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Department Head and Professor, Department of Wildland Resources

Utah State University
Utah, United States
Salary Not specified
Start date
Oct 12, 2023

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Department Head and Professor, Department of Wildland Resources

Requisition ID: 2023-7103
# of Openings: 1
Location: US-UT-Logan
Category: Faculty
Position Type: Benefited Full-Time
Job Classification: Faculty
College: Quinney College of Natural Resourcs
Department: Wildland Resources
Advertised Salary: Commensurate with experience and education, with excellent benefits

The Department of Wildland Resources (WILD) ( in the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources ( at Utah State University (USU) invites applications for the position of Department Head and Professor. This is a full-time, 12-month appointment on the Logan Campus, starting July 1, 2024.

We are seeking candidates with high potential for academic leadership and a strong commitment to interdisciplinary terrestrial ecosystem science and to the departmental mission to advance the understanding and stewardship of wildland ecosystems and the services they provide. The successful candidate will bring vision, innovation, and expert administration to a thriving academic unit of 27 faculty located at the main Logan Campus, at Statewide Campuses, and at several extension locations. This candidate will build on a long legacy of excellence in research, teaching, and extension and will nurture the Department's existing synergies with the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, USU Extension, the US Geological Survey Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the campus-wide Ecology Center.

Research, extension, and education are central to USU's land-grant mission and core to departmental activities, with high levels of integration and collaboration across these domains. Public lands and their management are critical to the state of Utah and to departmental research, extension, and outreach. The Department has productive working relationships with federal and state partners such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forage and Range Research Lab, Poisonous Plant Research Lab, and National Wildlife Research Center; the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station; and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. High-impact basic and applied research emphasizes terrestrial ecology, including the ecology and management of wildlife, forests, and rangelands, conservation biology, and climate change adaptation. Extension programs span wildlife, rangeland, and forest management; urban forestry; and wildland fire management. The Department prepares undergraduate and graduate students for a wide range of careers managing and conserving natural resources. With approximately 300 undergraduate students and 80 graduate students, it delivers undergraduate degrees in Conservation and Restoration Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, Rangeland Ecology and Management, and Wildlife Ecology and Management, and MS and PhD degrees in Ecology, Forestry, Range Science, and Wildlife Biology. Undergraduate programs are accredited by the Society of American Foresters and the Society for Range Management, ensure wildlife students meet the relevant USA Federal Government's Office of Personnel Management requirements for employment, and are aligned with the Society for Ecological Restoration. Award-winning faculty and a shared core undergraduate curriculum across all departmental majors produce program graduates with unusually well-integrated training. The highly sought-after graduate programs attract students from across the country and internationally who pursue careers in academia, federal and state agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Application review begins December 4, 2023 and continues until the position is filled. Queries about the position may be directed to the search committee chair, Dr. Claudia Radel (

The Department Head serves as the principal administrative and academic officer of the department and provides leadership and administration for the research, teaching, extension, and service functions of the department, reporting directly to the Dean of the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources. The Head guides all decisions on departmental policy and direction in consultation with the departmental faculty. The relative emphasis for the position is 80% administration and 20% research, extension, and/or teaching and student mentoring.

Additional Responsibilities to the Above
  • Provide leadership for the department in all professional matters, particularly in promoting and maintaining high quality graduate and undergraduate academic programs.
  • Direct departmental affairs transparently and equitably and in accordance with Department, College, and University policies and regulations.
  • Conduct annual evaluations of all faculty regarding performance and supervise and evaluate the performance of departmental administrative staff.
  • Provide leadership in the recruitment, retention, and mentoring of a diverse faculty in the Department and recommend appointments, promotions, tenure, changes in salary, leaves of absence, dismissals, and other matters affecting personnel of the department.
  • Prepare and oversee the budget of the Department and oversee the expenditure of all departmental funds.
  • Oversee all instructional assignments and course scheduling and engage in strategic enrollment management.
  • Steward existing strong, collaborative relationships with federal and state natural resource agencies and engage in donor relations and development activities.
  • Prepare departmental reports required by the dean or other responsible administrative officers and by external accrediting bodies.
  • In cooperation with the leadership in USU’s Statewide System, develop, coordinate, and promote departmental programs at the relevant statewide campuses.
  • Collaborate with the College leadership team and business services professionals, as well as with the Vice President for Extension and the Directors of the USU Ecology Center and the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, to advance departmental, college, and university goals.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Dean.

  • Qualifications
    • Earned doctorate related to the fields of study encompassed by the department’s programmatic areas.
    • Accomplishments that meet the requirements for a tenured, full professor; a tenure review will be conducted for the selected candidate.

    • Demonstrated success in leadership and management in higher education.
    • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain positive, innovative, and productive relationships among faculty members from disparate disciplines.
    • Demonstrated understanding of the land-grant mission and the ability to lead and advocate for faculty who work to accomplish this mission.
    • Demonstrated experience in academic personnel and budget management.
    • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion through research, teaching, extension and outreach with relevant programs, goals, and activities.
    • A compelling vision for the role of the Department of Wildland Resources in higher education, research, and extension.
    • Evidence of ability and commitment to develop and promote constructive relationships with appropriate on and off-campus stakeholders, including alumni and donors.
    • A record of scholarly contributions to knowledge in forestry, rangelands, wildlife, ecology, conservation, and/or restoration, with demonstrated expertise in one or more of these areas.
    • A record of excellence in teaching and/or mentoring at the undergraduate and graduate levels in field(s) applicable to the Department.
    • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary leadership team.

