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Assistant/Associate Professor and Fruit Extension Specialist

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Jun 8, 2023

POSITION: Assistant/Associate Professor and Fruit Extension Specialist: 12-month, tenure-track position. 100% Extension responsibilities.

LOCATION: Department of Plant Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 2024. Screening of applicants' credentials will begin March 15th, 2024 and will continue until the position is filled.


The successful candidate will establish a nationally recognized Extension and applied research program directed toward solving grower issues and improving current and alternative fruit production systems. This person will provide leadership for a statewide fruit Extension program while interacting and working cooperatively with Extension professionals, scientists in the Institute of Agriculture, other universities, government agencies and private companies. Extension and applied research efforts will support current and emerging fruit production systems within Tennessee and outside of the state, including but not limited to temperate fruit physiology, variety and rootstock trials, training and pruning, propagation, nutrition, and postharvest handling.

The successful candidate will also be expected to:
  • Coordinate training for Extension agents to enhance technical knowledge and understanding of fruit crops;
  • Lead educational programs for knowledge and understanding of fruits;
  • Conduct appropriate applied research to support the educational programs;
  • Acquire extramural funding to support, develop, and enhance the applied research and educational programs;
  • Actively participate in graduate student mentoring and training programs;
  • Publish and present innovative Extension programs and applied research findings;
  • Participate in service roles in the Department, Institute, University, and profession;
  • Provide leadership for a program of activities that fosters an inclusive environment for all clientele regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, or veteran status.

The successful applicant's office and shared lab space will reside in the newly built Energy and Environmental Science Research Building, with expected completion in May 2024. Opportunities exist to conduct research on AgResearch and Education Centers, with greenhouse, high tunnel, and field research facilities located in Knoxville, Crossville, and other geographically distinct locations throughout the state. Support staff at the Centers aid in project set-up and maintenance. Three large, state-of-the-art greenhouse facilities that support faculty research and teaching are located on the University of Tennessee campus, totaling 22,000 square feet.


Salary and rank (Assistant/Associate) will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include group medical insurance, dental insurance, group and individual life insurance, long-term disability insurance, workers’ compensation, retirement plan with UT contribution, sick leave, annual leave, paid holidays and administrative leave days, longevity pay after three years of service, unemployment compensation, educational discounts, reimbursement for official travel, and use of University Services.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) is the state’s flagship research institution, a campus of choice for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. As a land-grant university, it is committed to excellence in scholarship, learning and service and aims to enrich and elevate society. Knoxville is situated in a valley between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cumberland Plateau, areas of great beauty and among the most bio-diverse in the USA. Knoxville is a city of 200,000 offering many amenities of urban life. Knoxville has a beautiful and walkable downtown, active neighborhoods, and eclectic cultural activities, restaurants, and shopping. Trip Advisor recently named Knoxville a Top Ten Destination on the Rise. Knoxville is located within easy driving distance to Asheville, Atlanta, and Nashville. The Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee is seeking candidates who have the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the University.


  • Applicants must have a Ph.D. by date of hire in Horticulture, Plant Science, Pomology, or a related plant science discipline with training and experience in fruit production
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proven ability to interact effectively with producers, Extension professionals, students, and faculty
  • Extension or classroom teaching experience
  • Post-doctoral research experience
  • Demonstrated ability to secure extramural funding
Application Instructions


Application materials must include:

  1. Letter of interest (5 page maximum), which includes the applicant’s a) Extension philosophy and approach, b) research accomplishments and a description of a proposed applied research program in fruit crop production, and c) statement of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) that includes how the applicant’s research, Extension, and service could contribute to enhancing DEI;
  2. Curriculum vita;
  3. Unofficial copies of all college transcripts showing degrees conferred;
  4. List of five professional references, including names, email addresses and phone numbers.

Position inquiries should be directed to:

Dr. Annette Wszelaki

Search Committee Chair

Department of Plant Sciences

2505 EJ Chapman Dr.

112 Plant Biotechnology Building

Knoxville, TN 37996


Phone: 865.974.8332

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the university. Requests for accommodations of a disability should be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Accessibility, 1840 Melrose Avenue Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-3560 or or (865)974-2498. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), the ADA (disability), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Investigation & Resolution 216 Business Incubator Building 2450 EJ. Chapman Drive Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 or (865)974-0717 or .

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