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Assistant/Associate Professor of Controlled Environment Plant Production

Apply now Job no: 534578
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time, Faculty - Agriculture

The Plant Sciences Department (PLSC) in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking a full-time academic year, tenure-track Assistant/Associate Professor in Controlled Environment Plant Production starting September 16, 2024. Candidates with industry or other professional experience are encouraged to apply. Rank and salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The successful applicant will teach courses related to controlled environment plant production. Topics may include greenhouse management, hydroponic vegetable production, plant physiology, and/or plant propagation. Optimizing the use of modern and emerging controlled environment technologies to develop and promote specialty crop production, especially those grown in the Western US, are other topics of possible focus. Depending on areas of expertise, the successful candidate will also have the opportunity to further develop curriculum related to controlled environment plant production of ornamental and/or edible plants.

Duties may include but are not limited to teaching/supervision/advising/mentoring of undergraduate/graduate students. The successful candidate is expected to participate in scholarly activities (e.g., applied research, grant writing, publications, and presentations) benefiting the department, college, university, agencies, and industry. Additionally, the candidate will have the opportunity to work with technical staff and student employees to oversee and enhance department facilities.

Grade and salary commensurate with education and experience of the individual selected. Anticipated hiring ranges:
Assistant Professor: $82,000-$90,000
Associate Professor: $90,504-$99,000

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.


A Ph.D. in horticulture or related field in plant sciences. Demonstrated teaching skills, and expertise in controlled environment horticulture and plant physiology are required. Candidates nearing completion of the doctorate (ABD) may be considered but must provide proof that the doctorate was awarded prior to the start of appointment.

Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching, research, and/or service, and demonstrate a commitment to inclusive practices and working with a diverse student body.

Commitment to student-centered learning and teaching, as well as demonstrated ability to collaboratively work in multidisciplinary settings are required. Excellent written and oral communication skills and strong interests in undergraduate and graduate teaching are required. Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral use of the English language is required.


Preference will be given to candidates with a record of excellence in teaching and research (commensurate with time since degree), as well as ability to mentor undergraduate and graduate students. Particular attention will be paid to candidates who have productive records of teaching, scholarly activity, and student-involved research that would strengthen current department activities. Experience with plant micropropagation techniques is beneficial. Experience working with diverse populations and fostering a collaborative, supportive, and inclusive environment is preferred. Preference will be given to candidates with experience working collaboratively with partners including local, state, national, or international agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Industry experience or an ability/willingness to work closely with industry partners and a demonstrated ability to collaborate on research with faculty across the college, university, and/or agricultural industry is also preferred. 


The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

In accordance with the California State University (CSU) Out-of-State Employment Policy, the CSU is a state entity whose business operations reside within the State of California and prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU related work outside of California.  It is also expected that tenure-line faculty establish an on-campus presence to fulfill their responsibilities. 


The Plant Sciences (PLSC) Department, formerly known as the Horticulture and Crop Science (HCS) Department, is a major academic unit within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES). The department is comprised of a department head, 7 full-time faculty, more than 10 part-time lecturers, 275 undergraduate majors, 5 support staff, and a varying number of student assistants. The facilities associated with PLSC include a 16-acre Horticulture Unit consisting of 40,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse space; extensive outside production and display areas; 7,500 square feet of shade houses and a 5-acre Mediterranean plant arboretum. The Department’s Crops Unit includes 70 acres of citrus, avocado, grape, deciduous fruit tree, and berry production and 35 acres of annual vegetable and forage crop production, of which 11 acres are certified organic. In addition to departmental resources, members of the PLSC department regularly collaborate with a variety of University centers and other Departments on interdisciplinary research and teaching. These include the Strawberry Center, the Grimm Family Center for Organic Production and Research, and the Irrigation Technology Research Center. The BioResources Agricultural Engineering, Biological Sciences, Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences are examples of other campus departments with whom PLSC collaborates.

The Department offers the Plant Sciences major, formerly known as the Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences major, leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. Within this major are three concentrations: Environmental Horticulture Science, Fruit and Crop Science, and Plant Protection Science. 


Review begins February 7, 2024. Applicants are encouraged to submit materials by February 7, 2024 for full consideration, however applications received after this date may be considered.  Interested candidates must attach: (1) a cover letter, (2) resume/curriculum vitae, (3) unofficial transcripts of the highest degree, (4) statement of teaching philosophy, (5) goals and plans for research, (6) a statement describing the candidate’s experience(s) with diversity, equity, and inclusion and how their experiences have prepared them to advance Cal Poly’s commitment to inclusive excellence ( and (7) at least three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the online faculty application.  Finalists for the position will be required to provide 3 letters of reference. The selected candidate must provide official transcripts prior to appointment for final consideration. For additional information, please contact the Department at or 805-756-1237.

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