Chairperson, Department of Agriculture (1085)

Hays, Kansas
Apr 04, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Fort Hays State University’s Department of Agriculture invites applications for the position of chair to start July 1, 2017 or as soon thereafter as possible.


The University is seeking an innovative leader to direct the Department. This is a 12-month appointment with responsibilities of planning, organizing, leading, and evaluating activities of the department including the FHSU farm.


  1. Earned Ph.D. in an agriculturally related discipline.
  2. Demonstrated teaching excellence in an agriculturally related discipline; eligible for tenure and academic rank.
  3. Demonstrated service to profession, institution, and community.
  4. Strong leadership skills with administrative experience desirable.
  5. Excellent organizational and communication skills.
  6. Experience in or knowledge of regional and/or national production agriculture.
  7. Demonstrated ability to plan and implement a strategic plan.


  1. Commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching, service to department, college and university, and scholarly activities.
  2. Projects a positive image for the department, college and university.
  3. Understands needs of faculty, staff and students.
  4. Commitment to the goals of tenure, promotion and merit evaluation.
  5. Willingness to involve faculty in administrative decisions.

Major Responsibilities:

  1. Plan and administrate department budgets and oversee use of departmental and endowment of funds utilizing faculty input.
  2. Coordinate review and development of departmental curricula and programs.
  3. Assign instructional responsibilities and negotiate allocation of faculty time in teaching, scholarly activities, and service.
  4. Provide leadership in recruitment, advisement, and retention of quality students.
  5. Provide leadership in recruitment and development of quality faculty.
  6. Evaluate faculty performance and annual merit raises, tenure, and promotion.
  7. Actively participate in teaching, service, and scholarly activities.
  8. Serve as liaison between department and administration.
  9. Coordinate inventory of departmental facilities and equipment.
  10. Administrate university farm in areas of hiring, supervision, and evaluation of staff along with overall oversight and management of the farm’s finances.
  11. Supports the coordination of academics with farm practices.
  12. Encourages cooperative ventures, such as hosting events, with the agricultural community and organizations.
  13. Oversees FHSU Rodeo Team and Club staff, budget, and facilities.

Rank and Salary: Negotiable, depending upon qualifications.

Applications: Please submit all application materials electronically by email in a single PDF file with “Ag Dept. Chair” in the subject line to Dr. Craig Smith, . A complete application file must include:

  1. Cover letter summarizing how the candidate’s expertise and interests match the position requirements
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable)
  4. Statement describing administrative and teaching philosophy
  5. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three individuals who have agreed to serve as references

​Incomplete applications will not be considered. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled. Priority will be given to submissions received on or before May 1, 2017. Official copies of transcripts are not required for the initial application but will be required for the candidates invited for interviews.

Search Committee Chair:
Dr. Craig Smith
Department of Agriculture
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601
Fax: 785-628-4183

The Department: The FHSU Department of Agriculture has six full-time teaching faculty with an enrollment of 300 students. Bachelor degrees are offered in Agricultural Business and Agriculture, with emphasis in Animal Science, Agronomy, General Agriculture, Agricultural Education, and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. Recently, a fully online Bachelors in Agricultural Business program was launched as well. The Department of Agriculture utilizes a 3,825 acre teaching/production farm owned by the university. The FHSU farm has four full-time staff who manage the following divisions: crops, beef, swine, sheep, and goats. The managers are supported by part-time student help.  

The Werth College of Science, Technology and Mathematics (STM): The College was formed in 2015 by aggregating the departments of Agriculture, Applied Technology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geosciences, Mathematics, and Physics, as well as the Sternberg Museum of Natural History and the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. The academic units consist of approximately 70 full-time faculty, 1200 undergraduate majors, and 60 graduate students. STM departments also make significant contributions to the university's General Education program, coursework support for the other four colleges and to the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science, which is an early-college program for high-achieving high school students. A new applied technology building is under construction and will complement existing state of the art facilities. Undergraduate students participate in technical, classroom, field, and lab experiences that many universities would reserve for graduate students. The wide range of academic programs are innovative, and college faculty embrace a one-on-one teaching and mentoring philosophy, while providing robust scholarship opportunities for our students.

Fort Hays State University: Forward Thinking. World Ready - Fort Hays State University is a highly entrepreneurial teaching-focused institution with major operations on-campus, online and in China. Providing a high-quality education at an affordable price, FHSU is ranked by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the top ten fastest growing universities in the U.S. It has an enrollment in excess of 14,000 students (approximately 5,000 on campus, 3,500 in China, and over 6,000 online) and over 380 full-time faculty. Bachelors, masters and professional doctoral degrees are offered through five colleges, the Graduate School, the Honors College, the Virtual College, and various international partnerships. Fort Hays State University's award-winning Virtual College coordinates distance education to the U.S. Armed Services and students in over 20 countries. The Virtual College has received many accolades, including U.S. News & World Report Online Programs rankings,, Best Buys in Education, among others. Students at FHSU may select a major field of study from 30 departments. FHSU is fully accredited by several national agencies, and is one of six state-assisted institutions of higher education governed by a Board of Regents appointed by the governor of the state of Kansas. The website ranked the Fort Hays State campus as the safest in the state of Kansas.

The University has rich sports and cultural programming, all of which enjoy tremendous community support. The Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center is home to the Encore Series, which hosts many travelling Broadway shows, the Hays Symphony, university and other national and world-caliber performances. Fort Hays State University athletic events provide NCAA Division II athletic entertainment.

Hays, Kansas: FHSU is located in Hays, a vibrant university community of approximately 22,000, located half- way between Kansas City and Denver on Interstate 70. Hays has received numerous recent accolades such as being voted an All-America City, second-best city in the state to raise children, and also the third-best small college town in America. It is the regional center for education, health care, professional services, shopping, culture, and recreation for the western half of Kansas - serving a population of nearly 400,000. Hays boasts excellent recreational facilities including the comprehensive Center for Health Improvement, Hays Aquatic Park, the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Smoky Hill Country Club, Hays Municipal Golf Course, an extensive recreational program, and excellent opportunities for walking, running, and biking. Hays is within 45 minutes of two large lakes providing boating, fishing, and camping. The Hays Municipal Airport provides connecting service to Denver with several flights daily. The community has award-winning public and private schools. With over 60 restaurants, robust retail outlets, one of the lowest unemployment rates and commute times in the U.S., the city provides a safe, very friendly, low-cost, high-quality living environment.

Notice of Non-discrimination: Fort Hays State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin, color, age, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability or veteran status.

Background Check: Final candidate will have consented to and successfully completed a criminal background check.

Notice to KPERS retirees applying for a position: Recent legislation changes working-after-retirement rules for both you and your employer if you go back to work for a KPERS employer. Please contact your KPERS representative or for further information on how this might affect you.