Western Kentucky University Seeks Chair, Department of Agriculture and Food Science

Posted on December 1, 2022
Western Kentucky University Seeks Chair, Department of Agriculture and Food Science
Position Title:
Chair, Department of Agriculture and Food Science



Position Summary
The Department of Agriculture and Food Science at Western Kentucky University is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Department Chair. The Department is housed in Ogden College of Science and Engineering and has 14 faculty and 9 staff teaching, researching, and managing all major areas of agriculture. The department serves approximately 300 undergraduate students in 12 different concentrations, numerous graduate students in a M.S. program, and operates an 800 acre agricultural research and education center, 115 acre arboretum, floral design training center, state-regulated creamery, and USDA inspected meat science processing laboratory. The Department Chair is expected to manage department operations (including departmental budget), uphold and enhance excellence of teaching and research, facilitate the direction of undergraduate and graduate programs, and represent the department within the college, across the university, and in the local, regional, and state communities.
About Western Kentucky University:
 Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a student-centered, applied-research institution committed to providing its students with a transformative academic and social experience and to elevating its surrounding communities. Founded in 1906, WKU is the second largest undergraduate institution in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with approximately 15,035 students (29% first generation, 18% underrepresented minority) and just over 2,500 faculty and staff employees.
Western Kentucky University is committed to empowering its campus community to embrace diversity by building equitable and inclusive learning, working, and living environments. At the heart of our mission, we seek to provide holistic education and employment experiences that prepare students, faculty, and staff to become effective scholars, contributors, and leaders in our diverse and evolving communities.
Located 65 miles north of Nashville, TN, and just over 100 miles south of Louisville, KY, WKU's main campus is in Bowling Green, KY - a city with approximately 70,000 residents. Our population is ethnically diverse, with more than 85 languages spoken in and around Bowling Green, and people from 35 nationalities call our community home.
Western Kentucky University seeks to attract talented faculty and staff who are inspired individually to contribute to WKU's strategic plans and ongoing success. We offer comprehensive wellness and health benefits to employees and their families, including domestic partners and other qualified dependents and take pride in providing a workplace culture that supports balancing the responsibilities of work and family life. Paid-time off for holidays, vacation and sick leave, and a tuition discount program for employees and dependents are also provided. Learn more about WKU and Bowling Green at wku.edu/about.
Knowledge and Skills Considered Essential for Success:
  •  Demonstrated record of excellence and extensive experience in academia.
  • Administration and leadership skills, which includes, but is not limited to, budget management, personnel evaluation, and problem resolution.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Commitment to enhancing student recruitment and retention strategies.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education with a focus on increasing the participation of underrepresented students and faculty in the Department of Agriculture and Food Science.
  • Ability to effectively negotiate with administration and other academic units, liaise between faculty and administration, and communicate administrative changes and requests in a timely manner.
  • Ability to strategically plan and lead a diverse faculty and staff toward agreed upon goals.
  • Ability to positively interact with leadership and staff at the Agriculture Research and Education Center, Baker Arboretum, Floral Design Training Center, Hilltopper Creamery, and Meat Science Lab as well as agricultural stakeholders, policy makers, and alumni.
  • Ability to meet departmental standards for tenure and hold the rank of Associate or full Professorship at the time of hire.
  • Demonstrated commitment to excellence in academic pursuits including scholarly activity and student mentorship.
  • Demonstrated administration and leadership skills, which includes, but is not limited to, budget management, personnel evaluation, and problem resolution.
  • Demonstrated record of collaboration and collegiality with the ability to integrate university strategic plans with current trends in agricultural research and teaching
  • Demonstrated experience identifying and soliciting federal, state, industry, and private funding opportunities to support agricultural research, operations, and infrastructure.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster a culture of accountability in which departmental goals are specified and strategies are articulated.
 Earned doctorate in an agriculture related discipline.
Additional Information:
 Kentucky state law requires all public institutions of postsecondary education to conduct pre-employment criminal background checks to determine suitability for employment.
Western Kentucky University (WKU) is committed to a policy and practice of providing equal employment and educational opportunities to all individuals. In accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, no form of discrimination or harassment will be tolerated at WKU on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, uniformed services, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, or physical or mental disability in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices.
Persons with disabilities, who need reasonable accommodations to participate in the application and/or selection process, should notify the office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services (EEO). To request an accommodation, report/express a complaint, or ask questions regarding WKU''s Discrimination and Harassment Policy (#0.2040), please contact Mr. Joshua Hayes, EEO Director/Title IX Investigator/University ADA Coordinator, via email at joshua.hayes@wku.edu or by phone at (270) 745-5121.
The University is also required to investigate complaints of sex and gender-based harassment, also a form of discrimination, and has designated the Title IX Coordinator as the individual responsible for coordinating the investigation and response to such complaints. The Title IX Coordinator for the University is Ms. Ena Demir, who can be contacted via email at ena.demir@wku.edu or by phone at (270) 745-6867. Additional information regarding Title IX is accessible via WKU's https://www.wku.edu/titleix/ website.
Information concerning educational programs offered by WKU are provided at: http://www.wku.edu/atwku/academics.php
Application Instructions:
The following items must be submitted through this electronic talent management system by January 3, 2023, although expressions of interest may be considered until the position is filled:
  • A cover letter (up to 2 pages) highlighting important aspects of the applicant's experience and background.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • A diversity, equity, and inclusion statement (up to 2 pages).
  • A vision statement (up to 4 pages) that includes:
  • a statement of your leadership style and how your experience reflects that style and
  • your goals for the department, with particular attention to undergraduate and graduate programs (including enhancing student recruitment and retention), service courses, teaching pedagogy, research (including the enhancement of external funding), student mentorship, and service (internal and external).
Names and contact information of three reference providers will be collected during the application process. Reference letters will be requested by the Search Committee through an online process at a later date.
You will receive email confirmation once you have successfully completed the application process.