Head of the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society

Opportunity Type: 

The Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society (FES) invites applications for a full-time (1.0 FTE), 12-month, tenured administrator Department Head position. The incumbent will serve in this position at the pleasure of the Dean.

The College of Forestry seeks an established and broad thinking scholar, an effective and inspiring leader, and a highly competent administrator to serve as Head of the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society.

FES is an energized and interdisciplinary department containing leading scholars whose expertise ranges from the biophysical to the social sciences, from policy to ethics.

The goal of FES is "to develop and integrate scientific knowledge from the social and biophysical sciences to inform new approaches to sustain interdependent ecological and social systems of the world. FES also evaluates the scientific and philosophical foundations of natural resource management and policy and helps develop conceptual frameworks for natural resource policy reflective of our understanding of the world and the people within it." (From Draft FES Development Plan, May 2013).

FES is housed within the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, along with the Departments of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management; and Wood Science and Engineering. FES faculty work to understand natural and managed ecosystems, social systems, and the interactions between them, and to develop integrative approaches to sustaining forests and other ecosystems and the services they provide. The Department is committed to solving complex natural resource problems at local, regional and global scales, and promoting creative and collaborative approaches to teaching, research and extended education. We strive to ensure equal access, inclusion, and integration of people from all backgrounds into the academic culture of our Department, College, and University.

Position Duties


The Department Head needs to be a strong communicator and scientific visionary who listens to faculty, staff, students and stakeholders, builds support for a common vision, and represents the Department to external clients and partners.

  • Recruit faculty, staff and students to the department to reflect the full spectrum of social and cultural diversity found in Oregon, the region and the nation.
  • Build and maintain morale, unity, and a common sense of purpose in the Department by promoting healthy dialogue among faculty, staff, and students and maintaining an atmosphere that is respectful and tolerant of diverse views.
  • Lead faculty, staff and students in developing and implementing the future strategic direction of the Department.
  • Advocate and articulate the collective vision of faculty, staff and students of the Department both inside and outside the university.
  • Foster faculty research programs to ensure they are at the forefront of scientific discovery and integrations of the biophysical and social sciences.
  • Foster professional development for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Work to promote and facilitate the competitiveness of FES faculty in seeking extramural funds.
  • Manage undergraduate and graduate programs, and lead the effort to design and implement a new integrative undergraduate degree.
  • Foster high academic and professional standards so that students will achieve their education goals.
  • Support a strategic, innovative, and comprehensive set of outreach education offerings at graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Promote creative and scholarly contributions in extension and continuing education.
  • Build connections with other OSU Departments in the College and beyond, including direct engagement with other educational and research institutions.
  • Engage with the research community, and external stakeholders to understand their needs and communicate to faculty and staff.
  • Lead and take part in new collaborative initiatives to promote research, teaching, and outreach.
  • Serve as a member of the Forestry Executive Committee and collaborate with the other Forestry Department Heads and college administrators to develop, implement, and support a common vision for the College.
  • Continue individual scholarship and/or teaching appropriate to the applicant's interests and strengths, and that will promote the national reputation and leadership of FES and the College.


The Department Head must be fiscally responsible, a competent and timely manager of people and resources, that is capable of making and implementing potentially difficult decisions.

