Executive Director, CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB)

California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Nov 05, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Position Summary

The California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) is the biotechnology program of the 23-campus California State University (CSU). CSUPERB provides vision, leadership, and support for biotechnology education and research throughout the CSU to promote biotechnology in California.

CSUPERB is seeking an Executive Director who reports to the CSU Chancellor through a Presidents’ Commission. A Faculty Consensus Group, serving as an advisory group, and a Strategic Planning Council, serving as a policy-generating body, are comprised of faculty and administrators from the CSU campuses. The CSUPERB office is currently based at San Diego State University.

The major responsibilities of the Executive Director are to promote biotechnology education, workforce preparation, and research within the CSU. The director is a liaison between academia and industry; he/she is expected to be a visionary for CSUPERB and an effective advocate for biotechnology in the future of California, particularly with regards to workforce development at the bachelors and graduate levels. The person will also be expected to continue the track-record of seeking resources that promote the CSUPERB goals.

Position Description

The Executive Director promotes biotechnology education and research within the CSU. The director, as administrative head, is a liaison among academia and industry and a visionary for CSUPERB and its role of biotechnology in the future of California, particularly with regards to workforce development. Duties of the position include:

  • Facilitate the development of biotechnology education, research, and training activities in collaboration with the Faculty Consensus Group (FCG), the Strategic Planning Council (SPC), and the directors.
  • Develop external revenue sources by pursuing federal, state, and private opportunities so that CSUPERB can grow sustainably.
  • Connect with and involve the California life sciences industry in CSUPERB events and discussions of future workforce development.
  • Manage the operations and budget of CSUPERB. Develop business plans and strategic fiscal plans. Work to augment current funding by positioning CSUPERB for funding from Federal, State, CSU Administration, and private entities.
  • Coordinate biotechnological activities among divergent campus disciplines and other intra-system groups.
  • Serve as the principal CSU advocate and liaison with the biotechnology trade by interacting with individuals and groups such as biocommerce directors; biotechnology researchers at both industrial and other academic institutions; governmental and private entities involved in the support of biotechnological education, research and training; Legislative and Congressional offices and other groups playing roles in biotechnology and workforce development, particularly in California.
  • Coordinate biotechnological activities of CSUPERB with those of the Community Colleges, Public and Private Universities, as well as Research Institutions throughout California.
  • Coordinate the solicitation of proposals and the peer review processes for established CSUPERB grant programs, i.e. Joint Ventures Research, Curricular Initiatives, and Faculty/Student Research Seed program
  • Organize the annual CSUPERB symposium to provide a forum for CSU students and faculty to present their research and to be recognized for their achievements. In consultation with faculty groups, identify relevant biotechnology-related topics for the symposium and solicit distinguished speakers in the field.
  • Coordinate the selection process for the special CSUPERB annual biotechnology awards honoring faculty, students, and other individuals working with CSUPERB to facilitate biotechnology education and research development in California.
  • Facilitate the organization of workshops and seminars to keep CSU faculty current in the field of Biotechnology.
  • Stay abreast of innovations and ever-changing needs in biotechnology industry and research and provide impetus for developing current and topical curriculum, research, and faculty development.
  • Oversee the Office Staff housed at San Diego State University.

This is a full-time, benefits-eligible, at-will position. This position is designated exempt under FLSA and not eligible for overtime compensation.  


The successful candidate will possess a doctoral degree in a biotechnology-related field and preferably have relevant experience both in the biotechnology industry and higher education. In order to strengthen our developing relationships with the fast-growing biotechnology industry in California and to secure additional federal, state, and industry funding, the Executive Director will be expected to build strong ties with the biotechnology industry. The successful candidate will be able to work with a diverse student body, faculty, and staff.

We are looking for a strong leader who can build on an already successful program, and who will utilize legislative policy knowledge and political advocacy skills to strengthen CSUPERB. The successful candidate will have a record of involvement in research related to biotechnology and a demonstrated ability to secure external funding with experience in extramural grants and contracts including state and federal compliance regulations.

The successful candidate should have the ability to connect with the life sciences industry in California and involve their companies in CSUPERB events and discussions on workforce development. The successful candidate must possess strong communication skills; a demonstrated commitment to promoting cultural diversity, inclusivity, employment equity, and staff development; the ability to establish good working relations with faculty, staff, students, administrators, business and government partners, and other institutional constituencies.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with the background and experience of the individual selected. The position is covered by the California State University Management Personnel Plan and has an excellent benefits package.  Under this plan, incumbents are subject to normal management reviews and serve at the pleasure of the Chancellor and Presidents’ Commission. Benefits include:

  • Extensive Leave benefits: 14 paid holidays, 24 vacation days, and 12 sick days per year;
  • Retirement security through a CalPERS defined benefit pension (with CalPERS and UC Retirement Plan reciprocity) and retiree healthcare benefits;
  • An array of health, dental, and vision coverage at no-cost or low-cost to the employee; and
  • California State University system fee reduction program (fee waiver) for the employee or their qualified dependent.
  • Academic Position

    Eligibility for an academic position at a CSU campus in an appropriate department will be subject to recommendation and approval by campus faculty and administrators.

    Applications and Nominations

    The search committee will begin to review nominations and applications on November 20, 2020. The search will continue until the position is filled. Each application should include a current curriculum vitae (CV), the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three professional references, a letter of interest, including a brief statement of the applicant’s view on the role of the CSUPERB program in the support and development of biotechnology in California and how one will continue advancing the program.  The preferred starting date is negotiable, but it is desirous for individual to start no later than February 28, 2021. 

    For nominations, additional information or questions, please contact:

    Attn: Michael P. Johnston

    President’s Office

    California State University, Chico

    400 W. First Street

    Chico, CA 95929

    (530) 898-5201

    Email address: mpjohnston@csuchico.edu

    Supplemental Information

    All management and executive employees shall be required to provide a written statement to the appropriate administrator of any and all outside employment. Employees shall also provide a written statement of outside employment if a written request by an administrator is made.

    The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. 

    San Diego State University is not a sponsoring agency for staff or management positions (e.g., H-1B visa). Applicants must currently be authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis. Offers of employment are contingent upon the presentation of documents that demonstrate a person's identity and authorization to work in the United States, which are consistent with the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act

    A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.

    SDSU is a smoke-free campus. For more information, please click here.

    SDSU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.

    Applicants with disabilities and applicants who require assistance completing an application may contact Casie Martinez at cmartinez12@sdsu.edu or 619/273-3343.