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Department Head

North Carolina State University
North Carolina, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Aug 11, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Agriculture & Animal Sciences
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Department Head

Raleigh, NC | Fall 2022

The Opportunity
North Carolina State University (NC State) and the College of Natural Resources (CNR) invite nominations and applications for the position of Head for the Department of Forest Biomaterials.

The Department of Forest Biomaterials
The Department of Forest Biomaterials, part of NC State's College of Natural Resources (CNR), is a global leader in research and educational excellence in the areas of pulp and paper manufacturing, biomass utilization, and sustainable biomaterials. The Department focuses on developing practical, innovative solutions to industry challenges. It serves the public, supporting the land-grant mission of NC State University, translates and applies research that drives discovery and generates value, advances knowledge through science, and educates and trains future leaders.

The department offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in Paper Science and Engineering (PSE) and Sustainable Materials and Technology (SMT). The PSE degree program is co-administered by the College of Engineering and has a dual degree option that allows students to also earn a BS degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The PSE program is the largest and most successful in the country while the SMT program, fully accredited, is relatively new and already in high demand.

The department is home to 20 full-time tenure and teaching faculty, 8 staff members, 8 non-faculty, 5 postdocs, 55 graduate students, and over 250 undergraduate students. On-campus facilities include classrooms, laboratories, pilot plants, and state-of-the-art research and testing facilities including the Robertson Paper & Pulp Laboratory, the Hodges Wood Products Laboratory, the Forest Biomaterials and Bioenergy Laboratories, the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center, and laboratories dedicated to life-cycle analysis and business intelligence.

Research activities include programs funded by government and corporate sponsors interested in scientific and engineering innovation applied to a wide array of new forest-based materials, bioproducts, biochemicals and bioenergy sources and novel manufacturing processes. The Department houses the Tissue Pack Innovation Lab (, and the Sustainable and Alternative Fibers Initiative (SAFI), the major global research effort on sustainable fibers, integrated by more than 20 global entities (

Position Overview

As the Department's academic leader and chief administrative officer, this position will lead faculty and staff in implementing and enhancing the undergraduate and graduate programs and outreach activities to ensure that the programs remain responsive to the evolving needs of students and stakeholders of the department. The department head must also articulate a clear vision that is aligned with the strategic plan of the College of Natural Resources and collaborate broadly across the college and university to achieve that vision. Reporting to the dean, the department head oversees academic, administrative, and budgetary matters and is the spokesperson representing the department to the college, university administration, external clientele, and outside constituents and stakeholders.

The position will also be responsible for:

• Providing intellectual and organizational leadership and effective management to academic, research, extension, and outreach programs in the context of a broad and dynamic vision of the Department of Forest Biomaterials;
•Creating an environment that encourages a culture of integrity, innovation, entrepreneurialism, and collaboration among students, faculty, and staff;
• Promoting a strong commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse students, faculty, and staff;
• Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an equitable and inclusive working environment;
• Developing partnerships, both internally and externally, that foster the priorities of the department, college and university including, but not limited to, engaging alumni, industry, and other potential supporters and supporting fundraising activities;
• Lead the department in focusing on delivering student success; provide programs and opportunities for students to develop research and leadership skills;
• Supporting faculty development that advocates, recognizes and rewards excellence in research, teaching and mentoring, extension, and outreach;
• Fostering a culture of high-impact interdisciplinary collaboration in research, teaching and service within the college and across the university;
• Respecting and adhering to university policies and the principles of fiduciary responsibility and stewardship of resources; and
• Other duties as assigned.


The Department is seeking an outstanding individual with a strong commitment to academic and research excellence commensurate with the expectations of a major research university. Candidates shall possess a doctoral degree in paper science and engineering, chemical engineering, wood products, materials science, or a related field and credentials to be appointed at the rank of Professor with tenure in the department. The successful candidate will also possess an outstanding record of research, teaching, administrative and leadership accomplishments along with a strong record of commitment to human and intellectual diversity.

How to Apply

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited and may be directed to Frank Barragan, recruitment services manager, NC State Executive Search Services, at (919) 791-7641 or or Rob Scheller, committee chair and associate dean for research, College of Natural Resources, at

Confidential review of applications will begin in October 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. Candidates should provide the following: curriculum vitae, cover letter, three (3) professional references, and a statement on contributions that have been made to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. This statement should include an explanation of what advancing each of these areas means to you, how you encouraged or promoted these areas in your professional career, and your future goals for advancing each of these areas if hired for this position. (References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates.) These materials may be submitted online at (position #00000686).

