Last updated Tue Mar 11 21:46:28 HST 2003

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Brigham Young University Hawaii

School of Computing, Department of Computer Science

Faculty Positions

Brigham Young University Hawaii invites faculty applications at all levels for one permanent position in Computer Science in its School of Computing. Position begins August 2003. Applicants must have demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching with competency to teach in a reasonable number of computer science subject areas, and demonstrated ability to pursue a research program. A Ph.D. in field is preferred, but an MS or ABD with relevant experience will also be considered. Temporary (visiting) appointments will also be considered.

BYUH is consistently ranked in the top tier of Western Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News. It is located on the beautiful north shore of the island of Oahu, 35 miles from Honolulu. BYUH is a multi-cultural campus with approximately 2300 students from over 60 countries and a high representation from Asian-Pacific countries.

BYUH (AA/EOE) is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and requires observance of Church standards. Hiring preference is given to members of the sponsoring church. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Compensation is competitive and depends on experience and qualifications. Review of applications is ongoing and will continue until all positions are filled.

Contact Address

To make inquiry or to submit application materials, the following methods may be used.


Don Colton ( Email attachments are welcome and encouraged.


(808) 293-3478 (Hawaii time is GMT-1000)


(808) 293-3467, to the attention of Don Colton.

USPS / FedEx / UPS

Don Colton, Chairman
CS Dept, BYUH 1854
55-220 Kulanui St
Laie, HI 96762

Applicant Pool Evaluation Strategy

We are very much interested in each application and communication we receive. Major universities might get hundreds of applications for any CS faculty position. We are not expecting hundreds of applications. Because of the requirement to live a life in harmony with the teachings of the church, and because of the small size of the department, and because we are an undergraduate institution, and because our first priority is teaching rather than research, many potential candidates will simply not apply.

We are expecting maybe ten to fifteen serious applicants. We intend to carefully examine, discuss, and consider each one. You will not be ruled out for some trivial thing. We are most interested in the people we believe can best help us build this department for the long term. We will be most interested in the following factors, not necessarily in this order.


We have a strong preference to hire a PhD in CS, but we will look at other alternatives. Do you have your PhD in hand, or are you ABD (all but dissertation), or do you hold just a masters degree? Is it in CS? If not, how closely is the degree (or your skills) related to CS? Your credentials affect our work toward becoming an accredited CS department, and the esteem in which we are held by others, including prospective students and their parents. At a bare minimum, you must have a masters degree in CS or a closely related field.


Do you have teaching experience, preferably at a university, or at a four-year or community college, but alternately as a bishop or youth leader? What do your students and colleagues and leaders say about your teaching? Have formal "teaching evaluations" been done on you, either by students (by survey) or other faculty or both? Are you a good teacher? Do your students learn? Do your students become excited about the course material you present? Are you able to teach all levels of student, from raw beginners to graduating seniors?

Skills and Interests

We would prefer to assign each faculty member those teaching opportunities that lie closest to their heart, because excitement and enthusiasm are contagious, and we want to excite and motivate our students. But at the same time, not everyone can teach Algorithms or Formal Languages or whatever, which we currently teach once per year. Hopefully not everyone wants to. Do your skills and interests help us cover an area of CS where we would otherwise be weak?


We are not heavily into research. We do expect some ongoing research (intellectual contribution), and we require it for promotion. The normal curriculum gives the students and faculty breadth, but it is wonderful when we can achieve some depth in an exciting area, because most real-world work is depth work. Research gives students the opportunity to collaborate in doing something with some depth and substance.


How well will you fit in with the other members of the School of Computing team?

Your Own Goals

We don't believe that a person can be "overqualified." When someone is said to be overqualified, what is actually meant is that they will not stay for very long. They really want to do something else. This is just a temporary gig. Part of our goal will be to predict whether you would be happy here, based on your goals as best we can discover them.

Application Procedures

To apply, send the following materials to the contact address given above. However, before you invest the considerable effort required to apply, you are encouraged to contact Don Colton to verbally explore the opportunities here. You are invited to send email with your telephone numbers and the best times to try to call (and what time zone). Or just send email and I will reply.

Please see the section "Timeline" below for further information about the application procedure.

Application Procedures Part One

Before we get involved in the formal paperwork, we can become somewhat acquainted so you decide whether to pursue this opportunity. The materials in this phase can be composed into email (plain text is best) for fast delivery. If you choose to send this information by regular postal channels, please be aware that mainland to Hawaii can easily take a week. Accordingly, email or fax are the strongly favored methods of sending this material, with regular mail as a backup or a follow-up.

1. Letter of Interest

Please submit a letter announcing your interest in teaching in the Computer Science department at Brigham Young University Hawaii. This can be done by email or paper.

2. Vitae

Please submit a Curriculum Vitae. Typically this lists your name, contact information, academic degrees and dates, and relevant experiences from your past. It also identifies your research and other publications. Typically it is about four pages long, but longer or shorter is fine. It should be formatted to print out nicely. It will be the main document that represents you. Microsoft Office, WordPerfect, LaTeX, and PDF are all acceptable.

For comparison and illustration, you may review my own Vitae from 1997 (sorry I have not updated it).

3. Tests and Certifications

If not given in your vitae, please list all relevant standardized tests and certifications you have completed. Particularly list the GRE subject test in Computer Science, if taken, and your score.

4. Courses Taken

If not given in your vitae, please submit a list of all the relevant courses you have taken, including undergraduate, grouped by date and institution, specifying the course number, course name, credits earned, and grade earned. Relevant courses would be anything in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Information Systems, and maybe others at your discretion that indicate your strength for teaching Computer Science.

