Chair/Department of Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences

Kentucky, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Nov 30, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Chair/Department of Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences

About Western Kentucky University:

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a student-centered, applied-research institution committed to providing its students with a transformative academic and social experience and to elevating its surrounding communities. Founded in 1906, WKU is the second largest undergraduate institution in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with approximately 17,500 students (32% first generation, 18% underrepresented minority) and nearly 2,900 faculty and staff employees.

Western Kentucky University is committed to empowering its campus community to embrace diversity by building equitable and inclusive learning, working, and living environments. At the heart of our mission, we seek to provide holistic education and employment experiences that prepare students, faculty, and staff to become effective scholars, contributors, and leaders in our diverse and evolving communities.

Located 65 miles north of Nashville, TN, and just over 100 miles south of Louisville, KY, WKU's main campus is in Bowling Green, KY - a city with approximately 70,000 residents. With an ethnically and diverse population, more than 85 languages are spoken in and around Bowling Green, and people from 35 nationalities call our community home.

Western Kentucky University seeks to attract talented faculty and staff who are inspired individually to contribute to WKU's strategic plans and ongoing success. We offer comprehensive wellness and health benefits to employees and their families, including domestic partners and other qualified dependents and take pride in providing a workplace culture that supports balancing the responsibilities of work and family life. Paid-time off for holidays, vacation and sick leave, and a tuition discount program for employees and dependents are also provided. Learn more about WKU and Bowling Green at

Job Description:

About the College:

The Department of Earth, Environmental, & Atmospheric Sciences is housed within the Ogden College of Science and Engineering (OCSE), which is comprised of 7 departments (EEAS; Agriculture & Food Science; Biology, Chemistry; Mathematics; Physics & Astronomy; Psychological Sciences), 1 school (Engineering & Applied Sciences), and 3 interdisciplinary programs. OCSE is a community of creative and critical thinkers achieving local to global impact with the mission to empower individuals to become leaders through academic achievement, global connections, and engagement in research, education and service. 

About the Department:

The Department of Earth, Environmental, & Atmospheric Sciences (EEAS) is comprised of 21 full-time faculty members and offers three B.S. undergraduate degrees (Meteorology, Environmental, Sustainability, & Geographic Studies, and Geological Sciences), two certificates (GIS; Emergency Management Disaster Science), and one M.S. degree (Geoscience). EEAS maintains more than 200 declared undergraduate majors, nearly 15-20 undergraduate student employees, and robust graduate enrollment. The departmental philosophy strongly emphasizes applied student engagement experiences that develop pathways for measurable student success.

As part of the WKU Applied Research & Technology Program (ARTP), the department hosts four student-focused applied learning/research centers that operationalize various scientific agendas of the department. In addition to these college-level centers, other teaching and research departmental facilities include: state-of-the-art meteorological and climate monitoring infrastructure and prediction labs; geospatial and remote sensing labs; geological, geophysical and geochemical investigation and analytical labs; hydrologic observation and analysis labs; and geographic literacy, research, and education resources. At the university level, EEAS faculty hold appointments as the University Meteorologist and Director of Sustainability, along with 2 University Distinguished Professorships. The department is also home to the Kentucky State Climatologist and Director of the Kentucky Mesonet.

Western Kentucky University is seeking applicants for the position of Chair, for the Department of Earth, Environmental, & Atmospheric Sciences at the Professor or Associate Professor rank.

As we continue to evolve to meet the needs of students and society, the department especially seeks a forward-thinking individual who will bring exciting strategies to further grow our contemporary, multidisciplinary programs.

The position is a 12-month, tenured appointment. The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. and a distinguished record of teaching, research, and service. All applicants with teaching and research interests matching the scientific foci in the department are welcomed to apply. Applicants with traditional meteorological and/or climate dynamics expertise may be given special consideration, as the department seeks to expand faculty in this growing area. 

Women and members of other underrepresented groups (as defined by the National Science Foundation) are strongly encouraged to apply.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Promoting inclusion and diversity within the department, college, and university
  • Facilitating transparent and effective leadership that embraces and supports the breadth of each departmental program in equal esteem
  • Managing department budget and other financial resources
  • Overseeing course scheduling and curriculum management
  • Performing faculty and staff performance and merit reviews
  • Leading annual program assessment
  • Emphasizing the necessity for cutting-edge technological resources for teaching and research
  • Supporting student recruitment and retention efforts for all departmental programs
  • Ensuring department initiatives align with University and Regents goals and plans;
  • Participating in college and university service activities
  • Teaching an average of 3 credit hours (equivalent of one course) per semester

For more information regarding roles and responsibilities of WKU Department Chairs, please visit:


  • A Ph.D. in Meteorology, Climate Science, Atmospheric Science, Geography, Environmental Science or Studies, Geographic Information Science, Geoscience, Earth Science, Geology, or related fields.
  • Successfully earned tenured at an accredited institution.
  • A demonstrated record of successful teaching excellence and research accomplishments.
  • Evidence of administrative or other leadership experience, including supervisory and fiscal responsibilities (including external funding or fundraising efforts).
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills

Additional Information:

Kentucky state law requires all public institutions of postsecondary education to conduct pre-employment criminal background checks to determine suitability for employment. 

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is committed to a policy and practice of providing equal employment and educational opportunities to all individuals. In accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, no form of discrimination or harassment will be tolerated at WKU on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, uniformed services, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, or physical or mental disability in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices.

Persons with disabilities, who need reasonable accommodations to participate in the application and/or selection process, should notify the office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services (EEO). To request an accommodation, report/express a complaint, or ask questions regarding WKU''s Discrimination and Harassment Policy (#0.2040), please contact Mr. Joshua Hayes, EEO Director/Title IX Investigator/University ADA Coordinator, via email at or by phone at (270) 745-5121.

The University is also required to investigate complaints of sex and gender-based harassment, also a form of discrimination, and has designated the Title IX Coordinator as the individual responsible for coordinating the investigation and response to such complaints. The Title IX Coordinator for the University is Ms. Deborah Wilkins, who can be contacted via email at or by phone at (270) 745-5396. Additional information regarding Title IX is accessible via WKU''s website.

Information concerning educational programs offered by WKU are provided at:

Application Instructions:

The following items must be submitted through this electronic talent management system by January 31, 2021, although expressions of interest may be considered until the position is filled:

  • A succinct cover letter that describes how the applicant is suitable for the position, particularly as it relates to qualifications, experience, and vision/strategy.
  • Current curriculum vita.
  • Statement of Leadership Philosophy (no more than two pages)
  • Statement of Teaching Philosophy (no more than two pages)
  • Statement of Research Interest (no more than two pages)
  • Statement of Service, addressing the applicant's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (no more than two pages)

Names and contact information of three reference providers will be collected during the application process. Reference letters will be requested by the Search Committee through an online process at a later date.

You will receive email confirmation once you have successfully completed the application process.