Department Head, Agronomy and Horticulture

Lincoln, Nebraska
February 09 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The University of Nebraska, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) seeks candidates for head of the Agronomy and Horticulture Department.  The department is one of the largest plant and soil science departments in the US, with more than 80 faculty members, 70 staff members, and 375 undergraduate and graduate students in four majors: agronomy, horticulture, turf and landscape management, and plant biology. The faculty and students represent a wide range of disciplines, including cropping systems, range science and ecology, soil science, crop physiology, landscape design, plant breeding, horticultural science, bioinformatics, plant genetic engineering, turf science, plant molecular genetics, weed science, plant ecology, plant molecular physiology and computational biology.   Nebraska is ranked #4 nationally in receipts from agricultural crops with the most irrigated acres of all states, and is #1 in popcorn production, #2 in ethanol production, #3 in corn production, #4 in dry bean production, and #5 in soybean production. 

Duties and responsibilities:

The department head will promote excellence in all facets of the Agronomy and Horticulture Department by:

  • Fostering an inclusive culture within the department in which all contributions to the team are appreciated and recognized, collaboration and innovation are encouraged, and the abilities of all are engaged to fully realize the potential of the team, and of each team member;
  • Managing financial and physical resources responsibly to maximize the effectiveness of those resources, exhibiting fiscal discipline and transparency, and utilizing best fiscal management practices;
  • Ensuring opportunities are open to all, programs are inclusive of all constituencies, and efforts are made to engage diverse audiences, especially those that are traditionally underrepresented;
  • Synthesizing a vision for the department with input from faculty, staff, and stakeholders that encompasses all programs within the department, seeks and deploys personnel and financial resources strategically, and is continuously examined for relevancy and refreshed as needed;
  • Leading the development and execution of an integrated strategic plan for instruction, research, extension, public service, and international programs in the department that results in sustained impacts within the mission of IANR, and for the benefit of the state of Nebraska and beyond;
  • Recruiting faculty, staff, and students to attract, develop, and retain a team that exhibits and values excellence;
  • Working with IANR administrators, unit heads, and center directors to promote and support collaborations and team building;
  • Coordinating with Research and Extension Center directors to ensure center-located faculty members are fully integrated into the on-campus department;
  • Fostering linkages with external groups to strengthen ties with commodity organizations; private companies; state, federal, and local agencies; Nebraskans; and the University of Nebraska Foundation;
  • Communicating with transparency and clarity all aspects of departmental initiatives, operations, and challenges and opportunities with faculty, staff, students and stakeholders;
  • Engaging in professional development to continually hone skills to effectively lead and manage departmental operations and initiatives, and to advance the mission of the department;
  • Ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations regarding safety, environment, handling and disposing of hazardous wastes, animal care and use, and biosafety; and
  • Ensuring all programs of the department/center are administered in accordance with the university’s affirmative action/equal opportunity/diversity programs.

Success in the role will be measured by the accomplishments and impacts of the faculty, staff, students, and programs of the department.

Resource responsibilities include the East Campus farm allocated to the unit as well as the Havelock Farm and operations connected to all research and extension enterprises across Nebraska.

In addition to the above-described duties, the incumbent will be expected to accept committee assignments, reporting responsibilities, and other special ad hoc assignments as requested at the administrative unit, college/division, institute, and/or university level.

Required qualifications:  Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in a discipline relevant to the teaching, research, and extension programs in the department, and a record of accomplishments leading successful teams.

Preferred qualifications:  Administrative experience including direct supervision of faculty, staff, budgets, and program development, and accomplishments warranting appointment as a tenured professor in the department.

To view the details and make application, go to, requisition F_180014. Click “Apply to this job” and complete the information form. To apply, attach a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three professional references. Review of applications will begin on March 12, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.

As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is located in an up-and-coming and safe city of nearly 300,000 people that has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community.  For more information about Lincoln:

  Top 10 Reasons You'll Love Lincoln

  1. #3 U.S. City, Quality of Life
    (NerdWallet, 2017)
  2. Lincoln Public Schools was ranked 2nd in quality of education in an eight-state area of the Midwest. In fact, Lincoln maintains the 4th highest percentage of graduating high school seniors in the nation.
  3. #8 best downtown
    ( 2015)
  4. #1 in America's Healthiest Small Cities
    (Daily Finance 2014)
  5. 6th Best Place for Business and Careers
    (Forbes, 2014)
  6. 7th best city for college students (among cities with 250,000–1,000,000 residents)
    (American Institute for Economic Research, 2015)
  7. Lincoln's health care costs are among the lowest in the nation and according to a study by Milliman & Robertson, Inc., Nebraska businesses pay among the lowest in employee-paid insurance coverage.
  8. Best Cities of 2016 (Smart Asset, 2016)
  9. Bicycle Friendly Community
    (The League of American Bicyclists, 2012)
  10. Top 20 - America's Thriving Cities
    (The Daily Beast, 2013)