Director, School of Plant Sciences

Director, School of Plant Sciences


The University of Arizona (UArizona) seeks a creative and dynamic individual with an innovative mindset for the position of Director of the School of Plant Sciences .

The School of Plant Sciences (PLS) is part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), which is a connected community of over 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students, and over 240 total faculty. With an education and research portfolio that stretches from soil sciences, to resource management, to retailing,andfrom beneath the soil to outer space, CALS offers 20 undergraduate degree programs, along with a range of graduate and interdisciplinary programs acrossfive schools andfive departments. CALS research touches on nearly every aspect of modern life and has played a pivotal role in Arizona's and the global economy over the course of its 137-year history. As Arizona's only land-grant university and a Hispanic Serving Institution, the College serves diverse students and communities across the state of Arizona.

The school has more than 80 faculty and staff delivering research, instruction, and Extension programming, with four undergraduate majors (Plant Sciences, Sustainable Plant Systems, Applied Biotechnology, and Microbiology) and two graduate majors (Plant Science, Plant Pathology, both MS & PhD). Current enrollment across these degrees include 70 undergraduate and 25 graduate students. With over $9M in annual expenditures, faculty are highly research active and extensively engaged in community research and programming. The school's Cooperative Extension programming includes Campus Arboretum, Crops/Soils, Fruits and Nuts, Smartscape, and Trees, Lawns and Landscaping.

The Position

The PLS Director will work closely with school faculty, the dean, nine other academic unit heads, two associate deans, the director of UArizona Cooperative Extension, the Office of International Initiatives, and Development, Alumni, Advocacy and Corporate Relations to implement the school's strategic plan and vision.

Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting directly to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Director is responsible and accountable for the vision, leadership, administration, and delivery of the school's education, research, and Cooperative Extension missions.

The Director must be a proven entrepreneurial and innovative leader with demonstrated ability in philanthropy, corporate and alumni relations, and excellence in business, financial and budget management and diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives. Non-academic sectors experience is positive but not essential. Able to build connections between the private sector/community entities and faculty research programs.

Additional Minimum Qualifications
• Advanced doctoral degree in a relevant scientific discipline.
• Demonstrated excellence warranting appointment as Full Professor with tenure.
• Proven leadership and management in achieving outputs and outcomes effectively and efficiently.
• A demonstrated interest in, and strong commitment to, undergraduate and graduate education and instruction.
• Understand Cooperative Extension and its role in translating scientific research to diverse communities including rural and underserved communities.
• Knowledge of the private sector relevant to all aspects of the school.
• Exemplary communication and interpersonal skills.
• Exceptional business, personnel and financial knowledge, skills, and talents in a complex environment.
• A demonstrated track record of achievements in inclusion, equity, and access.

Preferred Qualifications

• Track record of innovation and entrepreneurial activity.
• Working knowledge of diverse instructional modalities, such as online, distance learning, and professional certifications
• Proven ability to work with advisory board members and other external stakeholder groups.

Applications and Nominations

Buffkin/Baker, an executive search firm, is assisting the university in the search. The search will remain open until filled, however, for optimal consideration, application materials should be received by August 1, 2023. Candidates should submit a current curriculum vitae and a cover letter describing their interest and qualifications for the position.

Inquiries of interest, nominations, and applications should be submitted electronically, in confidence, to:

Mr. Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner
Dr. Pelema Ellis, Associate Partner
Buffkin / Baker


Outstanding UArizona benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; competitive family leave policies, life insurance and disability programs; UArizona/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; and access to UArizona recreation and cultural activities (see ).

Diversity and Inclusiveness

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As a Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff, and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Copyright ©2022 Inc. All rights reserved.

Posted by the FREE value-added recruitment advertising agency