic information and other characteristics protected by law (“protected class”). Applications by members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged.