Executive Director, Center for Marine Science

University of North Carolina, Wilmington
North Carolina, United States
Salary Not Specified
Jan 07, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Posting Details

Working Title
Executive Director, Center for Marine Science
External Link to Posting
Vacancy Number
Position Number
Location of Workplace
CMS Myrtle Grove
Center for Marine Science - 30600
Academic Affairs - 30000 Division
Brief Summary of Work for this Position

The Executive Director for the Center for Marine Science ( CMS ) serves as the strategic leader and chief advocate for coastal and marine sciences at UNCW . The Executive Director is responsible for the strategic and operational oversight of the programs and facilities organizationally housed in the Center for Marine Science, including MARBIONC, SRH, and FMP . The Executive Director develops and maintains critical relationships with Academic Colleges, Schools, and Departments that allow UNCW to realize the impact on education and outreach made possible through the core facilities, infrastructure, and applied learning opportunities the Center offers. The Executive Director reports to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

The Executive Director has the critical role of developing and maintaining relationships with federal, state, international, and private partners in order to advance UNCW’s coastal and marine science efforts. These relationships are critical in order to ensure that UNCW’s efforts are recognized and have impact beyond the local campus, and to ensure that UNCW secures funding to support continued efforts.

The Executive Director is charged with supporting marine science leaders in the development, implementation, and maintenance of strategies and initiatives to advance UNCW’s efforts in marine science research and scholarship. The Executive Director partners with academic colleges through affiliated faculty and collaborative relationships to advance learning for students through facilities, opportunities, and experiences at the CREST Research Park, Harbor Island, and beyond. 

The Executive Director partners with the Associate Provost for Research and Innovation to advance the MARBIONC Development Group, LLC, an associated entity of UNCW co-located on the CREST Research Campus. The Executive Director serves as the strategic leader to ensure that UNCW leverages the MARBIONC facility and opportunities created through the MARBIONC .

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements
  • Earned doctorate in a marine-related related field from an accredited university.

  • A significant record of partnership development and a record of securing funding through grant, contract, and fundraising to support coastal and marine science programs and initiatives.

  • A significant record of achievement in teaching, scholarship, service, and sponsored research appropriate as a tenured associate or full professor in a marine-related discipline.

  • At least three years of significant administrative experience, including supervision of faculty and staff, management of financial resources, and oversight of administrative processes that impact multiple departments/units within an institution.

  • Proven record in the recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and staff.

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills & Experience
  • Accomplished, energetic, and visionary skills capable of leading a complex, multi-focused organization.

  • Ability to support both basic and applied research, encourage the development of early career scientists, and advocate for balance and needs across a wide variety of marine science research and education.

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including a consultative leadership style and appreciation for shared governance, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Commitment to developing and maintaining community engagement and outreach activity, especially with potential research sponsors, funding agencies, and public/private partners.

  • Administrative experience leading and managing a research center or institute.

Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit

The UNCW Center for Marine Science ( CMS ) is dedicated to providing an environment that fosters a multidisciplinary approach to questions in basic and applied coastal and marine research. The mission of CMS is to support and promote coastal and marine science at UNCW, including research, outreach, service, and teaching. This includes a variety of fields such as oceanography, coastal and wetland studies, estuarine science, marine physiology and genetics, fisheries, aquaculture, marine biotechnology, marine policy and education, and other aspects of marine biology, marine and atmospheric chemistry, marine geology, environmental studies/sciences, and physical oceanography.

CMS houses vital programs and initiatives in the area of coastal and marine science and core facilities and services that support academic degree programs, research, and scholarship at UNCW . The Center supports the University’s educational mission through its strong connection to academic programs and through various outreach efforts. Specifically, CMS has a critical role in UNCW’s interdisciplinary Master of Science in Marine Science program and UNCW’s recently-launched, first-in-the-nation baccalaureate program in Coastal Engineering. CMS supports the UNCW MarineQuest program – one of UNCW’s signature outreach programs designed to provide young people with opportunities to explore, discover, and value our marine habitats. The core facilities and services include numerous research vessels with a range of oceanographic instrumentation and a state-of-the-art diving program that provide both offshore and nearshore research capabilities.

