Instructor/Garden Director position

Hiring Organization: MSU
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: East Lansing,MI
Application Deadline: January 8, 2018

Assistant Professor

Horticultural Instruction and Director of the MSU Horticulture Gardens

Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University

The Department of Horticulture ( in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU) is seeking candidates for a fixed-term faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor to provide leadership in Horticultural Instruction and serve as Director of the MSU Horticulture Gardens (12-month fixed term system, rolling 3-year appointment, 65% teaching, 35% administration/extension).

The successful candidate will have instructional leadership responsibilities that include teaching or co-teaching foundational courses in the undergraduate horticulture curriculum (e.g., 10-14 credits per year), service as the departmental Coordinator of Learning Outcomes Assessment, and oversight of the Horticulture Department’s undergraduate recruitment efforts. Teaching responsibilities include HRT 203 – Principles of Horticulture (3 credits, multiple lab sections), HRT 102 – Plants for Food, Fun, and Profit (2 credits, may be offered multiple semesters), and other HRT courses as needed and appropriate, which may include, but are not limited to: HRT 205 – Plant Mineral Nutrition (1 credit), HRT 220 – Annual and Aquatic Landscape Plants (3 credits), and HRT 475 – Study Abroad (3 to 6 credits). In addition, the candidate will advise undergraduate majors, supervise their internships, and help build relationships with horticultural industries. The successful candidate must have the interest and ability to develop selected courses into online formats.

The successful candidate also will oversee the extensive gardens activities associated with the Department of Horticulture, which include the Annual Trial Gardens, the Judith DeLapa Perennial Display Gardens, the Rose Gardens, the 4-H Children's Garden and the C.E. Lewis Landscape Arboretum. The Gardens Director responsibilities include programmatic oversight of the Gardens staff and corps of volunteers, and interacting with the faculty curators of the MSU 4-H Children’s Garden and the C.E. Lewis Landscape Arboretum. The Gardens Director provides leadership and vision for the Gardens, manages the budget, and oversees fund-raising activities including interacting with donors and the College and University Development Offices to build the Gardens endowments, as well as seeking competitive and foundation grants and other special funding opportunities. The Director participates in developing, conducting, and communicating educational and outreach programming associated with the Gardens throughout the year. The successful candidate will be expected to collaborate in teaching, research, and/or outreach endeavors with MSU colleagues as well as with extramural peers, and develop leadership activities in regional, national, and international professional associations as appropriate. The incumbent also is expected to participate in departmental, college, and university committees and activities aligned with their primary responsibilities and interests.

The person filling this position will join a large and well-established faculty that includes a wide diversity of expertise in horticulture, plant physiology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and marketing, as well as a network of horticultural extension educators across the state. Benefits include a competitive salary commensurate with the candidate’s experience, and attractive health, dental and retirement plans.



  • Ph.D. in horticulture or other plant science-related fields or public gardens-related terminal degree (such as M.L.A. or Masters in Public Horticulture)
  • Undergraduate teaching experience and a passion for teaching
  • Administrative skills for overseeing the Gardens budget and funding opportunities
  • Managerial skills for overseeing an established Gardens staff
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Knowledge and skills to develop and teach classroom and online courses


  • Passion for public gardens
  • Proficient knowledge of annuals in order to lead the annual plant trial evaluations
  • Experience with successful grant-writing and/or development of endowments
  • Expertise in, and connections to, multiple segments of horticultural industries such as floriculture, nursery/landscape, fruit, and vegetable production
  • Ability to work collaboratively, both as a team member and a leader
  • Experience in development and assessment of learning outcomes
  • Experience working in a diverse environment and/or utilizing a variety of teaching/communication methods designed for broad student/stakeholder success


Plant Sciences at MSU: MSU is a global leader in basic and applied plant science research, teaching, and outreach, with over 150 faculty members engaged in research ranging from sustainable agriculture and ecology to breeding, genomics and biochemistry. Extensive laboratory, greenhouse, growth chamber, and field-based facilities are available for plant growth research, including biochemical, imaging, and gene expression analyses, bioinformatics support, and plant transformation. Plant science faculty, staff, and graduate students represent an inclusive, diverse community committed to the advancement of science and the recruitment and retention of persons from richly varied backgrounds and perspectives to maintain and enhance the excellence of the University.

Application Procedure: Qualified applicants should submit the following materials to select Faculty/Academic Staff and apply to posting #479573): 1) a letter of application, 2) a current resume, 3) a statement of teaching philosophy, 4) a summary of leadership/management experience and philosophy pertinent to public gardens, 5) a summary of your experience with diversity in classroom, research, and/or extension endeavors, and an explanation of how you will contribute to MSU’s goals of inclusive excellence, and 6) contact information for at least three references who will be contacted directly by the search committee as needed. Questions about the position or the search and interview timetable can be directed to Dr. Tom Fernandez, Search Committee Chair ( Questions on submitting applications through can be directed to Review of applications will begin January 8, 2018, and continue until the position is filled.




The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found

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