  • Support a positive, collegial and productive working environment for departmental faculty and staff, support opportunities for professional development and address personnel issues constructively should they arise.
  • Develop and implement the Department vision and mission. Establish goals, and objectives for departmental degree programs in concert with faculty, students, and stakeholders.
  • Implement college policies in FES.
  • Set priorities for allocating resources within the Department for teaching, research, and outreach. Position Duties (continued):
  • Maintain transparency in decision-making, and communicate frankly and directly about decisions once made.
  • Assign faculty governance, teaching and administration duties in a fair and equitable manner.
  • Appoint and coordinate departmental faculty committees and develop new committees as needed.
  • Manage Department budgets.
  • Annually review faculty progress and provide support and direction to ensure departmental success and equitable workload.
  • Mentor and guide faculty through the promotion and tenure process.
  • Maintain appropriate oversight of office staff and supervise office manager to ensure office tasks are conducted in a timely and effective manner.
  • Ensures that the objectives of the department's education programs are met, and that students can successfully complete the program in the required time.
  • Interact with coordinators of undergraduate and graduate degree programs to ensure consistency and coordinated practices.
  • Detect and respond to student perceptions of bias, discrimination, or other unfairness that may occur in their learning experiences.
  • Develop a strategy, goals, structure, and plan for E-campus education within the FES department according to college policy.
  • Participate in coordinated planning and goal setting for College of Forestry outreach education efforts, including the OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension program.
  • Work with the College and University to ensure the development and maintenance of a web-site, and other online activities, that attract students and other stakeholders; is kept up to date; and includes clearly organized records of Department policies and decisions.
  • Serve on university level committees and in other capacities.


All College of Forestry Departments foster strong relations with external partners and supporters and maintain an extensive regional, national, and international network of contacts.

  • Represent the College and Department to a variety of constituents from outside the University who are interested in and benefit from Department activities. These include such groups as alumni, forestland owners, community groups, non-government organizations, government agencies, tribes and private foundations.
  • Strive to involve external stakeholders to contribute to the Department and the College by:
    • Involvement in presenting guest lectures, interacting with students, informing faculty and students of their interests and experiences, and attending lectures and outreach events;
    • Provide feedback to the Department as strategic direction and vision is implemented; and
      • Portray the Department to the public in order to enhance their understanding of the Department's contributions.


Promote advancement of the three missions of the Department, the College, and the University by promoting their funding and support.

  • Work with the College, OSU Foundation, and faculty to develop opportunities and procure Foundation, traditional and new sources of funding for research, education, and outreach initiatives of strategic importance to the Department and College.
  • Interact with other university units and external parties in the development, implementation, and funding of cooperative ventures in extended education.

Working Conditions/Work Schedule:

Minimum/Required Qualifications

  • PhD degree in biological, physical or social science field relevant to the department goals.
  • A record of accomplishment which merits appointment as a full tenured professor.
  • Excellent oral and written communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
  • Strong administrative experience in areas such as personnel management, budget management and fund raising.
  • Understanding of the research, teaching, and extended education functions of a Land Grant University.
  • Demonstration of leadership potential through roles of continued responsibility for 2 or more years.
  • A demonstrable commitment to creating a diverse workplace.
  • Ability to work effectively with people at various levels of an organization.
  • A demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.

Preferred (Special) Qualifications

  • Two or more years of administrative experience.
  • Professional work experience outside of academia.
  • A broad perspective arising from international or other geographically/culturally diverse experiences.
  • A strong record of successful engagement with funding agencies, industry and/or other stakeholders.

Closing Date: 11-15-2013

Recommended Full-Time Salary Range: Salary is commensurate with education and experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants

When applying you will be required to attach the following electronic documents:

  1. A resume/CV that includes the names of at least three professional references, their e-mail addresses and telephone contact numbers (Upload as 'Other Document' if not included with your resume/vitae).
  2. A cover letter indicating how your qualifications and experience have prepared you for this position.
  3. Finalists for this position will be required to bring a copy of their transcripts or diploma to their interview in order to verify they meet the degree requirement. Transcripts may also be uploaded at time of application (Upload as 'Transcripts').

If submitting transcripts, all courses must be from accredited colleges, universities, or private vocational schools. The online application system will allow you to attach your transcripts if the PDF file is 5MB or less. If over 5MB in size, submit to contact person listed.

For additional information or questions regarding this position, please contact Laurence Schimleck (Search Committee Chair) at 541-737-4224 or Laurence.schimleck@oregonstate.edu. For questions regarding the application process, please contact Angela Haney at 541-737-1350 or angela.haney@oregonstate.edu.

Posting Number: 0011321

Quicklink for Posting: jobs.oregonstate.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=62852

Expiration Date: 
Fri, 2013-11-15

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