Professor and Head

Apply now Job no: 497588
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 011100 - Plant and Soil Sciences
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Faculty
Position Open Date:

Department Profile:

Plant and Soil Sciences is a comprehensive department with 32 on – and 26 off-campus faculty members engaged in teaching, research, extension and/or service programs, most of whom carry joint appointments. The programs are supported by 32 support and professional staff. The department offers Bachelor of Science degrees in agronomy, horticulture and environmental science in agricultural systems, and has approximately 116 undergraduate students in agronomy; 36 in horticulture; and 11 in environmental science in agricultural systems. The department offers master's and doctoral programs, with 57 students currently majoring in either agronomy, horticulture, or weed science. The teaching, research, extension and service programs are supported by state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment and trained personnel. The department holds two endowed chairs and faculty are nationally prominent, with 4 Fellows in national/international societies. Agronomic and horticultural industries are significant contributors to Mississippi’s agricultural economy (combined value of $8.75 billion with 13 million acres under management). The department is committed to enhancing its statewide, national and international reputation for excellence. More information about the department can be found at

Anticipated Appointment Date:

July 1, 2019

Tenure Track Status:

12-month tenured position

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The head should be able to effectively represent the teaching, research, extension and other outreach efforts of the department with agencies, clientele, stakeholder groups, civic organizations, professional organizations, and the general public. Additionally, the head:
1. Develops/maintains knowledge of the concepts, enabling legislation, history, and philosophy of the department and a land-grant university.
2. Follows policies with departmental budget/expenditure recommendations.
3. Develops/maintains communication with faculty/staff/other personnel, with governmental organizations (local, state, regional, national), and the private sector on behalf of clientele, users, and cooperators.
a. Establishes/maintains relationships with key decision makers/leaders and communicates regularly to improve department activities.
b. Reports regularly to superiors. Advocates/negotiates for optimum combinations of human resources, funds, and materials to achieve program missions on a priority basis.
c. Review/evaluates plans of work, programs, publications and other educational services. Recommends continuation and/or modification to ensure complementary and supportive efforts by all faculty/staff.
d. Ensures Extension faculty provide statewide educational programming for dissemination of research-based information, including in-service education programs for agents and teaching programs for stakeholders to include scientific-based assessment and evaluation.
4. Participates in department head meetings, reporting on and representing the department.
5. Oversees, in coordination with departmental faculty, development of curricula, standards for formal/non-formal instruction, and continued programmatic excellence in undergraduate, graduate and extension education.
6. Identifies, supports, and encourages multi-and inter-disciplinary programs that advance knowledge and technology and enhance the development and dissemination of practical applications.
7. Encourages teamwork and promotes cooperation/joint programming, where appropriate, within the department, among division units and across the university.
8. Maximizes the use of existing priority planning groups and advisory councils to identify priorities and plan programs.
9. Provides planning, coordination, and support for obtaining goods/services for optimum operation of the department, such as official mail, space allocations, supplies, computer support/services, property control and facilities.
10. Manages the staffing process according to MSU policies and procedures, such as position development/requisition, application recruitment/review, candidate selection/recommendation and terms of employment.
11. Evaluates performance of departmental faculty on-campus and in cooperation with appropriate research and extension center heads. Responsible for justifying the evaluation with the Dean(s)/Director(s) or their designees.
12. Recommends opportunities for employee professional growth/development.
13. Participates/engages in scholarly pursuits in the candidate’s discipline/area(s) of expertise.
14. Works with the director of MAFES and other university research centers to enhance research; develop a research program in applied and fundamental research to meet stakeholder needs, and expand knowledge base.
15. Interacts with research and extension centers to facilitate statewide research efforts.

Minimum Qualifications:

Earned doctorate from an accredited institution in plant sciences, agronomic sciences, soil sciences, weed sciences, horticulture or closely related field.

Eligible for tenure at the rank of full professor and graduate faculty membership at MSU.

Preferred Qualifications:

Knowledge of and appreciation for the diverse interests and interdisciplinary programs in the department.
Knowledge of and experience with capital development activities and extramural grantsmanship.
Demonstrated successful administrative experience appropriate to the required responsibilities.
Competence in leadership and management, and exceptional interpersonal skills.
Demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and extension/outreach.
Experience in establishing networks with business and industry.
Achievement of national visibility through leadership in academic and professional organizations.
Willingness to pursue, promote and encourage regional, national and international opportunities for the department.
Demonstrate ability to communicate and interact effectively with administrators, faculty, staff, students, partners, consumers, and industry-related constituencies.
Demonstrated ability to facilitate linkages with appropriate local, state, national and international agencies.
Experience with distance education program development and delivery.

Instructions for Applying:

All applicants must apply online at and attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae and the complete contact information for at least three professional references.

Inquiries can be made to:

Dr. Michael Newman
Professor and Director
School of Human Sciences
P.O. Box 9745
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Screening will begin November 1, 2018.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

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