Director of Debate: University of Oregon


Oregon Forensics seeks a Director of Debate for the 2018-2019 academic year (September to June). The official announcement to the graduate school is included below. The University of Oregon has a long tradition of success in academic debate and Oregon Forensics is the oldest and most prestigious co-curricular program on campus, dating to 1876.

The Director of Debate is a Graduate Employee position for a student in any graduate or professional program at the University of Oregon. The appointment fully-funds tuition and all normal fees, includes the best (if still inadequate) graduate student benefits package in the United States, and a monthly stipend during the academic year. All travel expenses are fully covered by the program. Additional opportunities during summer months or at our summer institute for high school students exist. The Director of Debate the past two years has been Alyson Escalante and before her Ben Dodds.

The Director of Debate exercises day-to-day leadership of a successful intercollegiate debate program of between 10 and 20 students. We have the resources to travel wherever we wish and we maintain a nationally-competitive profile with aspirations to win national championships.

Reasons you should consider applying for this position:

(1) Almost unique among programs in the country, you can be in any graduate or professional program at the University of Oregon. Oregon does not have a Communication Studies department, also somewhat unique for a debate graduate employee position and I do not have a degree in communication studies. You can pursue any Master’s/Doctorate program listed here: Included are the professional schools of law, education, and business.

(2) Appointments through Oregon Forensics fully-full fund all tuition and fees (including out-of-state tuition), provide among the most generous health and other benefits packages for graduate students anywhere in the country, and includes a monthly stipend of between $1400-1700, depending on prior educational achievement. The benefits package negotiated by the graduate student union (GTTF) is widely-considered among the best in the country.

(3) The competition resources of Oregon Forensics are considerable and growing rapidly. We have doubled our budget in the last four years, established a large and growing scholarship program for new undergraduate students, and across the entire program, debate and mock trial, our numbers have exploded. Oregon Forensics is well-integrated into the Robert D. Clark Honors College and we enjoy deep financial and institutional support across campus.

(4) Everything about the appointment is designed to help you succeed in your graduate or professional program. The foundational values of Oregon Forensics, the nature of the appointment, the substance of the GTTF contract, and my own values as your supervisor are united in a commitment to ensure you thrive in your academic program. The DOF also controls limited resources that can be used to support graduate projects.

(5) The University of Oregon is an R1 institution (“highest research activity” in the Carnegie Classification) and a member of the elite Association of American Universities. We have offerings in nearly every area of academic study. Particular areas of strength include education, journalism and new media, psychology, environmental law, sustainable urban design, marketing, Marxist sociology, and Women and Gender Studies. The university is now massively upgrading it academic profile, with upwards of a billion dollars planned for new academic enterprises, including graduate student support.

(6) Eugene, Oregon, is often considered among the most-livable cities in America, with outstanding cultural vibrancy, exceptional public and alternative transportation, high livability, easy access to stunning natural areas, and remarkable affordability. Eugene is 1 hr from some of the most stunning coastal stretches along the West Coast, 1 hr from great skiing, 2 hours from Portland, and by car 5 hours from Seattle and 8 from the Bay Area. Eugene and the University of Oregon also have a long history of political and student activism, especially environmental activism. Oregon is a founding member of the Pac-12 conference and strong in a wide variety of sports, most notably men and women’s track and field. The local airport has direct flights to the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Newark, and Phoenix. Portland International is less than 2 hours away.

Strong preference will be given to applicants with a demonstrated history of engagement and success with feminist scholarship in the context of debate arguments. It is my belief that in relation to the range and quality of the extant literature, no body of literature is more underutilized in modern college debate than the rich and highly-varied currents of feminist thought.

Please contact Director of Forensics Trond Jacobsen ( with any questions about this appointment.

Graduate Employee – Oregon Forensics
Director of Debate
Academic Year 2018-19

Position Description: The University of Oregon Forensics program is seeking one GTF with primary responsibility of administering the debate program of Oregon Forensics in coordination with the Director of Forensics.

Term: Fall (.49 FTE), and Winter (.49 FTE)
Appointment level: .49/.49

Under the current CBA this position includes: (1) remission of all tuition and fees for attendance in any graduate program or professional school at the University of Oregon; (2) a generous health benefits package; and (3) and monthly stipend based on FTE and appointment level. This position includes no instruction or grading of students.

Description of Duties: Working with the Director of Forensics and others, the Director of Debate:
(1) provides significant competition support for a nationally-competitive NPDA program including a regional and national travel schedule;
(2) works with the DOF and ADOF to design and implement a recruitment plan built around newly-available scholarship resources;
(3) organizes and directs weekly debate research assignments, oversees argument strategy development, schedules and supervises mandatory practice rounds;
(4) facilitates program activities to promote equity and inclusion;
(5) communicates, upholds, and implements program expectations as described in the Oregon Forensics Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct;
(5) all tournament-related expenses are covered by the program


  • Background in forensics and forensic education
  • Admittance to a University of Oregon graduate program or school
  • Experience in the administration of forensic tournaments
  • Ability to teach and judge both college parliamentary and policy debate
  • Proven record of relevant competitive and instructional success in NPDA or other collegiate debate
  • Ability to work in collaboration with others and take direction
  • Demonstrated excellence in communication and interpersonal habits of communication
  • Excellent academic record, with transcript evidence of course completion and strong grades

ELIGIBILITY: University of Oregon graduate students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in any discipline are eligible to apply.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please contact Trond Jacobsen, Director of Forensics at for more information. Applications should include a cover letter describing your qualifications, transcripts (may be unofficial), a resume, two references (name, phone, email) and a short statement of forensics philosophy that details both foundational values you hold regarding forensics and a description of your approaches to debate pedagogy. Mail or deliver application to:

Trond E. Jacobsen, Ph.D.
Director of Forensics and University Forum
Robert D. Clark Honors College
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1293

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Materials must be received by June 8th and the successful applicant will be notified by June 15th, 2018.

The University of Oregon is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

Oregon Forensics, University of Oregon

Position: Director of Debate
FTE: .49 Fall, .49 Winter (2018-19)
Contact: Trond Jacobsen
Address: Robert D. Clark Honors College, 1293 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403
Fax: 541-346-0125

Application Process: Applications should include a cover letter describing your qualifications,
transcripts (may be unofficial), a resume, two references (name, phone, email), and a short
statement of pedagogical aspirations in forensics.

Mail or deliver application to:
Trond Jacobsen, Robert D. Clark Honors College, 1293 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403

Deadline: Materials must be received by June 8th and the successful applicant will be notified by June 15th, 2018.


Wanted to bump this because we are still taking applications for the Director of Debate Graduate Employee appointment. The only change in the above post is that due to campus-wide cutbacks, the position is .49 FTE for Fall of 2018 and .49 FTE for Winter 2019. There is no position offered for Spring 2019.

We have a number of great applications and but we don’t have yours!