Head, Department of Agronomy in West Lafayette, IN 47906

Purdue University


Purdue University’s Agronomy Department is seeking a dynamic Departmental Head (‘Head’) with a vision for plant, soil, and environmental sciences. The Head will lead a diverse group of nationally and internationally recognized faculty and talented staff in fulfilling the research, teaching and extension missions of a premier land grant university. The successful candidate is expected to lead in all matters administrative, fiscal, and human resource related. The Head is expected to uphold the Agronomy Department’s long-standing commitment to international programs; act as a liaison within the university and with government agencies and industry groups; help strengthen interdisciplinary activities; foster an inclusive environment; and represent the Department to professional organizations, the College of Agriculture, the university community, and society at large.


The successful candidate must have earned a doctoral degree and maintained an outstanding record of leadership and scholarly achievement in agronomy or a related discipline. The candidate must have an established record of excellence in research, teaching, and/or extension. Candidates must qualify for the rank of full professor with tenure in the Department. The person must be an adept problem solver, and skilled in team building, managing interdisciplinary programs in research, extension, and/or education, and in effectively communicating with diverse groups including students, alumni, and industry stakeholders. Candidates must be effective in setting priorities, allocating resources, and facilitating innovation.

The Department:

Agronomy is one of the largest and most diverse departments in the College of Agriculture, with research spanning basic to applied topics in soils, crops, environmental, and earth system sciences. The Department has 34 faculty and 42 professional, clerical, and technical staff, and currently has 139 undergraduate students. Graduate research programs (52 students) include: water, air and climate; soil and land use; crops and the changing environment. Faculty participate in interdisciplinary programs in biochemistry and molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, geographic information systems and remote sensing, plant physiology, water resources, and in several interdisciplinary research/learning centers across the campus. The Department has a productive research partnership with USDA/ARS in both crops and soils. The extension team is relevant and responsive to the needs of the stakeholders in crops, soils, and environment across Indiana and the nation. Hands-on training workshops, field days and conferences, digital delivery (website, videos, apps), and published recommendations are the foundation of these efforts. The Department is committed to creating a profile on the international stage and actively engages in global education and research.

The Department owns modern office/laboratory/greenhouse space and has field research capabilities near campus on the department’s 1600-acre research farm, as well as at locations across the state. The Head oversees the research operations, and the annual budget of $19.7 million, more than 40 percent of this from extramural sources. The Department is also part of the Purdue Plant Sciences Initiative, a university commitment in excess of $20 million to faculty, facilities, equipment, and academic programs and one of the Purdue Moves https://ag.purdue.edu/plantsciences/. The Department is poised to develop new programs to address larger, interdisciplinary, societal issues, efforts the new Head will lead. Additional information about the Department can be obtained at http://www.agry.purdue.edu.

The College:

The Department is an integral part of the College of Agriculture, one of the world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences and ranked fifth in the world in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. The College is deeply committed to the three land-grant missions (teaching, research, and extension), to international activities and perspectives that span all missions, and to excellence in all we do. The College has 11 academic departments and includes 309 faculty, 2889 undergraduate students, and 700 graduate students. The College’s current strategic plan can be accessed at Strategic Plan (purdue.edu)

Application Procedure:

Qualified persons are requested to submit the following:

a letter of application;
a statement of the applicant’s vision and administrative philosophy, emphasizing their ability to provide leadership to the research, teaching, and extension missions of the Department;
a complete curriculum vita including names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three references.

Nominations of potential candidates for the position are welcome. Initial nominations and inquiries will be kept confidential; references will be contacted only upon the applicant’s approval.

Purdue is an ADVANCE institution – https://www.purdue.edu/advance-purdue/. A background check is required for employment in this position. The successful candidate must have or be eligible to obtain a work Visa in the U.S. upon appointment.

Applications, nominations, and inquiries should be addressed to Dr. Nathan Mosier, Department Head of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Indiana Soybean Alliance Chair in Soybean Utilization Research, and Chair of the Search Committee, Purdue University. All application materials must be submitted electronically as a single pdf. Screening of applicants will begin December 4, 2023 and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected. Questions regarding the position may be sent to Dr. Mosier at mosiern@purdue.edu or (765)494-1162. Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

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