The purpose of this information is to help us assess your classroom exposure to various CS courses.

5. Courses Taught

If not given in your vitae, please submit a list of all the courses you have taught at a college level (or higher). Specify institution, date, course number, course title, and approximate enrollment.

6. Statement of Teaching Interests

The BYUH Computer Science department is relatively small (three FTE). There is a strong focus on teaching, and only limited manpower to cover the courses. It is helpful in our evaluation for us to know where your strengths and interests are, so we can better visualize your potential contribution to the department.

Please submit your response to the teaching strengths and interests questionnaire.

The CS department attempts to follow CS accreditation guidelines. See for relevant information.

The CS department attempts to follow Computing Curricula 2001, Computer Science, Final Report (December 15, 2001), the recommended CS curriculum developed under the joint direction of IEEE-CS and the ACM.

7. Statement of Research Interests

BYUH is primarily a teaching school, but it is clear that some active involvement in research is helpful to create excitement and research opportunities for students, and to provide intellectual stimulation to faculty members. The CS department is attempting to create a common research focus, possibly in connection with linguistics (considered broadly), but this focus has not yet been established.

Please tell about your current or intended research. Do you see any ways that your research could benefit a multi-cultural campus such as BYUH?

Research responsibilities include teaching one introductory class, usually at a junior (300) or senior (400) level, per year in an area of your research expertise, conducting research, and involving students in your research to the extent you can. Additionally you may guide and mentor undergraduate CS research students in areas of their own interest.

Promotion to Associate Professor currently requires demonstrated ability to carry out research recognized at a national level. Promotion to Full Professor currently requires the establishment of a successful ongoing program of research (intellectual contribution) recognized at a national or international level.

Application Procedures Part Two

After we are somewhat acquainted, if you decide to pursue this opportunity, we will need formal paperwork.

The application and eccr/endorsement are in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To view them directly, you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in installed on your computer. To view them indirectly, you can download them to your computer (save to disk) and then view them using Acrobat Reader (non plug-in). The Reader can be downloaded at no cost from here or here at Adobe's site on the World Wide Web. It is available for Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, and various flavors of Unix.

1. Application For Employment

Here is a link to a PDF version of the official BYU-Hawaii Application For Employment. You are strongly urged to use this PDF form. However, if you cannot work with PDF, you can also get a copy of the form by FAX or postal mail from BYUH Human Resource Services, by calling (808) 293-3713. Remember that postal mail is slow due in part to the anthrax scare, and faxes tend to be blurry.

Please complete this form and submit it. Where questions are asked and the information is already contained elsewhere in your application packet, you are welcome to simply make reference to that information by filling the blank with something like "See Vitae." For other information that proves too large or inconvenient to fit in the blank provided, you are welcome to use a separate sheet and make appropriate reference to it on the application.

2. Employment Commitment and Confidential Report

Here is a link to a PDF version of the official BYU-Hawaii Employment Commitment and Confidential Report, also called the Ecclesiastical Endorsement. You are strongly urged to use this PDF form. However, if you cannot work with PDF, you can also get a copy of the form by FAX or postal mail from BYUH Human Resource Services, by calling (808) 293-3713. Remember that postal mail is slow due in part to the anthrax scare, and faxes tend to be blurry.

Please work with your ecclesiastical leader to complete side 1 of this form and submit it. If you are a bishop, have your stake president complete the form with you. Then fax and/or mail this form to us. After receiving this form, we must seek and receive clearance from Church Headquarters on a per-individual basis before we can invite you out for an interview.

3. Three Letters of Recommendation

When you decide that this looks like a good enough opportunity, submit three letters of recommendation written specifically for this position. These would typically be sent under separate cover. Because mailing delays can be substantial, it is recommended that the letter be both faxed and mailed.

Also submit a list of the letters that we should expect, including names, email addresses, postal addresses, and telephone numbers of the individuals making the recommendations.

4. Transcripts

Submit a current official transcript from the institution where your highest degree was received. This may be sent under separate cover.

If you are completing a higher degree, also submit a current official transcript from the institution where it will be received. This may be sent under separate cover.

If you have credits from other institutions, you can either ignore them or send us unofficial transcripts at your discretion, but see "courses taken" in connection with vitae above.


A typical sequence of events starts with your visit to this web page. It may then proceed as follows:

1. Email Contact

You might choose to send an email message to Don Colton introducing yourself and briefly sketching your background and interest in the position.

2. Phone Contact

If you provide a telephone number, you may receive a call and engage in a brief, exploratory chat. Or we may exchange several email messages.

3. Application: First Round

We interview the most promising candidates and their spouses by flying them to BYU Hawaii. Before we can do this, we must receive "clearance to invite for an interview." This requires that we have, in hand, your application, your ecclesiastical endorsement, and your vitae, at a minimum. Since Sep 11, 2001, mail delivery has ranged from three days to almost three weeks, with an average around one week. Because of the delay introduced by US mail, it is recommended that when time is of the essence, you should transmit your materials by fax and/or email attachment as well as US mail.

After we receive some or all of your first-round application materials, we will try to make a preliminary assessment of the strength of your application. We may know that your application is a strong one that we wish you to pursue, or we may know that your application is unlikely to meet our present needs.

4. Application: Second Round

I always hate filling out forms and lining up letters of reference until I have a pretty good feeling that it will be worth the effort. After we review your first round of application materials, you should be able to decide whether it will be worth your effort to provide the rest of the materials.

5. Dates

Review and interviews are ongoing until the position is filled.