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Executive Director of the Annis Water Resources Institute

Grand Valley State University
Muskegon, Michigan
The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

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Executive Administration Jobs
Other Executive Administration
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Executive Director of the Annis Water Resources Institute

The Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) seeks an Executive Director with international recognition in aquatic sciences to lead an academic unit with 10 principal investigators and approximately 50 additional personnel, including students, technicians, administrative support staff, vessel instructors, boat captains, and deckhands. In addition to visionary leadership, mentorship, and scholarly excellence, the director will be the university’s ambassador to communities on Lake Michigan.

Apply through the GVSU website.

About AWRI

Founded in 1986, AWRI relocated from GVSU’s main campus in Allendale, MI to the shores of Muskegon Lake in 2001, when the community engaged in their largest capital campaign to date to build the Lake Michigan Center, one of AWRI’s three buildings. The mission of AWRI is to integrate research, education, and outreach to enhance and preserve freshwater resources. AWRI accomplishes this mission through:

1) interdisciplinary research into major questions about water resources;

2) public education for a variety of groups, including K-12, university undergraduate and graduate students, and the community; and

3) outreach to ensure that decision makers are equipped with the best available knowledge on environmental and water resource-related issues to reduce the uncertainty associated with their resource management decisions.


AWRI’s organizational structure consists of the following major areas:

The Ecological Research Program explores questions about aquatic ecology, chemistry and toxicology, fisheries ecology, hydrology, microbial ecology, aquatic molecular ecology, ecosystem restoration, and ecological modeling.

The Geospatial Technology Group uses state-of-the-art geospatial technology to collect and analyze data and condense them into useful information for those who make critical decisions about natural resource management.

The Education and Outreach Program utilizes AWRI's two research vessels and the Annis Educational Foundation Classroom to provide scientific information to K-12 students, policymakers, educators, college students, and community groups.


AWRI Facilities:

The Lake Michigan Center (LMC) is the central building at AWRI. The LMC was built in 2011 and hosts 2 classrooms, conference areas, 5 research labs, faculty and staff offices, and research vessel dockage. The building overlooks Muskegon Lake, which connects directly to Lake Michigan.

The Robert B. Annis Field Station, built in 2013, is a 14,700 sq. ft. LEED-designed building that houses 3 research laboratories, a mesocosm facility, faculty and graduate student offices, conference rooms, and storage for field equipment.

AWRI's green-designed boat house was built in 2008 to provide ship support and small boat storage, with sustainability features such as a green roof, rain garden, and natural lighting. The vessel fleet consists of research vessels the 45’ D.J. Angus and the 65’ W.G. Jackson, as well as johnboats, an electrofishing boat, a pontoon boat, and kayaks.

For more information about the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute, please visit:


About Philanthropy at AWRI

West Michigan is the second-most philanthropic region per capita in the country, trailing only the Salt Lake City region. AWRI has a strong history of fundraising from a broad base of supporters; the cultivation of philanthropic giving from individuals, corporations, and foundations has been instrumental to advancing the mission of understanding the Great Lakes and local water bodies, including rivers, lakes, wetlands, and groundwater. AWRI has benefited from an extensive individual donor base, corporate gifts, and support from both community and family foundations. This broad base of support has resulted in endowment funds that help support the vessel program, research activities, student internships, and daily activities. 


About the Position

The AWRI Director reports to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). CLAS is the largest college at Grand Valley, offering over 50 bachelor’s degrees and a growing number of advanced degrees in the natural and mathematical sciences, the fine arts and humanities, and the social sciences. CLAS is currently conducting a cluster hire to bring in several new faculty with expertise in Environmental and Aquatic Restoration and Sustainability. CLAS is a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry, extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life. Our faculty are active teacher-scholars committed to equitable, inclusive, career-connected, and community-engaged liberal arts and sciences education. There are many opportunities for collaboration within CLAS and across a broad group of partners on and off campus. We are committed to these core values as we seek to foster a community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn, and thrive together.



Grand Valley University (GVSU) is a public comprehensive institution located in West Michigan with campuses in Allendale, downtown Grand Rapids, and Holland, plus centers in Detroit, Muskegon and Traverse City. The University attracts more than 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students with high quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities, and has been nationally recognized for innovativeness and its contribution to students’ social mobility. The greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area has a population of around one million people, is affordable, and offers rich cultural amenities. Grand Valley is located within easy driving distance of Chicago, Detroit, Lake Michigan beaches, and many other superb summer and winter recreational venues. Information can be found at Community Resources - Human Resources - Grand Valley State University ( Grand Valley is highly rated for safety, sustainability, and veteran and LGBTQ friendliness, and is committed to supporting employees and their families in work-life balance. The university seeks to create an inclusive and diverse environment for faculty and students while promoting enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and service.


How to Apply

Apply online and select "Apply now". Please include a cover letter and resume. The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically. On the application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for three professional references. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215. If you have questions, please contact Robert Smart ([email protected]).  Consideration of applications will begin immediately, and the posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.



  • $282 million in financial aid awarded
  • $84 million of that aid was in the form of scholarships and grant assistance
  • 8,275 students participating in internships, co-ops, practica, and student teaching
  • 11,700+ employment and internship opportunities listed with GVSU Career Center
  • 1,100+ employers participating in career events
  • Middle 50% of Fall 2016 entering class earned high school GPAs from 3.3–3.9, ACT scores of 21–26 and SAT scores of 1050 to 1220


  • 250+ sustainability-related courses offered at Grand Valley
  • One of the greenest universities in the nation, according to the Sierra Club
  • 48.6 percent decrease in use of water, 35 percent decrease in natural gas and 28.7 percent decrease in electricity during the past 15 years at Grand Valley
  • 26 LEED-certified buildings completed at Grand Valley
  • Gold status and seventh in the nation for master's-level institutions, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • 250+ energy-saving projects carried out by GVSU in the last 15 years, resulting in more than $2 million in annual cost avoidances.

ADMINISTRATIONgvsu employer profile

Established: Grand Valley State University was chartered by the Michigan legislature in 1960 in response to the need for a public, four-year college in the state's second largest metropolitan region.

Mission: Education students to shape their lived, their professions, and their societies. The university contributes to the enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service.

President: Thomas J. Haas

Board of Trustees:

  • Victor M. Cardenas
  • Randall S. Damstra
  • David S. Hooker 
  • John C. Kennedy (chair)
  • Mary L. Kramer (vice chair)
  • John G. Russell
  • Megan S. Sall
  • Kate Pew Wolters
  • Thomas J. Haas (ex officio)
  • Donna K. Brooks, (honorary life member)
  • Dorothy A. Johnson, (honorary life member)

Accreditation: Grand Valley is accredited by The Higher Llearning Commission; Member - North Central Association, 230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411; telephone: (312) 263-0456; Web: 

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