Chair for the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE)

The University of Vermont (UVM) is seeking a Chair for the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE). This is a full-time, 12-month position at the rank of full professor.


CDAE is a highly collaborative and innovative social science department. We include faculty members representing many different social science backgrounds, several staff members, as well as students enrolled in four undergraduate majors, two master’s programs, and one PhD program. While we are diverse in our disciplinary backgrounds and research methods, we are a cohesive unit united by our vision to grow resilient, inclusive, and sustainable communities in an era of unprecedented change through applied, transdisciplinary teaching, research, and outreach.


We carry out this mission by (a) Providing undergraduate and graduate instruction in public communication and administration, applied economics, community design, sustainable development, sustainable policy and governance, and entrepreneurship with a focus on enabling community driven social innovation ; (b) Conducting rigorous research on social change for the public good ; (c) Providing students with hands-on learning opportunities through internships, study abroad, research projects, and service-learning courses; (d) Advising, empowering, collaborating and partnering with local and global communities; and (e) Fulfilling the social science mission of our land-grant university along with our colleagues the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and University of Vermont, across the state of Vermont, and throughout the world. 



We are seeking a collaborative and forward-thinking leader to serve as CDAE’s next Chair. 


The Chair will understand how applied, interdisciplinary scholarship can help address increasingly interconnected, complex problems facing communities of place. They will foster a collaborative, cohesive, innovative culture that helps our department thrive. To do this, it is important that our new Chair will respect, converse across, and lead faculty and students from different social science disciplines and research paradigms as one cohesive unit.


In the spirit of applied scholarship, the Chair will help faculty and students as they encounter the opportunities and challenges associated with applied research teaming, community-based learning, and serving within and outside of the academy. They will embrace applied scholar activities within Vermont, the U.S., and around the globe.


Drawing on collaborative governance strategies, the new Chair will help advance the department mission and build consensus around department goals, streamline processes, and implement long-range department programs, plans, goals, and policies. 


The Chair will forecast and implement strategic, sustainable plans for departmental resources and needs. By building productive relationships and serving as a liaison among CDAE faculty, other programs, administration, and potential donors, they will advocate for faculty and student success through strategic initiatives. This will include developing sustainable, effective workload management strategies for current faculty and staff, as well as implementing innovative and effective recruitment and retention plans for faculty, staff, and students with diverse interests and identities.


Our new Chair will champion national and international agenda for CDAE’s research, teaching, and outreach. This includes strengthening links and fostering faculty growth in working with internal and external scientific, governmental, foundation, and non-governmental communities. Building and maintaining productive relationships with colleagues within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and University of Vermont, across Vermont, and worldwide is essential.


The new CDAE Chair will have their own strong record in any of the undergraduate or graduate programs offered by CDAE: Community International Development; Public Communication; Community Centered Design; Community Entrepreneurship; Public Administration; Applied Economics; and/or Sustainable Development Policy, Economics and Governance.


Based on their scholarly interests, our new Chair will have the opportunity to work across the department, college, and university and interact with several Centers and Institutes, including the Food Systems Research Center, Center for Rural Studies, Institute for Rural Partnerships, and the Gund Institute for the Environment. 


Qualities a successful candidate is expected to have: 


A Collaborative Leadership Style 

  • Collaborative leadership style
  • Leadership experience in an academic environment;
  • A leadership style aimed at sustaining an already strong cohesive, collaborative, and innovative departmental culture. 
  • A leadership style that can foster the continued contributions of a faculty with a wide variety of scholarly backgrounds, including economics, law, communication, applied design, sociology, community entrepreneurship, and public policy & governance. 


Experience and Interest for working in Inter-disciplinary Teams 

  • An understanding of how systems thinking and applied, transdisciplinary scholarship can help address the wicked problems facing communities of place. 
  • An ability to converse across and appreciation for a wide variety of social science research methods. 
  • An understanding of how applied social science departments contribute to and are an essential component of Colleges of Agriculture. 


