Center Director & Professor

University of Florida in Florida

Deadline Open until Filled
Date Posted July 2, 2014

Job Description: We are seeking an innovative unit leader with broad programmatic vision and enthusiasm for leadership. The Center Director is the administrative head of the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) and provides leadership and support for the MREC campus multi-disciplinary research, teaching, and extension programs essential to the agricultural, natural resource conservation, environmental, economic, and consumer interests of the area. MREC programs seek to improve the viability of regional agricultural economies, protect and enhance natural resources, support sound urban and rural landscape practices, and encourage positive interests at the urban-agricultural interface. Duties and Responsibilities The Center Director plays an active leadership role with the faculty to develop modern, innovative, and proactive research, extension, and teaching programs at the Center addressing the present and future needs of the surrounding agricultural, natural resource, and urban communities. The Center Director reports administratively to the Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and programmatically to the Deans for Academic Programs, Research, and Extension. The Director cooperates with UF/IFAS Deans, Department Chairs, other UF/IFAS Research and Education Center Directors, District Extension Directors, County Extension faculty, and other UF units in program development. This position strengthens and maintains strong ties and goodwill with agricultural commodity and support organizations, regulatory agencies, environmental groups, local and statewide governmental agencies, members of urban and rural clientele groups, and consumers. The Center Director practices sound management of resources of the MREC, including transparent budgetary and personnel management, regularly communicates with local faculty, and develops short- and long-term goals involving programs, equipment, physical plant, and personnel. The Director is instrumental in obtaining financial support, including gifts and endowments for research, teaching, and extension programs at the MREC. The Center Director uses appropriate communication and management skills to promote teamwork among faculty and staff and to delegate responsibility and to make timely decisions. The Center Director plays the lead role in recruiting and hiring faculty members. The Director is responsible for evaluation of MREC faculty programs and initiation of tenure and promotion actions in consultation with appropriate department chairs. The MREC, located in Apopka, Florida, is 15 miles northwest of the Orlando metropolitan area and 30 miles from the Orlando International Airport. MREC is 95 miles from the main UF campus at Gainesville. This close proximity allows easy participation in UF/IFAS administrative meetings and other main campus activities. MREC is central to large concentrations of Floridadiversified ornamental plant nurseries, landscape industries, indoor and foliage plant production facilities, and supports the emergent state-wide viticulture industry. In addition there are nearby fruit and vegetable production operations and many small, diversified farms. Center personnel include 14 faculty and 45 supporting staff, excluding part-time and grant-funded personnel and students. Currently, the interdisciplinary MREC faculty has members specializing in agricultural economics, entomology, landscape ornamentals and indoor foliage plants, landscape ecology, molecular biology, plant breeding, plant pathology, vegetable culture, and viticulture. More information on the MREC, UF/IFAS, and the region can be found at .
Minimum Requirements: An earned Ph.D. (foreign equivalent acceptable) in a field related to agriculture or natural resources with experience in conducting major research, extension and\/or teaching programs with academic credentials equivalent to the full professor required. The candidate should have demonstrated strong professional leadership, communication, interpersonal, and administrative skills. Candidates should also have experience in obtaining competitive extramural support for programs as well as support from commodity and industry groups. The candidate must demonstrate strong commitment to extension, research, and teaching.
Preferred Qualifications Previous administrative experience is desirable.
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