The College of Natural Resources

Founded in 1929 as the School of Forestry, the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at North Carolina State University (NC State) has a long tradition of excellence in teaching, research, extension, and outreach. From its beginning, the college's scope and reach has steadily grown to reflect evolving industry needs, societal changes, and environmental concerns.

CNR is a national leader, ranked #2 in the 2022 Best Natural Resources & Conservation Schools in North Carolina, in addressing the many ways that people's physical, economic and social needs are met while protecting the planet's natural resources for future generations. Experts in the college's extension programs are in the field every day working with businesses, industries, government, nonprofits, communities and citizens across North Carolina to provide programs and services that foster healthy communities and economies. Stationed throughout North Carolina, these professionals support the state's largest manufacturing sector, forest and wood products; pulp and paper and allied industries; its largest service sector, tourism; and more than half a million forest landowners.

The college's vision is to be a world leader among units of its kind, and the go-to place for solutions to natural resource challenges in both the built and natural environment. The college is committed to creating an environment where diversity and inclusion are celebrated and valued. Diversity opens the door for innovation as people from all backgrounds work together to solve today's complex problems. Inclusion involves empowering all community members to reach their highest potential academically, professionally and personally.

CNR's teaching, research, and extension programs require high-quality spaces for students and faculty to find solutions to today and tomorrow's most pressing societal, technological, and sustainability issues. The college's natural environments, living labs, built space and applied research resources are essential to NC State's Think and Do environment.

The college is organized into various units, including administration, business services, academic affairs, information technology, forest assets, extension, diversity and inclusion, advancement and research administration; three departments - Forest Biomaterials, Forestry and Environmental Resources; and Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; two centers, including the Center for Geospatial Analytics; and a number of research cooperatives and consortiums.

About NC State
At NC State, we create prosperity for North Carolina and the nation. We value diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. We began as a land-grant institution grounded in agriculture and engineering. Today, we're a pre-eminent research enterprise that excels across disciplines.

NC State is a powerhouse in science, technology, engineering and math. We lead in agriculture, education, textiles, business and natural resources management. We're at the forefront of teaching and research in design, the humanities and the social sciences. And we're home to one of the world's best colleges of veterinary medicine.

Our more than 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students learn by doing.They pursue original research and start new companies.They forge connections with top employers and serve communities local and global.Through it all, they enjoy an outstanding return on investment.

Whether it's Princeton Review ranking NC State among the nation's best values for universities, Money magazine naming it the No. 1 best college for your money in North Carolina, or U.S. News & World Report ranking NC State among the top 10 best values in public higher education, the university has many reasons to be proud. We're also No. 2 in the country for research commercialization among U.S. universities without a medical school.

Each year, NC State adds $6.5 billion to the statewide economy, equivalent to creating more than 90,000 new jobs. That represents a significant return on investment for the citizens of North Carolina in the form of research advances, innovative technologies, successful companies, skilled graduates and new jobs waiting for them.
Our 9,000 faculty and staff are world leaders in their fields, bridging the divides between academic disciplines and training high-caliber students to meet tomorrow's challenges. Together, they forge powerful partnerships with government, industry, nonprofits and academia to remake our world for the better. We expect everyone to give of their talents, skills, time and effort to make NC State an environment of inclusive excellence for all.

About Raleigh and North Carolina

North Carolina's rapid growth makes the state a diversity leader and top spot for young professionals and families. Raleigh reflects statewide growth as a city on the rise:
• No. 2 among the best places to live in the U.S. (U.S News & World Report, 2021)
• No. 5 among the best-performing economies in the U.S. (Milken Institute, 2021
• One of America's top 10 recession-resistant cities (Smartasset, 2020)
• Among the top 10 "Best Cities to Move to Right Now" (Curbed, 2020)

With Durham and Chapel Hill, the capital city anchors the Research Triangle, a national hotspot for high-tech enterprise. The region's top companies — including IBM, Cisco Systems, SAS Institute, Biogen Idec and GlaxoSmithKline — rank among the country's best employers. NC State also maintains strong agricultural partnerships with Bayer, BASF and Syngenta, companies that lead the way in hiring new NC State graduates.
Celebrating its 135th year in 2022, NC State continues to make its founding purpose a reality. Every day our career- ready graduates and world-leading faculty make the fruits of learning, discovery and engagement available to people across the state, throughout the nation and around the world.

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