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Director of the West Florida Research and Education Center with University of Florida in Milton and Jay, Florida

Type of position This is a tenure track position directing a research and education center in the Florida Panhandle.
Employer University of Florida
Location Milton and Jay, Florida
Description of Location The West Florida Research and Education Center is located approximately 35 miles northeast of Pensacola, FL in Santa Rosa County within 20 miles of gulf coast beaches. This traditional agronomic crop production area is increasingly influenced by the rapidly expanding urban areas of northwest Florida and an increasing interest in natural resource conservation.
Salary commensurate with experience
Closing date of competition For full consideration, candidates should apply and submit additional materials by July 8, 2013. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.
Date position available During Fall Semester of 2013
Description of duties JOB DESCRIPTION:
The Center Director is the administrative head of the West Florida Research and Education Center (WFREC) located on two campuses (Milton and Jay) and provides leadership and support for the teaching, research and extension programs essential to the agricultural, natural resource conservation, environmental and consumer interests of the area.The faculty at the WFREC specialize in agronomy, weed science, turfgrass management, restoration horticulture, forest ecology and silviculture, and wildlife ecology and conservation. The Director is responsible for encouraging the development of proactive programs addressing the present and future needs of the surrounding agricultural, natural resource and urban communities. WFREC programs seek to improve the viability of regional agricultural economies, protect and enhance natural resources, and encourage positive interaction at the urban-agriculture interface.

The Center Director administers a teaching program, which has been established at the WFREC in cooperation with Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida. This unique teaching program has a 12:1 to 14:1 student-teacher ratio and allows students to pursue a B.S. degree in Plant Sciences or Natural Resource Conservation awarded by the University of Florida while remaining in the Milton-Pensacola area. The WFREC also has an active graduate student program.

The Center Director facilitates and supports the research and extension programs of the faculty. WFREC faculty, support staff and facilities are located at both WFREC campuses. The campus at Jay is a 640 acre Research/Extension farm and the Milton campus is located in conjunction with the Pensacola State College-Milton.

The Center Director is responsible for sound management of WFREC, budgetary and personnel resources, and for development of short- and long-term goals involving programs, equipment, physical plant and personnel. The Director is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic plan for strengthening the teaching, research and extension activities at the WFREC to increase its impact in the region. The Center Director will maintain liaison with local, state, and federal agencies and will interact with UF/IFAS administration, county extension faculty, other UF faculty and staff, and agricultural and environmental leaders in accordance with the Center’s mission and goals.

The Center Director is expected to use appropriate communication and management skills to promote teamwork among faculty and staff and be able to delegate responsibility and make timely decisions. The Director is responsible for evaluation of WFREC faculty programs and initiation of tenure and promotion actions in consultation with appropriate department chairs. 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 Center Director must take an active role to develop and maintain goodwill for the Center among various support and clientele groups and consumers. Strong ties must be developed and maintained with organizations and public agencies, including commodity organizations and local and statewide agriculture, natural resource, and regulatory governmental agencies. A good working relationship must also be maintained with private entities, including agricultural producers, members of agricultural industries, various agriculture and horticulture clientele groups, environmental NGO’s, and consumers. Interaction with Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida will also be necessary to maintain a strong teaching program in cooperation with these entities. The Director will cooperate with UF/IFAS Department Chairs, other UF/IFAS Research and Education Center directors, district extension directors, county extension faculty and other UF units in program development.

Qualifications sought
  • An earned Ph.D. (foreign equivalent acceptable) in a field related to plant sciences, including but not limited to agriculture, environmental horticulture or natural resources.
  • The candidate is expected to have experience in conducting teaching and research programs with academic credentials equivalent to the full professor required.
  • Experience with extension activities is also desirable.
  • The candidate should have demonstrated strong professional leadership, communication, interpersonal and administrative skills.
  • Candidates should also have experience in obtaining extramural support from commodity and industry groups or governmental agencies such as USDA.
  • Previous administrative experience is desirable.
Contact for additional
Nicholas Comerford
Chair, Search and Screen Committee
University of Florida
North Florida Research and Education Center
155 Research Road
Quincy, FL 32351
Telephone: 850-875-7116
Facsimile: 850-875-7189
Electronic Mail: nbc@ufl.edu
Application procedure Individuals wishing to apply should go online to http://jobs.ufl.edu/postings/40719 and submit:

  • An on-line application
  • A formal letter of application which includes a brief statement of the applicant’s administrative philosophy and ideas on the role of an off-campus Research and Education Center
  • A current curriculum vitae which includes a biographical sketch, service, consultantships, and a complete list of publications
  • Three (3) names and contact information of references who can assess the candidates qualifications for this position
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