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Department Head - Biological Systems Engineering

University of Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska
Posted Date
Aug 25, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Engineering
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln invites nominations and applications for the position of Head of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. IANR is seeking an innovative, dynamic, and collaborative person who will provide intellectual and strategic leadership for the department. We are looking for a strong leader who understands university teaching, research, and Extension and who will be able to use their knowledge and skills to help the department maximize its impact. The successful department head will be one who puts the success of the team and department above their individual accomplishments in the role. The incumbent will be one who appreciates the unique contributions of agricultural and biological engineering research and education and how faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders can work together to address the most important challenges facing society and agriculture. The successful candidate will be committed to excellence wherever it is on the discovery-to-practice continuum. The incumbent will be a collaborative and inspiring department head who will hold fast to the university’s core values of accountability, diversity, integrity, respect, and social responsibility. This is a 12-month (calendar year), tenured appointment.

Recognizing that diversity within a context of inclusivity enhances creativity, innovation, impact, and belongingness, IANR is committed to creating research, learning, programming, and work environments that are inclusive of all forms of human diversity. We actively encourage applications from and nominations of individuals from underrepresented groups including racial and ethnic minorities, women, sexual and gender minorities, persons living with disabilities, and veterans.

The department head will be appointed to a five-year renewable term, subject to satisfactory annual reviews and a formal reappointment review.

Position Overview
The Head of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering is charged with coordinating and promoting all aspects of our land-grant mission within the department. The incumbent provides leadership and oversight of all BSE programming and initiatives. The department has three undergraduate degree programs, two of which are granted through the College of Engineering and one of which is granted through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR). While the department maintains a strong working relationship with the College of Engineering, department finances and personnel are managed through IANR.

With 40 regular faculty members, the head fosters an inclusive culture in which all contributions to the team are appreciated and recognized, collaboration and innovation are encouraged, and the abilities of all are engaged to fully realize the potential of the team and of each team member. The incumbent manages financial and physical resources responsibly to maximize the effectiveness of those resources, exhibiting fiscal discipline and transparency, and using best fiscal management practices. The head ensures opportunities are open to all, programs are inclusive of all constituencies, and efforts are made to engage diverse audiences, especially those that are traditionally underrepresented. They synthesize a vision for BSE with input from faculty, staff, and stakeholders that encompasses all research areas, seeks and deploys personnel and financial resources strategically, and ensures that the strategic vision is continuously examined for relevancy and refreshed as needed.

For additional information about the position, go to

Qualifications for the Position
To be considered for the position, candidates must have:

  • Ph.D. in a field relevant to the department. Accomplishments commensurate with a tenured faculty appointment in Biological Systems

Engineering at the rank of full professor.


  • Demonstrated ability to provide visionary leadership. Demonstrated ability to lead a multidisciplinary team and align resources to achieve strategic outcomes. A record of leadership and outcomes that demonstrate an abiding commitment to practices that are inclusive of diversity. Exceptional skills in communication and interpersonal relations.

Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate:

  • A record of excellence in research evidenced by a portfolio of products and outcomes (e.g., publications, extramural funding, collaborations, intellectual property, evidence-based products brought to market).
  • A commitment to teaching excellence in formal and informal settings.
  • An ability to collaborate effectively with a broad range of constituencies.
  • Evidence of using data and/or fact-based information to navigate complex situations and make strategic decisions.
  • Demonstrated understanding of systems and networks that encourage and support entrepreneurial activities.
  • Sensitivity to the perspectives and values of faculty, staff, and students.
  • Working knowledge of engineering disciplines.
  • Evidence of a collaborative leadership style that encourages engagement and empowerment.

IANR invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of Head of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. We actively encourage applications from and nominations of persons of color, women, persons living with disabilities, and veterans.

The Search Advisory Committee will continue to receive applications until the department head is selected. To ensure full consideration, nominations and applications should be submitted before October 2, 2022.

Questions and nominations can be directed in confidence to:

Dr. Martha Mamo, Search Advisory Committee co-Chair
Head, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture
John E. Weaver Professor

Dr. Tami Brown-Brandl, Search Advisory Committee co-Chair
Dr. William E. and Eleanor L. Splinter Chair and Professor

Applicants should go to and search open positions using requisition number F_220156. Click “Apply to this Job,” complete the information form and attach the following documents:


  1. A letter of interest that describes your qualifications for the position, anticipated contributions, and vision. A statement of the value you place on diversity and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters (2 page maximum). See for guidance in writing this statement. A detailed curriculum vitae. The names of 3-5 professional references. References will be requested only of candidates who make the short list.

All candidate information will be held in strict confidence until the final stage of the search at which time the permission of finalists will be obtained before making their candidacy public. Candidates are urged to review all information and documents posted on the search website.

For questions and assistance with submitting the application contact Rachel Szelag, Senior Faculty HR Specialist at

UNL offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with the successful candidate’s background and experience.

The University of Nebraska is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. UNL is dedicated to creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and included. 

As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See

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