Professor and Chair - Agronomy Department

  • University of Florida
  • United States
  • May 22, 2024

Job Description:

Classification Title:

Chair & Prof

Job Description:

The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an environment that affirms community across all dimensions. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Chair of the Department of Agronomy provides vision and coordination in planning, developing, and implementing the Land Grant mission of teaching, research, and extension within the department. This includes leadership in the recruitment, professional development, and academic growth of faculty, staff, and students. The Chair is responsible for administering the department’s human and financial resources, developing external relationships and funding opportunities, and enhancing the national and international reputation of the department. The position is housed on the main campus in Gainesville, FL, though these duties extend to the faculty, staff, and students located at multiple research and education centers throughout the state.

The Chair is the administrator of the state, national, and international programs of the department, assigning responsibilities to faculty and staff, and is responsible for the evaluation of their performance. The Chair is the representative of the department and the interests and needs of the faculty with administrators, other departments, units, and outside agencies. The Chair maintains this role with individuals and groups regarding natural resources, private industry, and department communities.

The Chair leads the development of the shared vision for the department. This includes the promotion of a broadly shared sense of collegiality, mutual respect, equity, and support within the department, the college, and the university. The Chair engages with professional societies to promote the department and faculty reputation across the diverse discipline areas represented in the department. The Chair collaborates with the Senior Vice President of IFAS, Deans, Associate and Assistant Deans, and other IFAS Chairs, Research and Extension Directors, and other administrators to provide leadership in the development of integrated programs to meet the varied needs of students, extension clientele, research sponsors, and other stakeholders. The Chair provides leadership in the department by cooperating with the Agronomy Administrative Advisory Committee, which includes industry stakeholders.

Background Information:

The Agronomy Department has widely varied teaching, research, and extension programs with currently 22 faculty members located on the main campus in Gainesville and 14 faculty located at Research and Education Centers throughout the state. Faculty programs cover not only traditional agronomy, but also varied research, teaching, and extension including agroecology, aquatic plants, plant breeding, ecology, genetics, genomics, physiology, natural areas management, weed science, and interdisciplinary graduate programs. An effective Chair of the Agronomy Department must engage with, value, and work to meet the department's various program needs. Agronomy faculty also engage with other centers and institutes including the UF/IFAS Food Systems Institute, the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, ProForest, Water Institute, the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the Invasion Science Research Institute.

The University of Florida is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 students. UF is a member of The Association of American Universities. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Sea Grant program, and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (REC) located throughout the state, 6 Research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties (counties operate and maintain). The School of Natural Resources and Environment is an interdisciplinary unit housed in IFAS and managed by several colleges on campus. UF/IFAS employs nearly 4,500 people, which includes approximately 990 salaried faculty and 1,400 permanent support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state. IFAS, one of the nation’s largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine. UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Expected Salary:

Commensurate with Education and Experience

Minimum Requirements:
  • An earned doctorate degree (foreign equivalent acceptable) in agronomy, agroecology/ecology, biology, crop science, plant science, or a related discipline;
  • A record of outstanding scholarly achievement and professional activities related to teaching, research, extension, and/or industry that will qualify the individual to be a tenured full professor in the Department;
  • Demonstrated record of success in leadership, fiscal, and personnel management in a highly varied program, scientific or academic unit, or department.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively listen, communicate, and develop strong collaborations, in order to effectively represent the Department with administrators, agencies, industry, and on-and off-campus groups;
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit and retain core personnel this may include graduate students, staff, and faculty with effort extended to increase underrepresented groups;
  • A commitment to UF core values;
  • Strong support and understanding of the land-grant university mission; and
  • Commitment to accessibility and shared governance in the workplace, fostering a collegial process in decision making with wide participation.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Appreciation for the variety of research, teaching, and extension focal areas in the Department, which include agronomy, agroecology, aquatic plants, plant breeding, ecology, genetics, genomics, physiology, natural areas management, and weed science;
  • Effective administrative leadership and managerial skills, including documented experience in defining organizational objectives; developing strategic approaches to planning; managing human, fiscal, and physical resources; motivating people and developing effective teams; pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities; generating and managing grant funds in support of teaching, research, and extension; and securing private funds;
  • Provide examples of effective engagement with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and external stakeholders within the university and at state, federal, and/or international levels and the resulting outcomes of that engagement;
  • Evidence of creativity and support for professional development and promotion of employees, students, staff, and mentored faculty or professional colleagues;
  • Commitment to interact with and support Agronomy faculty members located at IFAS Research and Education Centers and to foster strong collaborations among county and state faculty;
  • Experience in effective international engagement and collaboration.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit materials by July 1, 2024. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.

Employment Conditions

Screening of applicants will begin on July 1, 2024, and will be filled as soon thereafter as an acceptable applicant is available. Compensation is commensurate with the education, experience, and qualifications of the selected applicant.


Nominations are welcome. Nominations need to include the complete name and address of the nominee. This information should be sent to:

Please refer to Requisition # 531629

Dr. Chris Gunter

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

Professor and Chair

UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department


O: 352-273-4766

F: 352-392-6479

Application Information

Individuals wishing to apply should go online to Careers at UF and submit:

  • Letter of application that states the applicant’s interest in the position, qualifications relative to the position, administrative philosophy, and previous professional responsibilities and achievements and how these relate to the Chair’s position. The letter should include the applicant’s general strategy for building and sustaining the Agronomy Department. The letter should also address the applicant’s experience and administrative capabilities to lead and manage a department spread throughout the state.
  • Complete vita (including a description of current position and responsibilities); and
  • Names and contact information of five individuals who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s qualifications for this position.

Selected candidates will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a variety of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

Health Assessment Required: No