Seeking W.K. Kellogg Foundation Endowed Chair in Food and Society and Director, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

Hiring Organization: Department of Community SustainabilityCenter for Regional Food Systems
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: East Lansing, MI
Anticipated Start Date: August 16, 2022

The search committee will begin reviewing applications on March 1, 2022 and continue until a suitable candidate is selected. The position will remain open until filled.

The Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS) and Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) at Michigan State University (MSU) are pleased to announce that we are seeking applications for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Endowed Chair in Food and Society and Director, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.

We seek an experienced colleague with a clear and creative vision to lead the Center’s integrated program of outreach, extension, research, and scholarship. Using a racial equity lens in all organizational, outreach, extension, research, and communication efforts is required and critical for success.

This position will require a collaborative, diplomatic candidate to work closely with partners from within the university, including MSU Extension and various departments, centers, and institutes, and external partners from government agencies, community-based organizations, institutions, and foundations. Women and persons of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate will build on the state and national presence and reputation of CRFS as an exceptional food systems outreach and research center that serves the common good, generating new knowledge and applying it in practical ways to benefit communities and address complex societal challenges. This individual will lead and advance the Center’s continued evolution as an anti-racist, pluralistic unit within the MSU campus.

This will be an excellent opportunity to work as a scholar-practitioner to embrace MSU’s strategic plan, including proactive engagement with historically underrepresented and underserved communities, and the core values of CSUS, including community engagement and transformational change for problem-solving.

Questions regarding this position can be addressed to the Search Committee Co-Chairs: Judith Barry ( and Robert Richardson (, Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Apply now

Download position description

Position duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide overall strategic and visionary leadership for CRFS programming and operations, with responsibility for oversight, direction, and collaborative team building for all CRFS staff including hiring and staffing decisions;
  • Collaborate and build extension and research partnerships with both statewide and national scholars and practitioners at academic, non-profit, and governmental institutions;
  • Champion and expand work and reputation of CRFS in statewide, national, and international forums, including providing vision and direction for development and implementation of a new CRFS strategic plan;
  • Build on the existing foundation of CRFS work to develop an extension and applied research program in regional food systems that leads to a variety of peer reviewed and peer-critiqued publications and other media forms that make scholarly contribution to the field;
  • Continue to foster a collaborative and cross-disciplinary program across MSU, including a working relationship with all four institutes within MSU Extension, including Community Food Systems Educators and Product Center Counselors, and serve as primary point of contact between CRFS and leadership at MSU college and department levels, including CANR, CSUS, and MSU Extension;
  • Manage and leverage endowment dollars to lead a vigorous extramurally funded outreach and research grant program with government, private industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and foundation funders, based on guiding principles of food systems equity, sustainability, and food sovereignty;
  • Design and deliver high quality classroom instruction on food system topics or in an area of the candidate’s expertise;
  • Serve as advisor to CSUS graduate students working in food systems and link these students with CRFS staff and community partners to address community-based food system needs; and
  • Serve as guidance committee member for other MSU graduate students working in food systems.

Required Qualifications:

  • Hold current academic position at the rank of full professor, or be a current associate professor on a strong trajectory;
  • Earned a PhD in food systems, public health, food science, community nutrition, agricultural or community economics, community and regional planning, agricultural extension and education, or in a field closely aligned with food systems and/or agriculture;
  • Be a recognized leader in community food systems or a related field;
  • Have significant experience in applying systems thinking in addressing critical and timely food system issues at local, regional, and/or national scales;
  • Achieved notable scholarship, organizational, and community-based experience in applying an equity lens to outreach and/or research;
  • Record of research and publication in peer-reviewed journals and other forms of communication;
  • Experienced in developing and maintaining collaborative working relationships among stakeholders and partners including campus faculty, industry, government, and the non-profit sector;
  • Attained success in grant writing/proposal development and the acquisition of extramural funding; and
  • Have excellent verbal and written communication, presentation, and public speaking skills.

Desired qualifications:

  • Experienced in large-scale project management at an academic, government, or non-profit organization;
  • Have teaching experience at the undergraduate or graduate level and effective student mentoring;
  • Experienced in supervising and leading a diverse team of outreach/research food, agriculture, and/or health professionals; and
  • Have current knowledge of food system developments and innovations that are relevant in Michigan.

Apply now

About Michigan State University

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

About MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

The vision of the Center for Regional Food System (CRFS) is a thriving economy, equity, and sustainability for Michigan, the country, and the planet through food systems rooted in local regions and centered on Good Food: a food system that promotes equity, health, sustainability, and thriving economies. CRFS’s mission is to engage the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education, and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems. Five values are key to achieving this mission and vision: collaboration, shared vision, place, equity, and accountability.

About MSU Department of Community Sustainability

The Department of Community Sustainability is a vibrant community of scholars who engage with colleagues, students, stakeholders and communities to address sustainability challenges within specific environmental, economic and cultural contexts.

As scholar-practitioners, and as an interdisciplinary department, we address critical issues at the interface of agriculture, natural resources, recreation, and communities. Through engaged scholarship, we aim to generate knowledge that will be useful to people in their roles as residents, landowners, businesses, and governmental and non-profit institutional leaders.