 Management Experience in working with Inter-disciplinary Teams 

  • A commitment to recruiting and supporting graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff
  • An ability to steward the tenure, promotion, and reappointment processes
  • A leadership style committed to enhancing and nourishing a cultural climate that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets. 
  • An ability to develop an innovative vision that includes inclusive excellence, innovative graduate and undergraduate offerings, community-engagement, and expanded research activities.
  • The communication skills needed to build consensus around college and university programs, plans, goals, and policies. 
  • Competent communicator who is also an empathetic, respectful listener and creates an atmosphere that encourages individuals to be proactive within the context of the strategic plan for the CDAE.
  • The communication skills needed to serve as a liaison among CDAE faculty, other programs, and administration to support faculty success, department development, strategic initiatives. 
  • The meeting facilitation and group process skills to conduct well-organized and timely department meetings in-person and using remote technologies 


Resource Management Experience 

  • An ability to develop and implement effective workload management strategies that respect scholarly diversity and student needs. This would include developing and implementing workload management strategies that support faculty and staff success and satisfaction.
  • An ability to plan and administer a transparent departmental budget in consultation with the Dean’s Office. 
  • An ability to advance and/or strengthen the department’s financial viability through forecasting, sound decision making, and raising extramural funding.
  • Communication skills needed to secure resources and infrastructure that align the department’s needs with school and university priorities in research and teaching
  • An ability to foster faculty growth in working with governmental, foundation, and non-governmental communities. 


Teaching & Student Orientation

  • Evidence of teaching experience in a program related to CDAE
  • An ability to incorporate student voices and experiences into program design and departmental vision.
  • An understanding of and commitment to supporting engaged scholarship and community-based learning in local, domestic, and international settings.
  • A knowledge of how to recruit, retain, and support the success of students with diverse intersecting identities, domestic and international, traditional and professional, first generation.


Strong Research Experience

  • Experience and scholarship compatible with an appointment as a full professor with tenure at the University of Vermont
  • Demonstrated success in obtaining or supporting sponsored research and an ability to achieve a vision for expanding the research portfolio of the CDAE
  • Experience advancing community-engaged research 


Experience in Grant Development and Management

  • Evidence of extramural funding excellence 
  • Knowledge of and experience with/ a plan for addressing the opportunities and challenges associated with applying for and managing extramural funding.


Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Ph.D. or terminal degree in a social science field related to a discipline in the CDAE department. 
  • Collaborative leadership of interdisciplinary programs
  • Understanding of the value of interdisciplinary programs
  • Established record of scholarship
  • Successful accomplishments from DEI initiatives
  • Evidence of sound forecasting and resource management
  • Record of public service


Skills and experience expected from candidates: 

  • Demonstrated impacts through teaching and research.   
  • Motivating and encouraging collaboration
  • Respect for interdisciplinary systems thinking. 
  • Managing a team of administrative staff 
  • Meeting facilitation and group process skills. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering DEI initiatives.  
  • Familiarity with the re-appointment, promotion, and tenure process. 
  • Experience mentoring junior faculty. 
  • Ability to manage a complex set of curriculums from development, management, and delivery. 
  • Experience with the land grant landscape from teaching, outreach, and research. 
  • Ability to advocate for faculty and programs while working across a trans-disciplinary institution. 
  • Effectiveness working in a bargaining environment. 


About Us  

The Department

CDAE has grown significantly in the past ten years. Currently, CDAE has approximately 24 full-time and 20 part-time faculty, 2 post-doctoral fellows, 4 staff, 24 doctoral students, 36 master students, 425 undergraduate majors, and 286 undergraduate minors.


CDAE classes use hands-on activities and community-based learning techniques to teach students theories, concepts, and skills in the context of real-world communities. We are committed to enhancing and nourishing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all facets of our scholarship.


CDAE students, faculty, and staff are known for cutting-edge research and practice with local, national, and global impact. During the 2022-2023 academic year, CDAE faculty authored 56 peer-reviewed publications, 46 refereed abstracts and presentations, and were awarded approximately $290,000 in internal funding and 3.2 million dollars in external funding.


Committed to the mission of our land-grant university, CDAE is a social science department in UVM’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers dynamic programs in agriculture and the life and social sciences, with a focus on nutrition and food science, human and animal health and well-being, communication, entrepreneurship, sustainable and resilient communities, and the complex web of food systems. While connected to traditional agriculture of the past, CALS programs address current issues that are key to the future of Vermont, the nation, and the world. Enrolling over 1,300 undergraduate students and 152 graduate students, and supported by 101 faculty, the College’s general fund budget is nearly $20 million.


