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Founding Program Director for Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences Type Full time Posted Sep 11, 2018
WA - Central/Yakima - Yakima Salary - n/a - Starts - n/a -
Referral - n/a -


Founding Program Director for Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program
Yakima, WA
Recruitment Period: 09/04/18 - Until Filled
Status: Full Time

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU) seeks to expand its impact in fulfilling its mission of providing quality health care to rural and medically underserved populations of the Northwest by establishing an Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program.

PNWU was founded in 2005 in Yakima, Washington, to address the critical shortage of health care providers throughout the Northwest. With the successful launch of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as efficacious collaborations with additional professional health care education programs, the University is now poised, after attaining regional accreditation, for further growth to fully realize its mission. This growth involves formation of an Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program whose core values will align well with the osteopathic philosophy.

PNWU is located in Yakima, Washington, a city of approximately 95,000 located in the south central part of the state, near the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, in a major agricultural and outdoor recreation region. It is approximately 140 miles from Seattle and 170 miles from Portland. The Yakima Valley is a wonderful place to live, work and play, providing a wide variety of opportunities— and

General Summary:
The Founding Program Director of PNWU's Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program will be responsible for developing this innovative program, including crafting the program's mission, vision, goals, and strategic plans in alignment with those of the University. They will oversee curricular development and implementation, applications for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), and will select a team of outstanding faculty for this collaborative, interprofessional school.

Not only will this founding director collaborate with faculty and administrators in the current College of Osteopathic Medicine, but also will interact closely with the founding director of PNWU's Physical Therapy Doctorate Program. Together, these founding directors will assist with the design of teaching and research areas in a newly constructed, flexible learning space building, and ultimately form cohesive programs that expand the University's mission-driven approach to providing quality health care in medically underserved areas of the Northwest.

Essential Job Functions:
Responsible for the management and administration of the OTD Program, including planning, evaluation, budgeting, selection of faculty and staff, maintenance of accreditation, and commitment to strategies for professional development

  • Participates in the development or refinement of the mission, vision and goals, and strategic plans for the OTD Program that is consistent with that of the University

  • Establishes and maintains the OTD academic programs by overseeing curricular development, delivery, and evaluation processes and procedures, as well as teaching within the developed curriculum

  • Participates in the recruitment, selection, management, and evaluation of a team of outstanding faculty and other staff who are appropriately experienced in higher education and/or occupational therapy

  • Oversees OTD Program faculty policy and procedures

  • Conducts budget preparation and management of the OTD Program, in collaboration with the chief financial officer and operations officer

  • Oversees the preparation of materials and documentation required for accreditation of the OTD Program by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and adheres to policies and procedures to meet or exceed these standards

  • Understands regional accreditation standards and expectations specific to the program and adheres to policies and procedures to meet or exceed such standards

  • Assists deans and program directors of the various colleges and programs in promoting interprofessional scholarly activities and learning opportunities in fulfillment of the mission of the University and its programs

  • Coordinates and supports the development of affiliation agreements with healthcare institutions in order to provide clinical education opportunities

  • Represents PNWU at local, regional, and national professional activities

  • With approval of the provost, appoints and delegates authority and/or responsibility to other faculty and administrative staff who shall assume responsibility for various activities in the program

  • Makes recommendations to the provost related to academic policies of the OTD Program

  • Participates as a member of the University's Executive Team

  • Ad hoc member of all committees associated with the OTD Program

  • Understands accreditation standards and expectations specific to the department and adheres to policies and procedures to meet or exceed such standards

  • Conducts self appropriately and consistently in accordance with the philosophy and mission of PNWU

  • Other duties as assigned


  • Certified occupational therapist who is licensed or eligible for licensure in Washington State

  • Earned a doctoral degree awarded by an institution that is accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). The doctoral degree is not limited to a doctorate in occupational therapy and thus could be another doctoral degree such as a PhD or an EdD


  • Has a minimum of eight years of documented experience in the field of occupational therapy including the following:

    • Clinical practice as an occupational therapist

    • Administrative experience including, but not limited to program planning an implementation, personnel management, evaluation, and budgeting

    • Scholarship (e.g. scholarship of application, teaching, or learning)

    • At least 3 years of experience in a full-time academic appointment with teaching responsibilities at the postbaccalaureate level

  • Demonstrated academic leadership abilities, such as having been a senior faculty member, department chair, or program director in an OT Program

  • Previous experience in the accreditation process through ACOTE

  • Demonstrated understanding of the operations and finances of an OT Program

  • Demonstrated support for enhancing scholarly activity within an OT Program

  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to foster and develop relationships and build consensus with the faculty and staff, as well as with local, regional and national healthcare communities

  • Demonstrated commitment to excellence and innovation in occupational therapy education and health care delivery

  • Demonstrated commitment to rural and underserved communities

Desired Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
Ability to be employed full time; strong organization, interpersonal, and planning skills; strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to work in a team and flexibility to work with others in a variety of circumstances; ability to problem solve by analyzing issues and creating action plans; ability to manage projects and people and prioritize and self-direct work flow; ability to work with and manage different computer programs and databases; and schedule activities and/or meetings.

To Apply: To ensure full consideration please submit your employment application at You will be asked to attach:

  • A letter of introduction outlining your background and qualifications for the position.

  • A curriculum vitae.

  • Contact information for four professional references, at least one from each of the following: a person who has reported directly to you, a colleague, and a supervisor. Please include phone number, mailing, and email address.

The job announcement above is not the full job description, but represents the job responsibilities and requirements. A full job description can be provided upon request.

PNWU offers a comprehensive benefits package to eligible employees the first of the month following date of hire and competitive salary.

PNWU is a drug-free workplace, equal opportunity employer and educational institution. To request this publication in an alternative format, or to apply in an alternative format, please call Human Resources, 509.452.5100.

The University shall not discriminate against faculty, staff, volunteers, students, or applicants on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, religion, national origin, age, disabilities, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by law for any reason including recruitment, selection, and promotion.