Plant Pathology Department Head with Faculty Rank

Classification & Title: Plant Pathology Department Head with Faculty Rank

Position Opening ID: 347327

FLSA Status: Exempt, 100%

Term: Administrative appointment: 36 months (annually renewable thereafter); Faculty appointment: 12 months while head.

Type: Tenured

Reports to: Dean

College/ Admin Unit: College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Campus Location: University of Minnesota Twin Cities, St. Paul 



The University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) strives to inspire minds, nourish people, and sustainably enhance the natural environment. CFANS has a legacy of innovation, bringing discoveries to life through science, education and outreach. Every day, students, faculty, and researchers use science to address the grand challenges of the world today and into the future. CFANS offers an unparalleled expanse of experiential learning opportunities for students and the community. The Department of Plant Pathology is an integral part of the college and the University of Minnesota. 


Ongoing collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts in basic and applied research have enabled the faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology to build a strong foundation of science in teaching, research, and extension. Faculty in the Department are nationally and internationally recognized for conducting research in genetics of disease resistance at the molecular, cellular, and whole plant levels; genomics/bioinformatics of plant-microbe interactions; plant disease management; microbial/microbiome ecology related to plant health and disease; biological control; population genetics; fungal biology and genomics; plant virology; bacteriology; nematology; forest health; wood deterioration; high throughput phenotyping; and global climate change. Exemplary education, based on research, is a departmental priority and faculty offer a rich and diverse portfolio of undergraduate and graduate courses, serving students within the Department and across the College and University through in-person and online delivery. The Department’s strong graduate program delivers excellence in teaching, research, and mentoring that provides an enriching graduate experience. Graduates move on to careers in agriculture and related industries, public agencies, academia, and private consulting. The Department has access to state-of-the-art facilities including plant growth facilities with classrooms, greenhouses, and a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) plant pathology quarantine greenhouse and laboratory, along with adjacent research plots that support both conventional and organic production systems. Other resources include the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute and Biodale that provide state-of-the art genomic, imaging, and mass-spectrometry facilities. Ten unique research and outreach centers throughout Minnesota enhance the Department’s research infrastructure. Adjunct faculty from the USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, and Plant Science Research Unit, located on campus, support the mission of the Department. A dedicated and professional team supports the Department's administrative, financial, and communication functions.

Department Mission: Conduct research, education and extension focused on plant diseases, plant health, and the biology of plant-microbe interactions to ensure sustainability of agricultural, forest and natural ecosystems for the benefit of society. 


The University of Minnesota invites qualified candidates to apply for the position of Department Head with Faculty Rank within the Department of Plant Pathology. The Department Head reports to the Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and partners with University of Minnesota Extension to accomplish departmental goals and objectives and to deliver nationally and internationally recognized programs in teaching, research, extension and outreach, including the work at affiliated centers.   

The Department Head is the lead academic and strategic officer for a department who works to recruit, mentor, and retain outstanding faculty, graduate students, and academic staff in a set of related disciplines in addition to serving as the administrative leader of departmental programs. In collaboration with college support divisions, the Department Head has responsibility for planning, fiscal management, personnel, and facilities. The Head actively supports the securing of sufficient resources for the department to strengthen and broaden its mission, nurture cross-functional relations at the University and beyond, and advance its strong international reputation.

The Department aligns with collegiate and the larger University of Minnesota goals in providing equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.


Department Leadership (75%)

  • Provide instructional oversight of the assigned programs; oversee curriculum development; and encourage/support instructional excellence.

  • Assess general education outcomes in core courses taught within the department. 

  • Initiate and facilitate the development of new academic programs and projects, as appropriate.

  • Assign faculty teaching responsibilities of department faculty in cooperation with Head of departments in interdepartmental programs where appropriate.

  • Monitor the instructional and research excellence of the program(s) and address problems as they arise.

  • Serve as an advocate for the department’s faculty to College leadership and the University community.

  • Facilitate and oversee processes for faculty including recruitment, promotion, tenure, and professional leaves.

  • Provide coaching and mentoring for all faculty in the program(s).

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with external stakeholders, employers, alums, and supporters including alumni, business partners, government and non-profit organizations that may assist in talent development, research, education, outreach and extension. 

  • Provide supervision and direction to staff in the department administrative office.

  • Lead recruitment efforts, when resources are available, for faculty and specialized staff. 

  • In conjunction with the Dean and the Chief Financial Officer, develop budget and resources plans related to staffing and infrastructure.

  • Administer and manage the allocation of departmental resources (fiscal, human, facilities and capital).  

  • Manage daily operations of the department.