CALS is structured around six departments: Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Community Development and Applied Economics, Nutrition and Food Sciences, Plant & Soil Science, Plant Biology, and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (which is shared with the Larner College of Medicine). It also includes four undergraduate interdisciplinary programs shared with other colleges: Biological Science, Biochemistry, Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Studies. CALS’ diverse selection of majors (16), along with wide-ranging minors (19), appeals to a broad audience of students interested in agriculture, basic science, applied science, or linking applied work to the social sciences. UVM was the first school in the country to offer a full complement of academic programs in Food Systems, from an undergraduate degree through a Ph.D. Undergraduates who major in this innovative, interdisciplinary program take classes in all six of the College’s departments.


CALS has a growing research portfolio, with more than $39 million in research awards in FY23. The largest source of outside research funding is the National Institute of Food and Agriculture/USDA, followed by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH; the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets; and the National Science Foundation. Capacity-building grants, including Hatch from the USDA and Smith-Lever, along with grants from the Renewable Resources Extension Act Program (RREA), and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), are also important funding sources.


Enhanced by an array of physical resources that include research stations, farms, laboratories, horticultural facilities, and biodiversity collections, CALS plays an integral role in UVM’s research and outreach missions. It supports a wide range of interdisciplinary initiatives across the college and as home to UVM Extension and Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station as well as four key agricultural facilities, including two sites of historical significance to both the University and the state: Proctor Maple Research


Center, Morgan Horse Farm, Paul R. Miller Research and Educational Center (MREC) and Ellen A. Hardacre Equine Center, and The University of Vermont Horticultural Research Center (HREC). In each of these dimensions, the work of CALS takes full advantage of Vermont’s unique position as a living laboratory for agriculture and food systems helping communities across the state find solutions to many challenges through integration of research efforts between extension and academic groups.


The University of Vermont

The University of Vermont is an educationally purposeful community seeking to prepare students to live in a diverse and changing world. We who work, live, study, teach, do research, conduct business, or participate in the University of Vermont are members of this community. As members, we believe in the transforming power of education and agree to help create and foster an environment where we can discover and reach our true potential. 


Members of the University of Vermont community embrace and advance the values of Our Common Ground: Openness, Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Innovation, and Justice. The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong commitment to the ideals of accessibility, inclusiveness, and academic excellence as reflected in the tenets of Our Common Ground. To learn more about Our Common Ground please visit:  


The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other category legally protected by federal or state law. 


The Local Community 

UVM is located in Burlington, Vermont, which is rated as one of the best small cities in the country. The greater Burlington area has an increasingly diverse population of about 125,000 and enjoys a panoramic setting on the shore of Lake Champlain, between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. To learn more about living in the Burlington area see UVM’s Cultural Resource Guide ( The surrounding area provides an environment rich in cultural, civic and recreational activities. Vermont has a deep history of social activism and political participation. It offers many opportunities for collaborative partnerships in community and state-wide human service and social change organizations in multiple fields of practice, including state agencies.


Required Material  

Applications must be submitted online at to Posting #F2882PO.  Applicants must provide: 

  1. Cover letter specifically addressing the candidate’s interest. experience and ideas for leading the department of Community Development and Applied Economics. Candidates should highlight how their prior leadership experience and experience with community engagement can enhance the CDAE’s vision and mission for trans-disciplinary scholarship, teaching, and community development. 
  2. Academic C.V. including teaching, publications, internal and external funding, and service activities. 
  3. One-page diversity statement that discusses skills, experiences and commitment to: teaching and mentoring diverse and historically underserved student populations; professional service that assists in achieving equity, inclusion, and diversity; and ways in which past or future activities address fundamental questions important to an increasingly diverse society.  
  4. Names and (e-mail) addresses of at least three references who may be contacted after the initial application review. The names of the references must be entered into the UVMJobs application and the reference letters will be collected upon request and managed via that system. 


Applications without each of these components will not be considered. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; for full consideration applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all materials by December 31, 2023. Salary will be made at a level appropriate to the successful applicant’s qualifications and experience. For further information about this position, please contact: Terence Bradshaw, Search Committee Chair: or Kerry Daigle, CDAE Department: