Assistant/Associate Professor of Postharvest Microbiology

The Horticulture & Crop Science Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking an ASSISTANT/ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POSTHARVEST MICROBIOLOGY – Full-time academic year. Beginning date is January 6, 2020. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The successful applicant will teach courses that prepare students for a broad range of careers in food microbiology and postharvest technology as they relate to both fresh and lightly-processed fruits and vegetables. Based on the successful applicant’s areas of expertise, there is opportunity to develop new courses associated with this position. Teaching and scholarship interests should include:

  • microbial contamination and transmission, 
  • antimicrobial sanitation methods,
  • packaging and temperature effects on microbial growth and
  • overall product shelf-life and cold-chain logistics

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to further develop curriculum related to these areas of emphasis.

Duties may include but are not limited to: supervision of undergraduate senior projects, student career and coursework advising, and serving as advisor/mentor for student extracurricular activities such as clubs, judging teams, and/or professional organizations. Student supervision may also include graduate student research, teaching of graduate-level courses, and participation in a Master of Professional Studies or certificate program. The successful candidate is expected to participate in scholarly activities (e.g., applied research, grant writing, publications, and presentations). Service activities will include participation in department, college, and university committees. Additionally, the candidate will have the opportunity to work with technical staff and student employees to oversee and enhance departmental facilities.

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.


Ph.D. in food microbiology, plant science or related field with expertise in food microbiology and experience with the postharvest technology and handling of fresh fruits and vegetables is required, as is a strong and preferably demonstrable interest in undergraduate and graduate teaching. Knowledge of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) as well as a willingness to become a FSMA Trainer is desired. Particular attention will be afforded to candidates who have experience with commercial leafy greens and vegetable production.

The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills. The ability to be a productive team player and to interact well with peers, students, the agricultural industry, government agencies, and the general public is essential. The successful candidate must demonstrate a commitment to diversity.  Excellent written and oral communication skills are essential.


Industry experience and demonstrated ability to collaborate on research with faculty across the College, University, and agricultural industry. Preference will be given to those with experience in working with diverse populations and fostering a collaborative, supportive and inclusive environment. Preference will also be given to those with relevant work experience and those who bring professional capabilities.


To apply, please visit to complete the required online Cal Poly faculty application for Requisition #493226.

Provide the following documents with your application: (1) a cover letter describing your qualifications and interest in the position; (2) a current CV; (3) unofficial transcripts (4) a statement of teaching philosophy, (5) goals and plans for research; (6) at least three professional references with names and email addresses, (7) a statement of demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in teaching, scholarship and/or service describing past experience, contributions to diversity and inclusion efforts, the impact on students, faculty, staff and/or field and a description of how the applicant will demonstrate a commitment in these areas in teaching, research, and/or service at Cal Poly The selected candidate will be required to provide sealed official transcripts prior to appointment for final consideration.

Inquiries can be directed to Professor Lauren Garner, Committee Chair (805) 756- 2479, Applicants are encouraged to submit materials by the review begin date for full consideration; however, the position will remain open until filled. Review Begin Date: August 19, 2019. EEO.

Additional Information Contact Name: Dr. Lauren Garner,