Wanna teach PR? Here’s your chance…

Some of you think I have the best job in the world.  And you’re right.  If you like what you see in this post, maybe you’ll decide to join me here at Kent State. If not, I hope you’ll help me pass the word. We’re looking for a new professor of public relations.

According to my Facebook profile (an impeccable source, to be sure), my job involves “molding young minds into focused, mature professionals.” In a nutshell, I spend my days gathering information about public relations and devising ways to impart that knowledge to bright, energetic young people. It’s a blast.

Outside the classroom I maintain close relationships with PR professionals who do the hiring — and they do lots of it.

"It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy DeanKent State PR grads leave our school prepared to do polished, professional work. Some 92% land jobs in public relations and closely related fields like marcom within six months of graduation. That’s our “bottom line,” and it ranks us among the top PR programs in the nation.  (Thank you, Diz.)

Just like you, I work way more than 40 hours a week. But I have three things most of you don’t: June, July, and August. The job involves a 9-month contract, plus a 4-week break at Christmastime. Time off, as we all know, enables quality of life.

Sound good so far?  Then I hope you’ll read on…

Our $21-million home in Franklin Hall. You don't have to shovel the snow.

Our $21-million home in Franklin Hall.

We’re looking for a seasoned PR professional interested in working primarily with graduate students in our professional master’s program. In addition to teaching and advising grad students, you’ll teach at least one undergraduate class per semester while also attending your fair share of mind-numbing meetings, just like in the real world.

The minimum requirements of the job

At least 7 years of professional experience in public relations practice. We seek someone with excellent PR skills (writing, research, planning and presentation), but also someone who’s counseled clients or employers at the senior level.

Digital savvy. We don’t need an expert in HTML or data mining, but you should have knowledge and experience with digital public relations, both the Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 variety. It’s a core element in all of our classes.

Research acumen. You needn’t be a statistician, but grad students will count on your leadership as they develop projects and theses. You’ll need to understand social science research methods and how to apply them in both practical and academic research. (Funny how the words “practical” and “academic” are mutually exclusive, isn’t it?) We don’t need a data geek, just a PR professional who isn’t afraid of numbers.

A writing coach. We emphasize writing in every class at Kent State, so we need a great writer who can coach others on the craft. To do this, you’ll have to learn the fine arts of grammar, punctuation and usage. With a little study, the rules come back to you.

Knowledge of PR literature. Sadly, a lot of PR practitioners never study the literature of our field or the theories behind PR practice. You’ll need this knowledge if you want to teach.

A master’s degree. You don’t need a PhD to compete for this job. If you have one, so much the better, and if you’d like to earn one someday, you can do it here at Kent State. But we’re more interested in hiring an experienced PR professional who “gets it” than a newbie who happens to have a doctorate. Sorry, but a master’s is the minimum credential to get through the gate.


Let me come back to the primary benefits: June, July and August. In addition, we offer health and disability insurance at little cost to you and a pension that’s actually funded and solvent (unlike many in the corporate world). You don’t have to work summers, but you can if you’d like. Summer classes seldom have more than 10 students and run just 5 weeks.

The tenure thing. While tenure isn’t absolute protection, it’s as close to job security as you’ll find in this world. It doesn’t come easily, but if you’ve been a successful PR practitioner at the senior level, you should have no problem meeting the challenges of “publish or perish.”

Free tuition. You and members of your immediate family may attend Kent State tuition free.

Salary. There’s a reason I put this at the end.  We don’t do this for money, OK? You’ll earn a starting salary between $50 and $60K for 9 months work, and another $4-5K for each summer class you teach. We encourage consulting and freelancing to pad the bank account and to keep your skills sharp, so long as students and classes remain your first priority.

About the program. “PRKent” is a professional program that prepares students for jobs in the business.  Our classes include a blend of theory and practice and a lot of learning by doing. Between 30 and 40% of our students don’t survive the early “knock out” classess. (FYI: Primary reason students leave the major is their inability to write clearly, concisely and correctly.) If you’re afraid to assign failing grades, this isn’t the job for you. We’re big on tough love.

Talk to me. If you’re interested in learning more about this job, click the email widget in the right-hand column. I promise that all communication will be strictly confidential. I’ll send you a more detailed job description, and answer any questions you have. Once the job is officially posted to the Kent State HR website, I’ll send you the link where you can complete the official application.

This opening is for August 20, 2009.

I’m looking forward to meeting my new colleague. How about helpin’ me out?


8 Responses to Wanna teach PR? Here’s your chance…

  1. Stacy Wessels says:

    Hmmm… crazy. I’ll have a master’s degree by then.

  2. Greg Smith says:

    Hey, Bill. Interested in an Aussie? Probably too hard (visa-wise).

  3. Bill Sledzik says:

    Sure. Better yet, why don’t you come here and I’ll go there. Hell, we’ll trade houses and cars. Would kinda like to hang on to my wife, though.

    As for the visa thing, not sure how tough that’s become since 9/11.

  4. Laura Andrews says:

    I wish I had more of the practical experience, but I did have my one-year anniversary at the Museum last Friday. Some day maybe!

  5. Laura Dahle says:


    A dream job for sure… Just a side note – you may have more luck if you post a picture of Franklin Hall, the pride and joy of Kent JMC, without 15 feet of fresh snow around it. 🙂


  6. Bill Sledzik says:

    Thought about that, Laura. But I’m big on truth in advertising. You may be interested to know that our first inquiry came from Florida.

  7. Barbara Grano says:

    Teaching P.R. at Kent State University is my dream, and the reason I’m pursuing a Ph.D. While I’ve picked up a bunch of academic credentials, my first love is public relations. In spite of curiosity and degrees in public and business administration, all of my career has been in public relations. I’ve done a lot: city government, state government, port authority, colleges, universities, K-12 schools, p.r. business owner (17 years), business p.r.

    I’ll be Ph.D. dba by August — B.A. in journalism/pr from The Ohio State University; M.P.A. in management from Cleveland State University; Ph.D. dba (2009) in business management from Capella University. Webmaster certificate from Lakeland Community College. (Notice I mention that last but far from least….I thank my lucky stars that my career converged with the arrival of the p.c., the internet, and social networking.)

    Did I mention I love teaching and mentoring students? I’ve taught undergraduates and graduates both in the classroom and online at Cleveland State University for the last 10 years. I’ve done everything I could think of to prepare for a job like yours!It’s time for me to give back.

  8. […] in advertising. A good friend in the ad biz thinks I may be overselling the benefits of this job in the original post — you know, the June, July and August time off and the funded pension. Maybe he’s […]

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