Professor and Chair - Horticultural Sciences Department (62761)

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

Duties and Responsibilities:

We are seeking an exceptional individual with interest in full-time administration to Chair the University of Florida/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department involving all departmental actions/activities both on campus and at all the University of Florida Research and Education Centers (RECs). The position also allows for a limited research, teaching, or extension component as agreed upon with the IFAS Vice President. The Horticultural Sciences Department is a global leader in developing basic knowledge, germplasm, and technologies for diverse tropical, subtropical and temperate fruit and vegetable crops. The Chair will provide transparent leadership and administration to support the departmental vision and Land-Grant mission in teaching, research, and extension. The Chair will serve as the statewide administrative lead for an internationally recognized faculty, and must be open to building many new/additional relationships. The Chair will promote excellence in statewide horticultural science programs and advocate for the interests of the department, and horticulture more generally, within the university and more widely. The Chair must anticipate faculty, staff and student problems and mitigate their impacts, while simultaneously minimizing the effects of functional and logistical departmental challenges. Placing emphasis on providing foresight for direction, and helping faculty define the next agricultural trends is critical.

The Chair will foster academic growth, professional development, recruitment, and retention of talented and diverse faculty, students, and staff. The Chair manages departmental resources and works closely with the faculty and staff to set priorities. The Chair will collaborate with the Vice President of IFAS and the IFAS administrative team including Deans and the REC Directors to provide vision and leadership for integrated programs that generate new information and technology, and that enhance the economic viability of horticultural industries, while at the same time conserving natural resources and increasing awareness and appreciation of agriculture and the environment. The Chair must also foster strong collaborations among state faculty located both on the main campus in Gainesville and at the RECs.

Background Information :

The University of Florida Horticultural Sciences Department is currently ranked 9th in the world and 2nd in the U.S. The mission of the Horticultural Sciences Department is to conduct research, extension, and teaching to meet the needs and goals of a diverse statewide fruit and vegetable industry that ranges from tropical to temperate environments. These activities support state, national and international horticultural industries and protect natural resources by contributing to the breeding of high-value crops with improved yield and quality; addressing emerging weed, insect, pathogen, and growth regulation challenges; increasing crop diversity; increasing the capacities of organic cropping systems; and enhancing energy conservation and water, fertilizer and other input use efficiencies. Fundamental research and graduate training in plant genetics, genomics, molecular biology, metabolism, and physiology are integral parts of the Department’s activities, and are key strengths on campus, while principles-driven fundamental and applied research and extension programs are the hallmark of statewide efforts on- and off-campus.

The Horticultural Sciences Department ( ) has 35 faculty members located on campus in Gainesville and 26 faculty located at the RECs throughout the state. The department has robust teaching programs with more than 70 undergraduate and nearly 100 graduate students enrolled. The Department offers Interdisciplinary graduate training through Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, Genetics & Genomics, and the Interdisciplinary Ecology degree programs. The Department is also participating in launching an interdepartmental Plant Breeding graduate program to serve the largest number of public plant breeding programs in the nation.

The University of Florida is located in Gainesville ( ), recognized as one of Florida’s most livable cities and one of the best college towns in America. Located in the heart of North Central Florida, Gainesville maintains a small-town feel, but offers many amenities found in larger metro areas. With an expanding downtown, a regional airport, a strong cultural arts community, a wide variety of shops and restaurants, world class medical care and facilities, and low cost of living, Gainesville and Alachua County are among the best places to work, live and recreate.

  • An earned Doctorate (or its equivalent) in a Plant Biology-related discipline
  • A record of accomplishments consistent with the rank of Professor at a peer institution
  • Strong grasp of, commitment to, and support for the Land-Grant mission and its international dimensions
  • Proven ability or potential for strong leadership of an academic department engaged in teaching, research, and extension activities at a major Land-Grant university
  • Demonstrated leadership and managerial skills in: setting strategic objectives; human, fiscal, and physical resource management; motivating people and team building; promoting a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity; delivering support for teaching, research, and extension objectives; outreach to industry and engagement with diverse clientele groups
  • Exemplary communication skills, and a desire to lead partnerships with external stakeholders at the state, federal and international levels
  • Strong commitment to student education and training to match contemporary and future opportunities
  • Commitment to shared governance
  • Be able to build on existing excellence.

For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by 29 November 2020. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.

Individuals wishing to apply must go online to and submit:

  1. Concise cover letter stating applicant’s interest in the position, qualifications relative to the credentials listed above, previous professional responsibilities and achievements, administrative and management philosophy, and how these relate to the chair’s position. The letter should include the applicant’s general strategy for building and sustaining this department.
  2. Complete vita (which includes statement of current position and responsibilities)
  3. Names and contact information of four individuals who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s qualifications for this position

Contact Information and Nomination Submission

Please refer to Requisition # 62761 and forward all nominations to:

Dr. Diane Rowland

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

PO Box 110500

3105 McCarty Hall B

Gainesville, FL 32611

Phone: 352-273-3408


Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) .

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.


The University of Florida is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

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