Visiting Faculty (Glacier Bay Year)
Tidelines Institute is seeking qualified liberal arts educators to serve as Visiting Faculty for the 2023 Glacier Bay Year: a six-month living-learning experience for college-age students, based in the communities and wildlands of Southeast Alaska. We especially encourage applications from Black and Indigenous educators, as well as educators of color.
Visiting Faculty will live and work on-site in Alaska for one of our six-week terms. During this time, they will lead a 2-credit course in their field of expertise for our six gap year students and will be responsible for the intellectual vitality of the Glacier Bay Year. Each course meets twice a week, 2.5-3 hours a day, over the six weeks. Courses should be appropriate for the college level, but should not require prerequisites. Due to the small number of participants, most courses will be taught seminar-style, though experiential, lab, and lecture components may be appropriate depending on course content.
Visiting Faculty should also aim to contextualize the curriculum within the multiple dimensions of program life—extending the curricula beyond the classroom walls to help students make meaning out of their individual and collective experiences. We accept applications from across the disciplines, but give preference to course proposals that directly engage with the experiential components of the program: community building, democratic self-governance, wilderness exploration, Alaskan lifeways, and physical service-labor. Please note that neither your academic discipline nor course proposals need be focused on environmental studies! You can learn more about the Glacier Bay Year here.
We are seeking Visiting Faculty for the following dates (possibly flexible by a few days on either end):
- Term 2: July 17th-August 24th, 2023
- Term 3: September 11th-October 19th, 2023
Application deadline (both terms): December 23rd, 2022
For Term 2 (July/Aug) Applicants: February 17th, 2023
For Term 3 (Sept/Oct) Applicants: March 17th, 2023
The core of the application consists of the following materials, which we ask you to submit in a single PDF document:
1. Cover Letter, including:
- Your reasons for seeking this position
- Any experience teaching in a living-learning context, mentoring, advising, mediating conflicts, supporting student mental health, or working with young people in wilderness or residential contexts (e.g. as an RA, camp counselor, Outward Bound trip leader, etc.)
- Any experience living or teaching in Alaska
- A description of the type of students/classroom space you have the most experience instructing.
- Your dates of availability
2. Curriculum Vitae
3. Course Proposals: suggest two courses that you would be excited to teach next summer, with a brief (1-3 sentence) description of each.
4. Draft Syllabus: for one of your three course proposals, please proved a tentative list of readings, assignments, and weekly schedule. This is meant to give us an idea of how the course would unfold over the course of the summer, and what kinds of texts you might draw on.
5. Statement of Teaching Philosophy
Applicants are also asked to furnish two letters of recommendation, due at the same time as the rest of the materials. Please have recommenders email their letters as PDF attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
All applicants must be credentialed at the appropriate level for college instruction, generally meaning a terminal degree. We do accept candidates in the final stages of doctoral work. We especially encourage applications from Black and Indigenous educators, as well as educators of color.
Substantial teaching experience and experience working with diverse student groups are paramount. Experience mentoring, advising, or teaching in living-learning situations is an added bonus. These should feature prominently in the application, including in the letters of recommendation.
Visiting Faculty must be legally qualified to work in the United States of America. We regret that Tidelines Institute is not in the position to sponsor work visas.
Visiting Faculty must be able to pass a background check. In order to use Tidelines vehicles, Visiting Faculty must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record (no moving violations within the past year)
Each Visiting Instructor will conduct a twice-weekly class for six college-aged students participating in the 2023 Glacier Bay Year. Class time should comprise roughly 5-6 hours each week, though this may take many forms (whole group or partial-group discussions, field trips, labs, individual writing or research time, etc). This does not include time spent preparing for class. Each course runs for six weeks, including the final exam or assignment.
Each Visiting Faculty member will propose two courses as part of their application process. Upon making an offer of employment, the hiring committee will select which of the courses the instructor will design and teach the following summer. We accept course proposals in any disciplinary or thematic area, though we give preference to proposals whose intellectual substance dovetails with the experiential components of the program, site-specific content, or any of the “big questions” faced by young adults. By way of example, this may include such diverse courses as “literature and the creation of the self”, “democracy in theory and action,” “field ecology of Southeast Alaska”, or “designing equitable education”. We highly encourage interdisciplinary courses, courses that give opportunities for student leadership and participation, and courses that involve both experience and experiment. Please note that neither your academic discipline nor your course proposals need focus on environmental studies. While all students engage regularly with our natural surroundings, we are not exclusively an environmental studies program!
All courses must adhere to the general standards for college material, though they must be accessible to students without any but the most basic prerequisites. (For example, it is appropriate to expect competency in algebra but not calculus. Though you may have students who are not native English speakers, you may expect fluency in written and spoken English). Students may opt to take the course for college credit, and for these students you must create an acceptable final evaluation and assign a final grade. These need not apply to other students.
As a member of the Tidelines community, we expect Visiting Faculty to participate in community life. Though faculty accommodations have a private kitchen, we suggest that faculty take at least ten meals each week with students, as some of the liveliest and richest conversations of the summer occur during mealtime. Because the program can at times be socially and emotionally demanding, Visiting Faculty who are adaptable, open-minded, and comfortable with communal living are typically best suited for this position. Visiting Faculty may also be called upon to serve as an informal mentor or advisor to students and should be prepared to serve in that capacity. Individual students may want to discuss course material over a cup of coffee or their future paths over a morning walk. We highly encourage mutual sharing of skills and interests between staff, faculty, and students. It can be beneficial to a full understanding of student life to participate in the morning labor rotations one or more times throughout the summer, though this is, of course, not required.
Administratively speaking, Visiting Faculty are responsible for attending a weekly Staff Meeting and a weekly Logistics Meeting, usually held over lunch. Visiting Faculty may also be asked to serve as the staff member on- call for one weekend in case of student emergencies. Otherwise, weekends are free.
As the teaching load is relatively light, these positions provide ample time and space for research and writing. Visiting Faculty are welcome to spend their spare time pursuing their scholarly work.
Academics & Student Self-Governance
The Glacier Bay Year educational model is centered upon the three pillars of academics, labor, and self-governance. All three pillars interact with one another, but in the course of their responsibilities in the academic pillar, Visiting Faculty are very likely to interact with student self-governance processes.
Students in the 2023 Glacier Bay Year cohort will likely discuss self-governance matters that bear on the academic pillar. In the past, these have included student-proposed readings, field trips and guest lectures, restructuring of class time to take advantage of a unique opportunity, and the like. As the Glacier Bay Year encourages students to exercise authority over their own educations, we encourage staff and faculty to treat all educational activities as a partnership between educators and students. This does not mean that staff and faculty must accede to every student request, nor does it mean that students may discard academics or disrespect their instructors. It does, however, require open dialogue and compromise from both sides. Ultimately, Visiting Faculty will be responsible for working with students – and their self-governance bodies – to co-create a dynamic and student-driven intellectual community.
Compensation is $5,000 for the two-credit class. Room, board, and up to $500 in travel expenses are also included in the compensation package, as is $200 to cover the cost of course materials. Room and board are also provided for the faculty member’s spouse/partner.
Please contact us during the application process if you would like to bring your child/ren over the summer. We welcome children, but since not all housing options have sufficient space, it helps to know this well in advance!
The Tidelines Community
The Glacier Bay Year moves back and forth between two campuses over the course of the program: one in the tiny town of Gustavus and the other a remote homestead on the Inian Islands. Visiting Faculty will teach predominantly in Gustavus and will be housed a short drive or bike-ride away from campus. In 2023, it is possible that Visiting Faculty may be asked to accompany (and teach during) weeklong field trips to the Inian Islands and/or the Alaska Native community of Hoonah. Faculty partners and families may or may not be invited on these outings, depending on space and logistics.
The Tidelines staff and faculty community is small, consisting of the two co-directors, three staff members at the Good River Campus, the six Glacier Bay Year students, and a handful of interns. Most other staff members live on campus or nearby.
Living in Gustavus, Alaska
Gustavus is a tiny town of approximately 500 people, the gateway community to Glacier Bay National Park, 50 miles as the crow flies from Juneau. Completely off the road system, Gustavus can only be reached by ferry or bush plane. Tidelines’ Good River Campus sits on 18 riverfront acres at the western outskirts of town, abutting protected land that opens onto the national park.
Faculty quarters in Gustavus vary based on availability and staff needs, so please inquire if you need further information. Depending on your precise location, your home may or may not have cell service (AT&T generally works best in Gustavus.) You will have access to wifi.
Amenities in Gustavus are modest: a café, a restaurant, a general store, a community center and a library. The community center has a small gym. Opportunities for outdoor recreation are absolutely world-class. With some of the best kayaking, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing in the world, the Glacier Bay environs offer an unparalleled immersion into Alaskan life.
Visiting Faculty will be subject to all local, state, and organizational Covid-19 protocols. All Tidelines staff, faculty, and residential students must be vaccinated against Covid-19 prior to arrival. We expect Covid restrictions to be relatively relaxed in 2023, but time will tell! If you would like to see a copy of our current Covid-19 Operating Plan, please email email@example.com, but bear in mind that it will almost certainly change before next summer.
equal opportunity employment policy
It is the policy of Tidelines Institute to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Tidelines Institute prohibits any such discrimination or harassment toward employees or volunteers.