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Chairperson, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MSU

Fisheries and Wildlife
East Lansing, Michigan
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.
Posted Date
May 10, 2023

Job Details

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University (MSU) invites applications for Chairperson. We seek a dynamic, visionary, and inclusive leader who will strategically focus the intellectual resources of our faculty, students, and staff to address the most challenging natural resource issues confronting society. The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife has a diversity of faculty and staff members who have a demonstrated commitment to advance the frontiers of scientific discovery and prepare the next generation of natural resources leaders through engaged learning and outreach.  Our sustained success in research, outreach, and education has been achieved by extensive collaborations across numerous disciplines and through partnerships with natural resources management agencies, conservation organizations, and other interest groups. The Department’s size, diversity, and demonstrated commitment to the land-grant philosophy represents a substantial opportunity for a leader with the vision and desire to broaden our impacts across the Great Lakes region, the nation, and the globe. The position is a full-time, 12-month tenure system appointment.




Qualified candidates must: (a) have earned a doctorate in a natural resources or closely-related discipline and meet the requirements for tenure at the rank of full professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU; (b) have experience in administration of personnel, budgets, and programs; (c) demonstrate outstanding leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills necessary to lead a diverse community; and, (d) demonstrate a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in a range of academic and professional activities.


Desired qualifications include: 


  • An outstanding record of achievement, including a demonstrated record of scholarship, teaching, service, leadership, team building and collaboration, and developing and fostering partnerships.
  • Experience administering a large, multidisciplinary, and diverse team with a variety of appointments and assignments across the college and university.
  • Experience overseeing academic department budgets, an ability to garner additional funds and resources for department programs, and experience with advancement and development.
  • Experience building capacities that support natural resource management and conservation through integrated programs in research, education, and outreach and engagement, consistent with the land-grant mission.



The Chairperson will provide leadership of the Department in all teaching, research, Extension, and outreach programs. The Chairperson is expected to maintain and enhance a creative, productive, and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, and students, and serve as the principal representative of the Department with authority and responsibility for administrative decisions. The Chairperson reports directly to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and interacts with senior leadership of the College, MSU Extension, MSU AgBioResearch, and partner agencies and interest groups with whom the Department has cooperative agreements.




Key responsibilities of the Chairperson are to:


  • Provide leadership for advancing and articulating the mission, vision and values of the Department within the broader mission of CANR and MSU;
  • Recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff, assign responsibilities, evaluate performance, and promote faculty, student and staff development with transparency and empathy;
  • Supervise staff positions that require annual reviews, goal setting, leadership, and consistent oversight;
  • Manage and administer the Department budget, providing leadership in the procurement of financial and structural resources necessary to enable the Department’s success;
  • Work cooperatively within the departmental governance structure (e.g. faculty-elected advisory committee);
  • Foster a culture of transparency and equity that supports the success of a large and diverse community of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in classrooms and the work environment;
  • Serve as liaison and advocate for the Department within the larger governance structure of the College and University, and with other Departments and Colleges (especially those housing jointly-appointed faculty);
  • Promote the Department’s teaching, research, Extension, and outreach programs to state, regional, national and international audiences; Maintain and enhance existing relationships with partnered agencies (e,g., Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, United States Geological Survey Cooperative Research) and organizations (e.g., Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), which also include those via the Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management (PERM) in collaboration with leadership of AgBioResearch; and Develop and cultivate relationships with state and federal agencies of the U.S. and Canadian governments, Tribal governance, private organizations, industry groups, departmental alumni, and other entities actively engaged in Department activities.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the CANR are committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that values all diversity. We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The College is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence and accessibility are achieved by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Salary and Benefits


Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. MSU offers a generous benefits package (details at:


About the Department


The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (FW) at Michigan State University (MSU) is an international leader in integrating research, teaching, and engagement to positively affect local, regional, national, and global outcomes in natural resources. Our work supports interest group efforts to conserve, sustain and value natural resources; improves natural resource sustainability; and expands understanding of basic science. By linking physical, biological, and social sciences to solve challenges related to the environment, terrestrial and aquatic organisms, and people, our department is unique within MSU and one of the top departments of its kind in the world. The Department values and embraces outreach and engagement with a diversity of interest groups to collaboratively address natural resources challenges. People are the foundation of FW ( Collectively, we share a vision for the future, a sense of responsibility to our mission, and a strong commitment to our individual, collaborative, and collective work. We are a diverse department across many dimensions, and we view this diversity as a unique strength.


FW has both an undergraduate and graduate program. The undergraduate program (200 – 250 students) offers a single B.S. degree, with five concentration areas and several relevant minor degrees. The Department also has an active graduate program (60 – 80 students) that draws top students nationally and internationally who have the option to receive dual graduate degrees and specializations across campus.


The Department has a newly formed USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.  The USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units program was established in 1935 to enhance graduate education in fisheries and wildlife sciences and facilitate research and technical assistance between natural resource agencies and universities on topics of mutual concern. Each unit is a unique partnership among the USGS, a host university, state agencies, and the Wildlife Management Institute.


About the University


Michigan State University is the nation’s pioneer land-grant university and one of the top research universities in the world. Home to nationally ranked academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. MSU is a diverse community that provides regional, national, and international leadership in research, excellence in teaching (with an emphasis on international engagement), and a strong Extension program that partners with diverse interest groups to bring science-based responses to social and environmental challenges. The University proactively upholds the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. MSU is also proactive in exploring employment opportunities for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information regarding MSU’s dual career and other Worklife support can be found at:


Michigan possesses abundant natural resources and is surrounded by the beautiful Great Lakes. The MSU campus is in the City of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The region has numerous music and theatre offerings, with an active arts community that includes the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts and the Broad Art Museum. Michigan boasts a growing local food movement, over 200 wineries and 200 microbreweries, diverse outdoor recreation activities, and a range of sporting events year-round.


How to Apply


To apply, applicants must submit an application at the MSU Human Resources website at (Posting #854977) that includes: (1) a two-page cover letter of application indicating your interest in the position and the Department, (2) a statement of administrative philosophy and vision for strategically defining program direction and future growth, and fostering faculty/staff/student development and success (3 page maximum); (3) a narrative describing administrative and professional experiences that relates to the Chairperson’s responsibilities (1500 words max.); (4) a statement of how you will contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with the department’s strategic goals (2 page maximum); and (5) a complete curriculum vitae. Candidates selected for initial interviews will be asked to provide contact information for five references and to submit letters of reference. Review of the applications will begin June 30, 2023, and the search will remain open until the position is filled. Start date is negotiable (January 2024 or earlier is desired).  For more information on this position, please contact the search committee co-chairs:


Dr. Jennifer (Jen) Owen, Co-Chair                             Dr. Henry (Rique) Campa III, Co-Chair

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife                       Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

480 Wilson Rd., Room 13                                              480 Wilson Rd., Room 2A

East Lansing, MI 48824                                                  East Lansing, MI 48824

228 – 355 - 1341                                                             517-353-2042 or 517-432-7340

E-mail:                                               E-mail:



The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife is an international leader in integrating research, teaching, and engagement to positively affect local, regional, national, and global outcomes in natural resources

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