Director, School of Planning, Design & Construction


Director, School of Planning, Design & Construction

The Michigan State University Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and Social Science (SSC) invite applications and nominations for the position of Director of the School of Planning, Design, & Construction (SPDC). The full time, annual appointment position is open to candidates who meet the requirements for tenure at the rank of Professor in SPDC.

The successful candidate will be committed to working across the disciplines of SPDC, fostering the School’s rise toward academic and professional excellence, and leading its advancements in ground-breaking scholarship. It is preferred that the new Director possess the highest quality academic credentials and reputation in one or more disciplines of the School.

The School is a global leader in uniting academic programs related to the built environment: Construction Management, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning, providing an excellent work environment for 43 faculty and academic specialists and 8 staff members. The School offers eight degree pathways to career success ranging from Bachelors to PhD – including 5 professionally accredited degrees.  In doing so, we currently serve over 350 undergraduate and 50 graduate students, and are able to provide approximately $400,000 in scholarships annually for undergraduate and graduate students from endowments and gifts.

The School also hosts two semi-autonomous institutes: The Land Policy Institute and the new National Charrette Institute. Opportunities exist to collaborate closely with those and other units of the University, such as the Center for Community and Economic Development, and the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Community Sustainability, and Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences.

The mission of the School is leading the integration of planning, design and construction to create a sustainable built and natural environment that enriches communities, economic and family life, through leadership, entrepreneurial creativity, social responsibility, cultural relevance and environmentally sustainable planning and policy. Please refer to the School’s homepage available at:

Michigan State University (MSU) is located in East Lansing, MI, and serves as the nation’s pioneer land-grant university. It is one of the top research universities in the world and home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs. MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, and scientists that provide regional, national, and international leadership in basic and applied research, excellence in teaching, international engagement, and strong Extension programs that partner with diverse stakeholders to bring science-based responses to bear on the food, energy and the environmental needs of our state, nation and the world.

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 Americans with Disabilities Act, 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 work-life balance at MSU can be found at

Required qualifications for the Director’s position are:

- Ph.D. in a relevant field;

- Demonstrated supervisory experience in an administrative role;

- Strong credentials in scholarship;

- Evidence of interdisciplinary research experiences and extramural funding; and

- Excellent leadership and interpersonal skills.

Other, preferred qualifications are:

- Interest and ability to work effectively with diverse groups of industry members, professionals, and all other stakeholders;

- Ability to understand and facilitate diverse professional goals while fostering an inclusive and cooperative culture within the School;

- Experience in leading a department or school with undergraduate, graduate, and accredited academic/degree-granting programs;

- Experience in developing international research and teaching collaborations; and

- Experience recruiting faculty with strong research agendas and successfully mentoring faculty in their career development.

The Director provides leadership to the School in all teaching, research, extension, outreach, and service, at local, national, and international levels. The successful candidate must be able to articulate a vision for the school and have experience with long range planning to further advance the School’s mission and promote national and international prominence. The Director serves as the chief administrative officer of the School; these responsibilities include management of resources to ensure program quality and growth. Skills in active listening and effective communication are important for this position. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. MSU offers generous benefit packages (details at:

The Director reports directly to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Dean of the College of Social Science, and interacts with the senior leadership of the colleges, AgBioResearch, and MSU Extension on a regular basis.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Both colleges are 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 and SSC are particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

How to apply:  Applicants for the position of Director are asked to submit, as a single electronic document: 1) a résumé/CV and 2) a cover letter describing your interest in the position with an emphasis on your experience and philosophical approaches to faculty development, student success, and achieving a culture of diversity and inclusion. At the end of the cover letter, please include names and contact information for three (3) references who are familiar with your work and leadership skills. Letters are not initially required, but these individuals may be approached for additional information only after obtaining the applicant’s permission to do so.

Nominations and applications may be sent in confidence to the University’s executive search firm:

Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner

Chelsie Whitelock, Senior Associate


10 Cadillac Drive, Suite 190

Brentwood, TN 37027

Formal review of applications will begin on March 31, 2017, and the search will remain open until the Director position is filled.  The preferred starting date for the successful candidate is August 16, 2017.