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Director of the Division of Applied Social Sciences

Job Description

Position Overview: The University of Missouri (MU) College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (CAFNR) invites nominations and applications for Professor and Division Director of Applied Social Sciences (DASS). The successful applicant will provide vision, leadership and guidance for academic, research and extension programs in the social sciences. This is a 12-month ranked faculty appointment.

Responsibilities: The Division Director will be responsible for:
  • Providing visionary leadership for the division to serve the needs of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and interests,
  • Advancing the strategic plans of the College, “Drive to Distinction” and University, “The Flagship of the Future,”
  • Stimulating and facilitating the long-term viability, excellence and impact in all aspects of research, teaching, extension and engagement, and service,
  • Recruiting and retaining world-class faculty, and exceptional students and staff,
  • Promoting and fostering cooperation and collaboration across the Division, among CAFNR divisions and other MU colleges,
  • Appointing and collaborating with program leaders,
  • Advocating for the Division,
  • Mentoring faculty at various stages of their career,
  • Administering the divisional budget,
  • Promoting the communication of science-based findings to inform public policy and private decision makers, and
  • Leading external industry and advancement development opportunities.

Minimum Qualifications: PhD or equivalent in any of the areas of expertise in the division, or a closely aligned field.

Candidates Will be Evaluated on:
  • Experience leading teams in advancing the research, teaching, and/or extension and engagement missions of a land-grant university,
  • Record of leadership in supporting and embracing diversity and creating an inclusive, welcoming environment,
  • Experience in personnel management, including recruitment, advancement and retention of faculty, staff and students,
  • Ability to lead curricular reviews and development, and accreditation processes,
  • Demonstrated ability to advance research and extension and outreach enterprises,
  • Experience in budgeting and fiscal management of a substantial unit such as an academic department, college or university-level center or institute,
  • Record of scholarly accomplishment consistent with an advanced tenured associate professor or professor to qualify for tenure at the rank of professor, and
  • Experience securing extramural funding to support research and/or program development.
Application Materials

Screening will begin by September 1, 2023, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications may be submitted via: Job ID 47142.

Applicants should submit the following documentation:
  • Letter of interest addressing experiences and vision in leading a multi-disciplinary unit and the outlined position responsibilities,
  • Current curriculum vita, and
  • Names and contact information of four professional references.
In your application materials, please discuss your experiences and expertise that support our values and enrich our missions of teaching, research, and engagement. Specific inquiries regarding this position may be directed to Teresa Davis ( ).

Other Information

About the College: CAFNR strives to create a healthy world and touches every aspect of the food system through research, extension and teaching. CAFNR, partnering with other MU collaborators, has world-class strengths in human health response to nutrition choice and physical activity, plant sciences and novel compounds, animal models for human health applications, genomics, natural resources, and food and agricultural policy.

The college is well positioned to make an impact, as MU is an R1, land-grant university and member of the Association of American Universities. We are proud to showcase top-tier faculty, including members of the National Academy of Inventors and National Academy of Sciences, who train the next generation of scientists and professionals. Columbia, Missouri, is halfway between St. Louis, a plant sciences/biotechnology hub, and Kansas City, part of the nation’s animal sciences research corridor. Our research enterprise encompasses the biggest industries in Missouri – from agriculture to tourism.

The uniqueness of the climate, soils and topography of the state of Missouri allow us incredible variety in our research – from corn and soybean in the northwest, to cotton and rice in the southeast, to beef production in the southwest. In addition, Missouri has two major river systems and a robust natural resources, conservation and recreation presence. We have partnerships with a variety of organizations, state and federal agencies, commodity groups and the private sector, which makes certain our research is vital and relevant to the state, the nation and the globe.

With an endowment portfolio surpassing $100 million, CAFNR incorporates 3,000 students and 600 faculty and staff, 14 undergraduate and 18 graduate programs, $63 million in research awards, and 14,000 acres in research centers across the state. For more information, please refer to the College’s strategic plan and biennial report at .

About the Division: The Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS) strives to educate, empower and engage the people who lead and work in our food and agriculture system and rural communities. Our community of faculty, students and professionals explore diverse disciplines through research including community development, economic and rural development, education, governance, policy, sustainability, and more. We strive to discover insights that people in the food and agriculture system — leaders, educators, managers, opinion leaders and volunteers — can apply to advance their profession and improve how our world’s food and agriculture system functions. Through research, teaching and extension, we progress our world by advancing sustainability, supporting decision-makers, shaping policy and sharing knowledge.

The Division is home to multiple degree programs including undergraduate programs in agribusiness management, agricultural education, hospitality management, and personal financial planning; as well as graduate degrees in agricultural and applied economics, agricultural leadership, communication, and education, and personal financial planning.

Within the Division is the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI), a CAFNR Program of Distinction, which seeks to provide objective analyses of issues related to agricultural markets and policies. FAPRI has developed a state, national and international reputation as a reliable source of information and analysis on everything from farm commodity market outlook to the impacts of farm bills, trade disputes and biofuel policies. A dditional centers include the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership (GICL), Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, and McQuinn Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

University of Missouri, Columbia Campus: The University of Missouri, Columbia (Mizzou) is the flagship campus of the University of Missouri System and was established in 1839 as the first public university west of the Mississippi. Mizzou is one of the nation's top-tier Research 1 (R1) universities and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) . University of Missouri is a nationally competitive, global university and Missouri's largest public research university. Mizzou is one of only five universities nationwide that offers law, medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture, engineering and a nuclear research reactor on one campus.

Benefit Eligibility

This position is eligible for University benefits. The University offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plans, retirement, and educational fee discounts. For additional information on University benefits, please visit the Faculty & Staff Benefits website at

Values Commitment

We value the uniqueness of every individual and strive to ensure each person’s success. Contributions from individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives promote intellectual pluralism and enable us to achieve the excellence that we seek in learning, research and engagement. This commitment makes our university a better place to work, learn and innovate.

In your application materials, please discuss your experiences and expertise that support these values and enrich our missions of teaching, research and engagement.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Equal Opportunity is and shall be provided for all employees and applicants for employment on the basis of their demonstrated ability and competence without unlawful discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. This policy shall not be interpreted in such a manner as to violate the legal rights of religious organizations or the recruiting rights of military organizations associated with the Armed Forces or the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America. For more information, call the Director of Employee and Labor Relations at 573-882-7976.

To request ADA accommodations, please call the Director of Accessibility and ADA at 573-884-7278.

Know Your Rights

To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) please use the following links:
Columbia Missouri Information

Columbia is consistently ranked among the top small cities to live in America. A vibrant university town located midway between St. Louis and Kansas City, Columbia offers low cost of living, is home to nationally renowned public schools, higher education, and excellent health care. University of Missouri Health Care (UMHC) is an academic health care system operated by the University of Missouri System. UMHC includes six hospitals and offers more than 50 primary and specialty clinics. Columbia has easy access to major international airports from Columbia, St. Louis and Kansas City.


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