Diversity Programs and Student Development Director

Apply now Job no: 504700
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 088800 - FWRC - Director
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

The Director for Diversity Programs and Student Development is responsible for planning, developing, directing the College of Forest Resources (CFR) programs and activities designed to foster the recruitment, retention, graduation, and employment of students in natural resources. Additional responsibilities include: to promote the holistic advancement of women and historically underrepresented minorities in forestry, sustainable bioproducts, wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture. The Director for Diversity Programs and Student Development will serve as a liaison to industry partners and state and federal agencies with similar goals of student development, leadership and diversifying the future workforce of natural resource professionals. The Director for Diversity Programs and Student Development is under the administrative supervision of the Associate Dean in the College of Forest Resources.

Salary Grade:  16

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Anticipated Appointment Date:

November 2022. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Collaborate with the CFR Director of Student Services, Senior Admissions Coordinator, and departmental Undergraduate Coordinators to implement proactive recruiting strategies to attract academically talented women and minority students to the College of Forest Resources through strengthening affiliations with high schools, community colleges, 3-2 programs with minority serving institutions, and K-12 dual enrollment and summer program offerings.
2. Develop and offer bridge programs aimed at assisting students with the transition to MSU and preparing students for challenging academics in natural resources.
3. Develop and implement enhanced learning environments for students that support improved student retention, including strategies such as academic workshops, tutoring, course clustering, mentor networks, and enhanced advising.
4. Establish program assessments and evaluations to ensure continued improvement of the diversity program consistent with goals established in the CFR Diversity Strategic Plan.
5. Provide leadership for the Dean’s Diversity Council.
6. Serve as the CFR academic advisor for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and related Sciences (MANRRS).
7. Pursue grant opportunities with foundations, NSF, USDA, DOE, USFWS and other federal and state funding agencies.
8. Assist in the establishment of a student development and leadership endowment.
9. Develop best practices that encourage students to pursue terminal degrees.
10. Work with university programs that enhance the undergraduate and graduate student experience, including communication, leadership, entrepreneurship, and global awareness.
11. Aid in the development of a campus wide collaboration among academic units that will support the development of students in and outside the classroom.
12. Participate in national organizations such as MANRRS, Society of American Foresters (SAF), Forest Products Society (FPS), The Wildlife Society (TWS), and American Fisheries Society (AFS).
13. Provide supervision for programs and personnel related to diversity recruitment, retention, and success.
14. Carry out other duties, as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

•Education: Master’s Degree.
•Experience: Two (2) years of experience with higher education issues, administration, recruitment, and/or student services.

Preferred Qualifications:

Education - Master’s Degree with a focus in Natural Resources, Agriculture, Higher Education administration, or related discipline.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

•Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

1. No unusual physical requirements. Requires no heavy lifting, and nearly all work is performed in a comfortable indoor facility.
2. Routine deadlines; usually sufficient lead time; variance in work volume seasonal and predictable; priorities can be anticipated; some interruptions are present; involves occasional exposure to demands and pressures from persons other than immediate supervisor.
3. Job frequently requires sitting, talking, hearing.
4. Job occasionally requires standing, walking, reaching, handling objects with hands, and lifting up to 25 pounds.
5. Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Applicant must apply online at by attaching the following as a PDF: Cover Letter, Resume, transcripts of all degrees, and names and contact information of three professional references. Applicant should redact their social security number if it appears on their academic transcript prior to submitting it online.

Screening Date:

October 20, 2022 until filled. 

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable 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.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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