Assistant Professor: Packaging Value Chain

East Lansing, Michigan
$75,000-$80,000, Salary commensurant with experience
Nov 18, 2017
Posting # 475521
Position Type
Tenured & Tenure-Track
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


Position: The School of Packaging ( in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU) is seeking qualified applicants for an Assistant Professor. This is a tenure-track position with a research/teaching/service (45%/45%/10%) assignment and can begin as early as August 2018. The successful candidate will be expected to develop a nationally-recognized research program in packaging with a focus on the role of packaging in value chains.

Responsibilities: The individual will be expected to develop a nationally and internationally recognized research program in the value-creating role of packaging in various types of supply chains, ranging from traditional retailing and e-commerce of a wide range of products -- to virtual products in non-traditional contexts. The holistic value of a packaging system involves trade-offs between a series of competing values. Value for a consumer can be experiential, contextual and subjective. Value for the retailer depends on the product’s profitability and contribution to cash flow.  Value related to logistics includes the cost and efficiency of production, distribution, and information/inventory management. Value related to sustainability includes beginning- and end-of-life scenarios.  Packaging plays a key role in reducing food waste and loss, and contributes to food security. The total system value depends on balancing these needs. Beyond physical protection and resource optimization, research could include the role of packaging in information management, including traceability and supply chain data collection. 

Research should employ basic and applied sciences while addressing the issues and opportunities inherent in the changing supply chain. MSU encourages interdisciplinary collaboration. Potential cross-university collaboration represents a unique research opportunity that is not available elsewhere, with other renowned programs MSU like Supply Chain Management, Biomedical Science, Engineering, production agriculture and the international outreach of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, as well as the Midland Research Institute for Value Chain Creation. Potential product areas include packaging for food, medical products, consumer goods, as well as industrial products such as automobile parts. Research support facilities available include the Composite Materials and Structures Center, the Center for Advanced Microscopy, and the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER), home to MSU's High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) among others, in addition to available facilities within the School of Packaging.

The successful candidate will provide leadership in research on the role of packaging in enhancing value by developing an innovative research program, securing competitive external grant funding, publishing in high quality peer-reviewed journals, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, providing leadership and service in professional and scientific associations, and establishing strong ties with the private sector. The candidate will also be expected to demonstrate interest and promise of excellence in teaching. The initial teaching assignment will be two to three courses per year at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. This position will play a key role in the new Value Chain concentration in the School of Packaging undergraduate curriculum.  Students who graduate from this track will be able to direct the packaging function in various types of supply chains.  They will be able to understand the trade-offs and manage change.

Qualifications: Candidates must have the following qualifications: a) a doctoral degree in a business field related to packaging, such as marketing, supply chain management, agricultural economics, or microeconomics; b) an understanding of the multi-faceted relationship of packaging to these fields; c) a record that indicates the potential for success in a research intensive environment. Previous experience in packaging is desired but not required.

Michigan State University - School of Packaging: As the premier Land Grant University, MSU has strong interrelated programs across the spectrum of food, health, and sustainability and is committed to linking food, environment, and human health. The School of Packaging (SoP), founded in 1952, is the leading institution in packaging education and research. As the only university offering a Ph.D. program in packaging, the School of Packaging at MSU attracts students from a variety of disciplines around the world. The school is poised for significant growth that will support MSU goals. Furthermore, the highly collaborative and productive faculty provides a very positive environment for professional growth and program expansion. The School’s reputation was largely founded on the creation and application of fundamental knowledge related to distribution and dynamics, as it affects value of packaged goods. Recognizing the need to continue and bolster this important line of inquiry, a strategic plan developed by the faculty has identified “Packaging Distribution and Value Chain” as one of three key platforms that form the basis for its research, teaching and outreach missions. The other strategic platforms are Packaging Materials and Sustainability, and Food, Health and Biomedical Packaging. We anticipate several faculty hires in the next few years.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at  Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found

Application Procedure: Qualified applicants should submit:

1) A letter of application

2) A summary of research accomplishments and a statement of research direction and interest (limited to 2 pages)

 3) A current curriculum vitae

4) A statement of Teaching Philosophy (limited to 1 page)

5) A summary of experience with diversity in the classroom and/or research endeavors, any experience in mentoring diverse students, and an explanation of how you will contribute to our goals of inclusive excellence (limited to 1 page)

6) The  names and email addresses of three references

Submit materials online at (posting #475521) .  Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled. Inquiries about the position should be addressed to Dr. Laura Bix Search Committee Chair, School of Packaging, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824-1325. Telephone 517 355-4556 E-mail: [email protected]

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