CMS also provides an organizational home to three signature programs: (1) MARBIONC ; (2) the Shellfish Research Hatchery; and, (3) the Finfish Mariculture Program. The Finfish Mariculture Program is housed on Harbor Island in Wrightsville Beach, NC, while the remaining programmatic elements of CMS are housed at the CREST Research Park in Wilmington, NC. These programs are designed to advance UNCW’s coastal and marine science academic programs, research activities, and community engagement efforts as follows:

Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina ( MARBIONC ) was established to position North Carolina’s marine biotechnology industry as a key component in reaching workforce, economic, and environmental solutions on a global scale. MARBIONC provides space and opportunities for translational research initiatives that support economic growth, workforce development, and innovative product developments that benefit the University, the local community, the country, the region, and the world.

The Finfish Mariculture Program ( FMP ) at UNCW was established to address constraints and to utilize UNCW’s strategic location in coastal North Carolina and the Center for Marine Science to teach environmental responsibility in conjunction with mariculture technology development. The goals are to develop and transfer to commercial users cost-effective, environmentally sound technologies for marine food production and to mitigate depletion of marine populations through commercial cultivation or stock enhancement.

The Shellfish Research Hatchery ( SRH ) is committed to conducting research that will inform and contribute to North Carolina’s growing shellfish aquaculture industry through research, education, and industry development. The SRH is an approximately 12,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility for the propagation of the early life stages of marine bivalves. The SRH program also maintains a ~2-acre Aquaculture Demonstration site in the Intracoastal Waterway. The facility was constructed in partnership with, and using state funds allocated to, the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries following recommendations resulting from a 2-year study by a multi-agency planning committee established through legislation by the NC General Assembly. The Hatchery has been in year-round operations since early 2011.

College/School Information

University Information

The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to the integration of teaching, mentoring, research and service. Widely acknowledged for its world-class faculty and staff and continuously recognized at a national level for scholarly excellence and affordability, UNCW offers a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry and critical thinking and a community rich in diversity, inclusion and global perspectives.

A public institution with nearly 18,000 students, UNCW offers a full range of baccalaureate- and graduate-level programs, as well as doctoral degrees in educational leadership, marine biology, nursing practice and psychology; and many distance learning options, including clinical research, an accelerated RN-to- BSN program, an Executive M.B.A. program structured for working professionals, and the nation’s only bachelor’s degree program focused on coastal engineering.

The university’s efforts to advance research and scholarly activities have earned UNCW the elevated designation of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” institution (R2 University) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

UNCW has been part of the University of North Carolina System since 1969.

EEO Statement

At the University of North Carolina at Wilmington ( UNCW ), our culture reflects our values of inclusion, diversity, globalization, ethics and integrity and innovation and we are committed to providing equality of educational and employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, sex (such as gender, gender identity, marital status, childbirth, and pregnancy), age, color, national origin (including ethnicity), religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, military service member status, genetic information, or relationship to other university constituents – except where sex, age, or ability represent bona fide educational or occupational qualifications or where marital status is a statutorily established eligibility criterion for State funded employee benefit programs. UNCW believes that embracing the unique contributions of our faculty, staff and students is critical to our success and paramount in being recognized for our global mindset.

Eligibility for Employment

Special Notes to Applicants

Months Per Year
12 Months
Type of Position
Anticipated Ending Date if Time-Limited Positions

Job Posting Date
Posting Close Date
Applicant Documents
Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vita
Optional Documents Posting Specific Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * What do you see as the national and international priorities for marine science in the next 5-10 years?

    (Open Ended Question)

  2. * What strategies would you employ to increase external funding for coastal and marine science?

    (Open Ended Question)

  3. * What is your vision for a coastal and marine science research center at an academic institution like UNCW?

    (Open Ended Question)

  4. * How did you learn of this opportunity with UNC Wilmington (2021)?
    • UNCW Website
    • UNCW Facebook Page
    • UNCW Linkedin Page
    • UNCW Twitter Account
    • UNCW Employee Referral
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Craigslist
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Glassdoor
    • Higher Ed Jobs
    • Hispanic Outlook
    • Indeed
    • Inside Higher Ed
    • North Carolina Job Network
    • Women In Higher Education
    • Other