MSU Entomology is Hiring a Department Chairperson

NaturalSciences Blg in FallApply for Chairperson position.

Position summary

Michigan State University's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources invites applications and nominations for Chairperson of the Department of Entomology (ENT). Members of the Department engage in a broad range of entomological and nematological subjects and activities. We provide a stimulating intellectual environment for scholarship promoting resilient human and natural systems with an emphasis on environmental stewardship. The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to embody and convey the land-grant mission of teaching, research, extension, and outreach to multiple audiences; provide effective leadership and management of multidisciplinary programs; promote diversity, equity and inclusion; be a strong advocate for the Department; and provide leadership for the continuing development of outstanding regional, national, and international programs. This is a full time, 12-month appointment that includes the rank of full professor with tenure. The position is available beginning August 15, 2020.

Specific responsibilities

The Chairperson provides facilitative leadership of the Department in teaching, research, extension, and outreach programs and is expected to maintain and enhance a welcoming, creative, and productive environment for faculty, staff, and students. The Chairperson serves as the principal representative of the Department with authority and responsibility for administrative decisions. The Chairperson reports directly to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and interacts with MSU Extension, MSU AgBioResearch, and senior leadership of other colleges.

This is an administrative leadership position. Key responsibilities include the following:

  • Provide visionary leadership for creating, advancing, and articulating the goals of the Department and the land-grant mission
  • Promote national and international prominence
  • Prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion and foster a culture of collaboration, creativity, and mentorship wherein diverse faculty, staff, and students feel valued and supported;
  • Encourage balanced and integrated teaching, research, extension, and outreach programs throughout Michigan, nationally, and internationally
  • Work with faculty to identify existing and emerging opportunities and develop strategic short- and long-range plans for departmental enhancement
  • Recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff, assign responsibilities, and evaluate performance
  • Promote faculty, staff and student development
  • Manage and administer Department budgets and provide oversight in the procurement of financial and other resources
  • Adhere to all MSU policies and procedures in research, education, extension, outreach, financial, and personnel administration
  • Work cooperatively within the departmental governance structure, which currently includes an Associate Chairperson, a Department Advisory Committee, Graduate and Undergraduate Program Directors, and Department standing committees
  • Serve as liaison and advocate for the Department within the larger governance structure of the College and University
  • Communicate and foster relationships with clientele, including departmental alumni, governmental leaders, MSU administrators, other campus units, private sector stakeholders, and professional and disciplinary groups
  • Represent the Department to state and federal agencies, private organizations, partners and collaborators, and key industry groups
  • Advance fund development at the Department, College, and University levels
  • Serve on college and university level committees, including the Institute of Agricultural Technology Directorate

About MSU’s Department of Entomology

The Department of Entomology is in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the founding and largest College at MSU. We currently have approximately 50 faculty and academic staff, 15-20 research associates, 35-40 graduate students, and 15 undergraduate students. In addition, the Department offers courses that support multiple graduate and undergraduate majors across the University. The annual departmental budget is approximately $19 million, with over two thirds from extramural funding. Current areas of departmental emphasis include: ecology of arthropod pests, nematodes, natural enemies, and pollinators; Integrated Pest Management (IPM); apiculture; invasive species ecology and management; chemical ecology; biomedical entomology; insect physiology; and molecular entomology including molecular systematics. The Department of Entomology has a 1.5 million specimen arthropod and nematode collection and strong linkages across campus, including: Neuroscience; Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB); The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center; Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER); Environmental Science and Policy; Center for Watershed Studies; Center for Global Change and Earth Observations; C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems; North Central IPM Center; Pesticide Safety Education Program; IR-4; Legume Systems Innovation Lab; World Technology Access Program (WorldTAP); and the U.S. Forest Service. Further information on the department is available at:

About the university

Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the top research universities in the world and home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs. MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes, artists, and scientists that provide regional, national, and international leadership in basic and applied research and excellence in teaching. In addition, consistent with its Land Grant origins, the MSU community pursues international engagement and provides strong extension programs that partner with diverse stakeholders to provide much needed research in the areas of food, energy, water, and the environment.

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 state 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 Americans with Disabilities Act (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 at

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

In MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), we do not just accept difference; we celebrate, support, and thrive on it for the benefit of our faculty, staff, students, and community. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer that is committed to achieving inclusive excellence through attracting diverse candidates and fostering a culture of equity where everyone is valued, supported and inspired to achieve individual and collective goals. For details on the CANR commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, see:

Salary and benefits

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. MSU offers a generous benefits package (details at

For more information on this position, please contact the search committee co-chairs:

Zsofia Szendrei, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Entomology
Michigan State University
1129 Farm Lane, Room 348
East Lansing, MI 48824

James J. Kells, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairperson
Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences
Michigan State University
286 Plant and Soil Science Building
1066 Bogue Street
East Lansing, MI 48824

Additional chairperson search committee members:


Required Degree: doctorate in entomology or a related discipline

Minimum requirements

Qualified candidates must meet the requirements for tenure at the rank of full professor in the Department of Entomology. The successful candidate must possess outstanding leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, along with the ability to promote the Department and increase its national and international prominence.

Desired qualifications

The Department is seeking an individual with an outstanding record of achievement, including scholarship, leadership, team building, and dedication to the Land Grant mission. The applicant should have an appreciation for the range of disciplines related to entomology/nematology and the diverse functions of teaching, research, extension, and outreach, and must exhibit preparedness for the administration of a large, diverse department.

Required application materials

  • Resume/CV
  • Cover letter describing interest in the position
  • Statement describing experience and philosophical approaches to leadership and administration
  • Statement on achieving a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion as Department Chairperson.

Special instructions

To apply, applicants must submit an application at the MSU Human Resources site at  (Posting #590142) and upload the documents described above. At the end of the cover letter, please also submit names and contact information for three references who are familiar with your work and leadership skills. Letters are not initially required, but they may be solicited during the evaluation of applicants.

Review of the applications will begin September 3, 2019, and the search will remain open until the position is filled.