Chairperson, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Newark, DE
May 15, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

University of Delaware

University of Delaware: College of Agriculture & Natural Resources: Department of Plant & Soil Sciences
Location: Newark, DE
Closes: Jul 10, 2017

Job Title: Chairperson, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Deadline: 7/10/17

University of Delaware (UD) is committed to excellence and impact as a preeminent learner-centered research university. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies UD as a “highest research activity” institution, a designation achieved by only 3% of U.S. academic institutions. The University also achieved the Carnegie Engaged University classification in 2015. UD is located in the iconic college town of Newark, DE, an excellent geographic location within two hours of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. The University is a Land Grant, Sea Grant, Space Grant University, with externally sponsored activities exceeding $200 million annually.

The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences ( resides within UD's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, with 29 faculty housed at four facilities: the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, the Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory, the University's 350-acre agricultural campus, and the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown, Delaware. Departmental faculty are world-renowned and include three NSF CAREER Award recipients, two endowed professors and several members who have received high honors from professional societies. The department is one of the strongest research departments at University of Delaware and is highly collaborative across college and institutional lines. In addition to research, the faculty are recognized for their excellent contributions to teaching and extension. Undergraduate majors include Plant Science, Landscape Horticulture and Design, and a newly-established professional Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program. Departmental graduate degrees include Plant Science and Soil Science at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. The Department also participates actively in campus-wide graduate programs such as Bioinformatics, Water Science and Policy, Biogeochemistry and Microbiology.

The college seeks a scholar with proven leadership skills to be the next Chair of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. This position provides an exceptional opportunity to lead a vital and productive department with strong research, instructional and extension expertise at a research-focused, land-grant university. The chair will facilitate programming in research, teaching, and extension that results in impactful solutions to grand challenges in plant and soil sciences. The chair's roles will include leadership, budget management, fundraising, personnel management and development, and integration of the disciplines of plant and soil sciences within the Department. Considerable involvement in a recently approved, $30 million renovation to the main laboratory building for departmental faculty will be required as the project unfolds in the next fiscal year. The chair will represent the Department and its programs across the university and to external stakeholders, and participate actively in the administration of the College along with the dean, associate deans, and other chairs and unit leaders. Although this position will be primarily administrative, the candidate is expected to contribute meaningfully to the research, teaching, and/or extension programs in the department. The candidate should have strong communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills, understand the land grant mission, be team-oriented, and have a vision of the future of plant and soil sciences in higher education.

Candidates will have a Ph.D. in plant science, soil science, or a related discipline with significant leadership experience. A qualified applicant will have credentials commensurate with those of a tenured full professor, including a record of significant scholarly contributions to teaching, research and/or extension along with excellent administrative and interpersonal skills. Candidates with these attributes from non-academic backgrounds are also encouraged to apply.

Review of applications will begin on April 10, 2017 and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants must submit a letter of application, including a statement describing their leadership philosophy and how they would be a good fit for this position. Applicants should also provide contact information for three references and a curriculum vita as a single pdf document through the online application system ( Candidate's applications will not be shared beyond the search committee until they are selected to move beyond the initial screening phase. Applicants will be notified before references are contacted. For inquiries, contact: Dr. Jacob L. Bowman, Search Committee Chair, 302-831-4621 (

The University of Delaware is an Equal Opportunity Employer which encourages applications from Minority Group Members, Women, Individuals with Disabilities and Veterans. The University's Notice of Non-Discrimination can be found at

The University of Delaware does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation in its employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. The University of Delaware prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to:

Susan L. Groff, Ed. D.,
Director, Institutional Equity & Title IX Coordinator
305 Hullihen Hall, Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-3666

For complaints related to Section 504of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, please contact:

Anne L. Jannarone, M.Ed., Ed.S.
Director, Office of Disability Support Services
Alison Hall, Suite 130
ewark, DE 19716
(302) 831-4643

OR contact the U.S. Department of Education - Office for Civil Rights.

The Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act ("DDEA") prohibits discrimination against an applicant or employee based on pregnancy, childbirth, lactation or related conditions. If you believe that you have been subject to pregnancy discrimination or retaliation, please inform a manager as soon as reasonably possible. The University of Delaware is committed to providing a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and will take prompt action to investigate and remedy the situation, as necessary.

The DDEA also provides for reasonable accommodations of known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions, provided that the accommodation does not impose an undue hardship on the university. An employee need not be disabled to request such an accommodation. If you have a known limitation related to pregnancy that impacts your ability to satisfactorily perform the essential duties of your job, please inform your supervisor so that we can promptly begin the process of identifying a reasonable accommodation. Employees are encouraged to request a reasonable accommodation as soon as the need arises and prior to any performance issues. Employees will not be retaliated against for requesting or using a reasonable accommodation.


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