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Music: Hip Hop Music Practitioner/Scholar (REV initial review Dec. 15, 2023)

Position overview

Position title: Hip-Hop Music Practitioner/Scholar
Salary range: The salary range for this position is $83,100-$110,000 academic year (nine-month basis). The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at appointment. “Off-scale salaries” and other components of pay, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions. See salary scales titled (FACULTY--LADDER RANKS--PROFESSOR SERIES)
Percent time: Full-time, 100%
Anticipated start: July 1, 2024, with the academic year beginning in September 2024. Degree requirements must be met by June 30, 2024 for employment effective July 1, 2024. Position contingent on budgetary approval.

Application Window

Open date: September 5, 2023

Most recent review date: Friday, Dec 15, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Music Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position with a focus on Hip Hop scholarship and practice. We are interested in candidates who show the promise or potential for national and international renown and who delve deeply into the diverse styles, methodologies, and evolutionary paths of 21st-century Hip Hop. We are particularly interested in scholars/practitioners with lived and professional experience in Hip Hop who champion perspectives from the BIPOC, queer, trans, womanist, and feminist communities. Candidates with an elaborate understanding of Hip Hop's multifaceted nuances and its historical significance are particularly encouraged to apply.

We seek candidates with a thorough knowledge of the rich Hip Hop legacy spanning 50 years, with a creative engagement in Hip Hop as a musical tradition that draws from deep-rooted African orature and encompasses diverse expressions from dance, rap, and technology to fashion, film, and business. Candidates’ research/practice may focus on Hip Hop as an evolving global art form originated from young African Americans and/or focus on its development into a cultural force now capable of influencing global movements, styles, and communities. In research, practice, and teaching, the ideal candidate will invoke Hip Hop’s roots, evolution, and development given that contemporary students encounter hip-hop across diverse platforms, from social media and films to everyday ambient music. Since Hip Hop is a genre of music most often characterized by a powerful, rhythmic beat and virtuosic rapping vocal track, we seek candidates who bridge research with practice. In addition to scholarly preparation, candidates should also contribute meaningfully to this dynamic field as practitioners/producers, experts in music technology, demonstrate proficiency in music software and system design, or other direct involvement in Hip Hop’s impact on the $16 billion music industry and beyond. We want Hip Hop-based education to reflect a broad-based and interdisciplinary process, with an emphasis on those elements that support the production of songs and lyrics, dance and graffiti, and then applied as curricular resources to inspire people to be agents of social and political change.

Candidates should be poised to outline their prior contributions to equity and diversity within music scholarship and practice. We are eager to understand their strategies for drawing, fostering, and sustaining a more equitable and diverse student body, as well as their visions for advancing equity in the broader spectrum of music studies. Furthermore, we are interested in their prospective contributions promoting both equity and diversity in their service to the department, division, university, and the extended community.

The Department of Music at UC Santa Cruz has declared an active commitment (Initiatives and Commitments Toward Racial Justice | Music Department | UC Santa Cruz) to efforts in the promotion of racial justice, both within our community and across our disciplines. We welcome candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to supporting and advancing the scholarship and creative work of Black, Brown, Indigenous communities, women, trans and non-binary people, and that of other groups historically marginalized and under-represented in higher-education careers. Through our curriculum and our priorities for research areas for hiring, we strive to cultivate diverse knowledge, social and cultural equity, and a more representative university environment. The Hip Hop scholar/practitioner may have opportunities to interface with Visualizing Abolition, which is a public scholarship initiative at the UC Santa Cruz Institute of Arts and Sciences. The initiative features a music series called Music for Abolition, art exhibitions, artist commissions, curriculum development, public events as well as postdoctoral fellowships. Visualizing Abolition also has a certificate program housed in the Humanities Division.

The ability to contribute significantly to graduate education and the mentoring of graduate students is highly desirable. The successful candidate must be able to work with students, faculty and staff from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds. We are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research/creative activity, teaching, and service.

UCSC is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution with a high proportion of first-in-family undergraduate students. In addition to encouraging participation in robust departmental, divisional, and campus mentoring, the campus offers a Faculty Community Networking Program that provides support for African-American/Black/Caribbean, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, Latinx/Chicanx, and Indigenous faculty, as well as groups for women in STEM, faculty with disabilities, and academic mothers.

The Arts Division supports faculty research through the Arts Research Institute; the campus supports research and teaching with grants awarded by the Committee on Research, the Committee on Teaching, and other groups.

The campus operates on a schedule of three 11-week quarters per academic year. In accordance with the department's workload policy, music faculty members are required to offer the equivalent of 5.0 five-unit courses per year, of which 1 is tied to undergraduate and graduate advising and 4 are typically formal courses. In addition to teaching, music faculty advise and mentor students; actively engage in creative work and research; and actively undertake administrative service for the department, affiliated college, and University.

Our first round of review will be solely based on (1) the statement of creative practice and/or research and (2) the statement of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion. We welcome candidates who understand the barriers facing historically oppressed groups in higher education, and who have engaged in teaching, research, professional and/or public service contributions that promote equity, justice, and antiracist, decolonial practice. We are looking for candidates that demonstrate effective strategies that support the recruitment and success of underrepresented scholars and students, which may take a variety of forms. The rubric that we will use to evaluate the statement of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion is available here:

The chosen candidate will be expected to sign a statement representing that they are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or disciplinary proceeding at their current academic institution or place of employment, nor have they in the past ten years been formally disciplined at any academic institution/place of employment. In the event the candidate cannot make this representation, they will be expected to disclose in writing to the hiring Dean the circumstances surrounding any formal discipline that they have received, as well as any current or ongoing investigation or disciplinary process of which they are the subject. (Note that discipline includes a negotiated settlement agreement to resolve a matter related to substantiated misconduct.)

Music Department:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Ph.D. or D.M.A. (or equivalent foreign degree) in Music or a related field; OR six years’ professional experience that consists of a national or international record of performances, recordings and exhibitions in music venues or alternative venues engaging the general public. Degree requirements expected to be completed by June 30, 2024.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Research and Artistic Statement**

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion** - Statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented groups and your past and/or future contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through research, teaching, and service. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements before preparing their application:

    ** Initial screening of candidates will be based on statements of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion and research and artistic statements.

  • Cover Letter - Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the position.

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Teaching Statement - Teaching Statement that clearly outlines your teaching experience and teaching interests.

  • Sample of your work (1 of 3 required) - Sample of your work (score, recording, writing) Please upload a PDF with a description and link to the sample work.

  • Sample of your work (2 of 3 required) - Sample of your work (score, recording, writing) Please upload a PDF with a description and link to the sample work.

  • Sample of your work (3 of 3 required) - Sample of your work (score, recording, writing) Please upload a PDF with a description and link to the sample work.

  • Sample of your work (1 of 2 optional) - Sample of your work (score, recording, writing) Please upload a PDF with a description and link to the sample work.

  • Sample of your work (2 of 2 optional) - Sample of your work (score, recording, writing) Please upload a PDF with a description and link to the sample work.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 letters of reference required

Applications must include confidential letters of recommendation* (a minimum of 3 are required and a maximum of 5 will be accepted). Please note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

*All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at

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About UC Santa Cruz

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

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Job location

Santa Cruz, California