    Required Documents
    Along with the online application, please attach:

    1) Curriculum vitae to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under "Resume/CV"

    2) Cover letter (2-page maximum)

    3) Statement of leadership philosophy and experience (2-page maximum)

    4) Statement with examples of prior and potential future contributions to diversity and inclusion in relation to the university mission in learning, discovery, and engagement (2-page maximum)

    5) Statement of intended contributions to non-administrative components of role (i.e., research, teaching, and/or extension) (1-page maximum)

    6) Names, titles, phone numbers, and email addresses of five professional references

    Please do not attach required documents (#2-5) in the candidate profile; you will be instructed to copy and paste later on in the application.

    **Document size may not exceed 10 MB.**

    Advertised Salary
    Commensurate with experience and education, with excellent benefits

    Employees typically work indoors and are protected from weather and/or contaminants, but not necessarily from occasional temperature changes.

    University Highlights
    The S. J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources (QCNR) is nationally and internationally recognized for its research, extension, and teaching on natural and socio-environmental systems. It is a high-impact college at Utah State University with more than $15M in research funding annually, 55 tenure-track faculty in three departments (Environment and Society, Watershed Sciences, and Wildland Resources), and close partnerships with federal and state natural resource agencies. Work in QCNR traverses biological, physical, and social systems, with close collaboration among faculty and students across the three departments, to advance scientific knowledge, train future leaders, and translate research into on-the-ground management and policy.

    Education, extension and outreach are a major focus for QCNR faculty and staff, and the College is home to pioneering entities including the Ecology Center, which houses the Climate Adaptation Science program; the US Geological Survey’s Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism; the Janet Quinney Lawson Center for Colorado River Studies; the National Aquatic Monitoring Center; the Utah Geospatial Consortium; the USU Dendrochronology Laboratory; the Berryman Institute; and the T.W. Daniel Experimental Forest. Faculty achieve excellence in research and graduate education through a diverse suite of funding, including from the National Science Foundation, US Department of the Interior, US Department of Agriculture, state agencies, and private entities. QCNR has close relationships with USU’s new Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water, and Air, which acts to connect USU research expertise on land, water, and air to decision-makers for the state of Utah.

    QCNR has approximately 500 undergraduate and 250 graduate students currently enrolled in a wide variety of degree programs. With strong emphasis on student learning and engagement, the College has robust programs in undergraduate research, internship opportunities, and opportunities for community-engaged learning. QCNR has a reputation, not just for high-impact research and teaching, but for an exceptionally collaborative and collegial community. We deeply believe in the work we do and take a leadership role in fostering a more sustainable world. We value diversity, equity and inclusion in natural resource and environmental education, research, and extension & outreach. We are actively working to create a more inclusive college climate and to recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff who contribute to college goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    Founded in 1888, Utah State University is Utah’s premier land-grant and space-grant university, with a strong commitment to excellence, access, and inclusion. USU serves approximately 27,500 students throughout the state at three residential campuses, eight statewide campuses, and 23 education centers. USU Online has served students from all 50 states and 55 countries for over 25 years, and USU Extension provides outreach and service to all counties in Utah.

    As a land-grant university, USU engages communities and empowers people to lead successful lives of involvement, innovation, and impact. As an R1 research institution, USU provides a high-quality undergraduate and graduate education at an affordable price. Washington Monthly has consistently ranked USU in the top 10 among public universities for contribution to social mobility, research, and public service.

    Utah State is committed to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where different perspectives, values, cultures, and identities are acknowledged, welcomed, and valued. We seek to recruit, hire, and retain people from all walks of life who will champion excellence in education, research, discovery, outreach, and service. We believe that promoting a strong sense of community and belonging empowers and engages all members of USU to thrive and be successful. Learn more about USU.

    The university provides a Dual Career Assistance Program to support careers for partners who are also seeking employment. Additionally, USU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. To request a reasonable accommodation for a disability, contact the university’s ADA Coordinator in the Office of Human Resources at (435) 797-0122 or

    About the Region

    U.S. News and World Report ranked Utah first for its strong economy, fiscal stability, education, and health care. Outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities abound throughout the state, including five national parks, 43 state parks and recreation areas, and 15 alpine ski resorts. The home of USU’s main campus, Logan, is a city of 54,000-plus people in a picturesque mountain valley 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. The Logan metro area claimed the top spot in the Milken Institute’s 2022 ranking for best-performing small cities in the nation.

    *updated 7/2023

    To apply, visit

    Notice of Non-discrimination
    In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

    The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or USU’s non-discrimination policies:
    Executive Director of the Office of Equity Matthew Pinner,, Distance Education Rm. 401, 435-797-1266
    Title IX Coordinator Matthew Pinner,, Distance Education Rm. 404, 435-797-1266
    Mailing address: 5100 Old Main Hill, Logan, Ut 84322
    For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit, or contact:
    U.S. Department of Education, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 800-421-3481,
    U.S. Department of Education, Denver Regional Office, 303-844-5695,


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