Center Director

College Station, Texas

Texas A&M University
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Job Title Center Director Agency Texas A&M Agrilife Research Department Research Director Management Proposed Minimum Salary Commensurate Job Location Weslaco, Texas Job Type Faculty Job Description Center Director - Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco Weslaco Research and Extension Center The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco was established in 1923 in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The center serves the local community through scientific research, public outreach, extension, and education programs, and collaborates with other AgriLife Research and Extension Centers throughout the state. Center faculty and scientists address research needs related to subtropical agriculture and the environment. Research programs at Weslaco include plant breeding, genomics/molecular biology, biotechnology, entomology, pathology, physiology, agricultural engineering, and economics of several horticultural and commodity crops (e.g., vegetables, citrus, sugarcane, sorghum). The Weslaco AgriLife Research Center's facilities include 55,000 square feet of offices, labs, classrooms, auditorium, etc.; 74,000 square feet of greenhouses, workshops, storerooms, sheds, etc.; and 360 acres of cropland, including on-site cropland experimental fields. Texas A&M AgriLife With oversight by the Office of the Vice Chancellor, Texas A&M AgriLife, a member of the Texas A&M University System, includes: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, Texas A&M Forest Service, and Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. Texas A&M AgriLife Research is the leading research and technology development agency in Texas for agriculture, natural resources, and the life sciences. Our discoveries yield economic, environmental, and health benefits that are key to our state's success and vital to the lives of its citizens. With 13 Research and Extension Centers throughout the state, AgriLife Research is dedicated to research that improves the Texas economy and lives of local and state-wide stakeholders through research encompassing the Agriculture and Food Value Chain. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service provides programs, tools and resources on a local and statewide level that teach people improved agriculture and food production, advanced health practices, environmental protection, economic and youth programs. Health and wellness programs focus on diabetes education, nutrition, exercise, food safety, child safety and injury prevention, and early cancer detection. Administrative Relationship: This position reports to the Director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Position Description: Texas A&M AgriLife Research seeks a full-time research-active and dynamic faculty member to serve as Center Director. This person will be responsible for administering and coordinating all aspects of the center as well as leading a robust, nationally recognized research program in agricultural sciences and food systems. This is a 12-month appointment and will be linked with a departmental affiliation within Texas A&M University that best fits the candidate's background and interest. This position is expected to provide visionary leadership for the center, recognizing and responding to dynamic research and public service needs regionally and statewide, and to serve as a catalyst for the design and implementation of innovative research projects. Additionally, the Center Director is responsible for: fostering productive partnerships and relationships with relevant organizations; recruiting and retaining highly qualified faculty and staff; promoting professional development among faculty and staff; facilitating the acquisition of external funding; and providing sound management of human, physical, and fiscal resources. Central to the success of this position is the ability to foster interdisciplinary research and collaborate on the subject matter with Department Heads, University central administration, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, local/state/national government entities, civic and business leaders, and advisory and commodity groups. Responsibilities: Develop a vision for the continued role of the Center and AgriLife Research in the dynamic environment of agriculture, food, and water science in Texas and elsewhere. Provide intellectual, philosophical, and strategic leadership to Center faculty and scientists, staff, and students to enhance research, extension, and teaching missions. Develop strategic responses to food and agriculture-related issues and opportunities, particularly in meeting the needs of the local food and agricultural industry. Develop and/or lead research teams to respond to internal and external research grant opportunities with the involvement of research faculty from AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension, as well as other research institutions. Manage human and fiscal resources, including team building and leading a contract and grants program that elevates the Center's efforts throughout AgriLife. Represent the Center to state and federal agencies, private organizations, partners, collaborators, key industry groups, and international organizations. Provide leadership for the coordination of efforts between research, teaching, and extension faculty to create an effective and synergistic working relationship. Liaison with the administration of AgriLife Research to plan initiatives, convey research and extension information, and pursue fundraising opportunities that will benefit the Center far into the future. Maintain communication with AgriLife Program Administration, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department Heads, AgriLife Extension leadership, and other Texas A&M University System components regarding issues affecting Texas A&M AgriLife or other system components. Develop collaborative administrative leadership approach between Center Director and District Extension Administrator for Research and Extension programs and operations for the Center. Weslaco Center Qualifications Required Education/Experience: A Ph.D. in one or more related fields such as horticulture, agronomy, plant physiology, breeding, water sciences, and/or environmental sustainability Be a well-recognized leader in agricultural sciences, with an excellent research background in a relevant field, as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals, grant funding, and stature appropriate for a full-time faculty appointment at the professor level Demonstrated ability to engage with stakeholder groups, identify critical issues, and act on those needs through research activities that bring resolution to problems Demonstrated success in building, supporting, and leading interdisciplinary programs and teams Experience in managing human and fiscal resources Preferred Education/Experience: At least 10 years conducting competitively funded research Knowledge of the Land Grant System and a track record of using research and extension to solve problems and convey practical solutions to stakeholders Demonstrated experience navigating conflicting interests to achieve accepted practices among groups (e.g., stakeholders, trade associations, commodity groups, state and/or federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, etc.). Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Excellent English verbal, written, and electronic communication skills Strong writing, public speaking, and presentation skills Ability to communicate effectively with faculty, staff, administration, and stakeholders Ability to manage multi- and interdisciplinary teams Ability to utilize leadership skills to inspire Center employees, manage teams, and invest in the individual success of staff members Knowledge of a commitment to the mission of a Land Grant University is essential Knowledge of fundraising, where development ideas advance the goals of the Center Ability to coordinate with broad-based partners and stakeholders to address current and emerging agricultural, food, and water challenges statewide, nationally, and internationally Location: Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 2415 East Hwy 83, Weslaco, TX 78596 Applications Instructions An application should contain: A cover letter, A statement of research for the position (2-page limit), A statement of administrative vision for the position (2-page limit), A statement of diversity and inclusion for the position (1-page limit), A current resume or curriculum vitae, and Contact information for three references Review of applications will begin December 1, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. Questions Address inquiries to Search Committee Chair: Daniel I. Leskovar, Ph.D. Professor & Center Director at Uvalde and Dallas Research & Extension Centers E-mail: Work: All positions are security-sensitive. Applicants are subject to a criminal history investigation, and employment is contingent upon the institution's verification of credentials and/or other information required by the institution's procedures, including the completion of the criminal history check. Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer committed to diversity.
Date Posted: 26 November 2022
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