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Chairperson, Department of Horticulture

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY   East Lansing, MI   Full-time     Education
Posted on June 25, 2024
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Chairperson, Department of Horticulture

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University



The Department of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University (MSU) invites applications for Department Chairperson. The department seeks a dynamic and creative leader who will strategically focus the intellectual resources of our faculty, students, and staff. The Department’s size, multi-disciplinary focus, and demonstrated commitment to the land-grant philosophy represent a substantial opportunity for a leader with the vision and desire to broaden our impacts across the Great Lakes region, the nation, and the globe. The position is a full-time, 12-month tenure system appointment.



Qualified candidates must: (a) have earned a doctorate in horticulture, plant science, or closely- related discipline and meet the requirements for tenure at the rank of full professor in the Department of Horticulture at MSU; (b) have experience in administration of personnel, budgets, and programs; (c) demonstrate outstanding leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills necessary to lead a diverse community; (d) have the ability to communicate effectively with administrators, faculty, staff, students, stakeholders, donors, and other groups, and (e) demonstrate a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in a range of academic and professional activities.


Desired qualifications include:

  • An outstanding record of achievement, including a demonstrated record of teaching, research and/or Extension scholarship, service, leadership, team building and collaboration, and developing and fostering partnerships.
  • Experience administering a large, multidisciplinary team with a variety of appointments and assignments.
  • Experience overseeing academic department budgets, an ability to garner additional funds and resources for programs and experience with advancement and development.
  • Experience building capacities with horticultural industries through integrated programs in research, education, and outreach and engagement, consistent with the land-grant mission.
  • Experience securing financial support from external donors (e.g., gifts, endowments, capitol campaign development).



The Chairperson will provide leadership and mentoring of the Department in all teaching, research, Extension, and outreach programs, including the extensive gardens associated with the department. The Chairperson is expected to maintain and enhance a creative, productive, and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, and students, and serve as the principal representative and advocate of the Department with authority and responsibility for administrative decisions. The Chairperson reports directly to the Dean of the CANR, and interacts with senior leadership of the College, MSU Extension, MSU AgBioResearch, and commodity stakeholders.


Key responsibilities of the Chairperson are to:

  • Provide leadership for advancing and articulating the mission, vision, and values of the Department within the broader mission of CANR and MSU;
  • Foster a culture of transparency and equity that supports the success of a large, diverse, and inclusive community of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Promote a collaborative attitude that fosters collegiality, civility, diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect among peers, staff and students in classrooms and the work environment;
  • Work cooperatively within the departmental governance structure (e.g., faculty-elected advisory committee);
  • Recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff, assign responsibilities, evaluate performance, and promote faculty, student and staff development with transparency and empathy;
  • Supervise staff positions that require annual reviews, goal setting, leadership, and consistent oversight;
  • Manage and administer the Department budget, allocate resources equitably, and provide leadership in the procurement of financial and structural resources necessary to enable the Department’s success;
  • Serve as liaison and advocate for the Department within the larger governance structure of the College and University, and with other Departments and Colleges;
  • Promote the Department’s teaching, research, Extension, and outreach programs to state, regional, national and international audiences;
  • Maintain and enhance existing relationships with stakeholders, commodity groups, and donors.


Commitment to Creating a Sense of Belonging:

Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi people. The University resides on Land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw.


The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University is 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 is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.


Candidates are invited to view our Department and College norms.


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

Michigan State University is committed to the principles of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination and, in the context of employment, affirmative action. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, political persuasion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, height, weight, veteran status, age or familial status.


Salary and Benefits

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. MSU offers a generous benefits package.


About the Department

The Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University (MSU) has a long history as one of the premier horticultural programs in the US. MSU Horticulture faculty, staff and students are recognized leaders in integrating research, teaching, and engagement to positively affect local, regional, national, and global outcomes in agriculture and the plant sciences.


The Department has 33 faculty members and 25 staff positions, offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and participates in a two-year certificate program through MSU’s Institute of Agricultural Technology. The undergraduate program (100-110 students) offers a single B.S. degree, with three concentration areas and several relevant minors. The Department also has an active graduate program (30-35 students) that draws top students nationally and internationally.


Plant Sciences at MSU:

MSU is a global leader in basic and applied plant science research, with over 150 faculty members engaged in research ranging from sustainable agriculture and ecology to breeding, genomics and biochemistry, and other disciplines. Extensive laboratory, greenhouse, growth chamber, and field-based facilities are available for plant growth research, including biochemical, imaging, and gene expression analyses, bioinformatics support, and plant transformation. Horticulture faculty also conduct research at the Horticulture Teaching and Research Center on campus and several field research and demonstration centers around the state.


About the University

Michigan State University is the nation’s pioneer land-grant university and one of the top research universities in the world. Home to nationally ranked academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. MSU is a diverse community that provides regional, national, and international leadership in research, excellence in teaching (with an emphasis on international engagement), and a strong Extension program that partners with wide-ranging interest groups to bring science-based responses to social and environmental challenges. The University proactively upholds the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. MSU is also proactive in exploring employment opportunities for dual-career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information regarding MSU’s dual career and other Worklife support can be found at: https://worklife.msu.edu/


Michigan possesses abundant natural resources and is surrounded by the beautiful Great Lakes. The MSU campus is in the city of East Lansing adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The area has a population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The region has numerous music and theatre offerings, with an active arts community that includes the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts and the Broad Art Museum. Michigan boasts a growing local food movement, over 200 wineries and 200 microbreweries, and an array of outdoor recreation activities and sporting events year-round.


How to Apply

To apply, applicants must submit an application at the MSU Human Resources website Posting 959631 that includes: (1) a letter of application indicating your interest in the position and the Department, (2) a statement of administrative philosophy and vision for strategically defining program direction and future growth, and fostering faculty/staff/student development and success (3 pages maximum); (3) a narrative describing administrative and professional experiences that relate to the Chairperson’s responsibilities (1500 words max.); (4) a statement of how you will contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with the department’s strategic goals (2 pages maximum); and (5) a complete curriculum vitae. Candidates selected for initial interviews will be asked to provide contact information for five references. Review of the applications will begin September 30, 2024, and the search will remain open until the position is filled. Start date is negotiable. For more information on this position, please contact the search committee chair:


Dr. Bert Cregg Department of Horticulture Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824 517-614-4406