  • Provide leadership in procurement of grant and endowment funding for support of departmental and faculty programs and assist with fundraising efforts. 

  • Participate in the development of policy and strategic planning in the college. 

  • In conjunction with CFANS human resources (HR), work with employees to address misconduct or performance concerns in a timely manner.

  • Respond to academic questions from students and resolve any academic issues; fulfilling Title IX mandated reporting obligations including escalating concerns to EO/AA and HR, as appropriate.

  • Actively sponsor diversity, inclusion and equity working towards fulfillment of department/unit and College goals.

Faculty Responsibilities (20%): 

  • As discussed and agreed upon with the Dean, teach an appropriate number of courses relevant to the size and scope of the department.

  • Participate in research and scholarly activities within the discipline.

  • Participate in University and community service activities as appropriate. 

Service Delivery and Professional Development (5%):

  • Stay abreast of current developments in leadership and relevant pedagogy by participating in continuing education and training opportunities. 

  • Regularly and actively participate in Department, College, and University events and meetings. 

  • Stay current in personal areas of scholarship and research.



  • Ph.D. in plant pathology or a plant science or microbiological field directly related to research and teaching activities within the Department of Plant Pathology and be eligible to successfully obtain tenure at the rank of full professor at the University of Minnesota.

  • Commitment to strong disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and service. Proven record of support of successful undergraduate and graduate programs.

  • Minimum of eight (8) years of professional experience after the completion of the doctoral degree.

  • Minimum of 3 years of supervisory/leadership experience including fiscal management.

  • Record of excellence in teaching/research/discovery as well as engagement/outreach productivity.

  • Proven record of achievement in leadership and the ability to develop and describe a vision in alignment with the organization’s goals and policies.

  • Record of publications in the field in peer-reviewed academic journals.

  • Evidence of ability to pursue and obtain competitive funding.

  • Experience with formal classroom teaching or Extension/outreach teaching

  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, and students.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. 


  • Demonstrated ability to operate strategically to effectively promote and market the unique academic programs offered in Plant Pathology for increased student enrollment and partnerships in the college, university and community.

  • Evidence of the ability to communicate effectively to a wide diversity of audiences.

  • A record of implementing innovative and inclusive teaching and pedagogy using multiple platforms.

  • Evidence of effective mentoring students and/or staff. 

  • Demonstrated skill in fostering linkages with other disciplines and building program partnerships.

  • Evidence of organizing personnel and resources to successfully obtain large, multi-institutional, nation and international grants.

  • A record of forming positive relationships with varied internal and external stakeholders.

  • Record of commitment to recruitment, development and retention of a diverse, high-quality faculty student body and staff.

Nature of Appointment: 

Academic and administrative appointment will be on a twelve-month basis as Head and tenured faculty position as full professor. The initial administrative appointment is for three years with annual performance reviews. Subsequent annual reappointment is dependent on performance and outcome of administrative reviews conducted every three to five years. Salary is commensurate with experience and achievement, and carries an administrative salary augmentation. 


This is a 100%-time, twelve-month annually renewable administrative appointment, with an initial appointment period of three years, and a 12-month tenured faculty position as a Professor in the Department. Reappointment is contingent upon an annual performance review and a comprehensive administrative review and evaluation every three to five years. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications, is negotiable and carries an administrative augmentation. Should the head relinquish their administrative appointment and become a regular faculty member, the faculty appointment will become a 9-month appointment, with pro-rated salary determined as a 9/11 basis or as negotiated at the time of original appointment as head.

The Department Head is responsible administratively to the Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and is a member of the college’s leadership council. Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment. Position is available immediately.

The University of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package including competitive pay, medical and dental plans, life insurance, disability coverage, retirement savings plans, flexible spending accounts, tuition benefits, and an award-winning Wellbeing Program—to name just a few. For additional information regarding benefits please visit this website.


Applications must be submitted online: (search for Position 347327). Candidates should include all of the required application materials combined into one single PDF document. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Required application materials: 

  • Cover letter 

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Statement of leadership philosophy and experience

  • Diversity Statement (please see below*) 

  • Names, addresses and email contact information for three (3) professional references that will be contacted if you are a final candidate.

For questions regarding this position, please contact Margaret Headlee, HR Consultant at

Applications will be reviewed starting August 20, 2022

*Instructions for Diversity Statement (include with application materials) 

Please provide a diversity statement that details your professional experiences in DEI. Experiences may include working with diverse communities, embedding DEI into a curriculum and/or research, educational programs in which you have participated. CFANS, as part of the University of Minnesota, values and is actively invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout all of our programs. Please review the CFANS definition of diversity along with the DEI strategic plan.