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Department Head - Agribusiness

Apply now Job no: 497806
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 Agribusiness Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking a full-time, Associate/Full Professor 12-month Department Head starting no later than September 1, 2021. 

The department head is a tenure-track position and will provide leadership for all programmatic and administrative functions including instruction, research, and alumni and industry engagement. The department head leads a talented team of 12 tenure-track faculty members, one full-time lecturer and three staff members who engage with approximately 550 undergraduate students.

This position will provide leadership for the Agribusiness Department in the following areas:

  • Department's instructional programs
  • Faculty and staff hiring, development, mentoring and workload
  • Academic advising for undergraduate students
  • Program assessment
  • Development and implementation of strategic plan and goals for department
  • Development of external funds and advancement
  • Management of budget, facilities, and departmental resources
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts which include addressing the needs of underrepresented minority and first-generation students

The successful candidate will also teach courses as needed. In balance with the teaching and administrative responsibilities, the successful candidate is expected to participate in scholarly activities (i.e., research, publishing, grant writing) as part of professional development. It is also expected that the successful candidate will supervise senior project students and teams, and participate in University, College and Departmental activities.

Department Head appointments and 12-month assignments are made and continue at the pleasure of the College Dean. Tenure is earned only in the faculty portion of the position. Credit towards tenure at the time of appointment may be awarded depending on the candidate’s years of teaching experience, professional development, and rank. Academic rank and salary will be commensurate with the selected candidate's qualifications and experience.

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 Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, Business (Marketing, Management, Finance,Accounting), Economics or closely related field with qualifications for appointment at the rank of Professor with tenure in Agribusiness
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership, effective management and interpersonal skills
  • Strong professional record of academic achievement, including publications in pertinent fields
  • Strong commitment to teaching excellence
  • Demonstrated experience in collaborative priority setting and decision-making
  • Demonstrated experience in carrying out the college mission through an appropriate combination of teaching, research, and advancement
  • Demonstrated ability to manage resources in order to solve problems with creativity and innovation
  • Ability to interact with Agribusiness stakeholders in developing research and industry initiatives of local, national and global importance
  • Outstanding written and verbal English communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion


  • Demonstrated experience in successfully allocating, directing and monitoring annual budgets
  • Evidence of working collaboratively with partners including: industry (e.g., agribusiness organizations), local, state or national government agencies (e.g. USDA agencies), and non- governmental entities (e.g. commodity groups, environmental and/or sustainability organizations)
  • Experience in interdisciplinary research
  • Evidence of leading institutional development such as fundraising, collaboration and contracts
  • Knowledge of and/or experience with specialty crops
  • Familiarity with instructional technology and online learning



The person holding this position must be willing to travel and attend training programs off-site for occasional professional development.

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.

Faculty employees who wish to apply for permanent residency will be responsible for retaining an immigration attorney. All filing and attorney’s fees will be incurred by the faculty member.


Applicants are encouraged to submit materials by December 7, 2020 for full consideration; however, the position will remain open until filled. Interested candidates must attach (1) a cover letter providing some detail of applicant’s qualifications and interest in the position; (2) resume/CV; (3) unofficial transcripts of the highest degree; (4) a statement of philosophy on leadership and management of an academic department; (5) a statement describing the candidate’s experience(s) with diversity and inclusion and how their experiences have prepared them to advance Cal Poly’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and (6) at least three professional references with names and email addresses. The selected candidates will be required to provide sealed official transcripts prior to appointment for final consideration.

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. 


The Agribusiness Department at Cal Poly has approximately 550 undergraduate students and 12 faculty members who teach a wide variety of courses from agricultural economics, finance, risk management, rural appraisal, food and agricultural policy, marketing and sales, quantitative analysis, food and fiber supply chain management and human resource management. The Department is recognized for the excellence of its agribusiness education programs based on the success of its graduates, the expertise of its faculty, the excellence of its research and outreach programs and for the support it receives from agribusiness firms and alumni. The Agribusiness Department has graduated many top leaders in the food and fiber industries in the California agricultural sector and beyond. 


The College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the United States, with 4,100 undergraduate students, 184 full-time faculty and staff, 15 majors, and five graduate programs.  We have a very strong faculty and an accomplished student body with an incoming high school GPA of 4.0, a large university farm (over 10,000 acres of cropland, pasture, and forest, with student-run enterprises in dairy, beef cattle, poultry, sheep, horses, organic and conventional crops, and a food science pilot plant, the new Oppenheimer Family Equine Center, a commercial winery in the Justin and J. Lohr Center for Wine and Viticulture, under construction, and many other facilities), several research centers, and the Learn By Doing ethos that is central to Cal Poly’s mission.  We are in the midst of an ambitious privately funded facilities construction program that will result in even more opportunities for faculty and student success.  See for more information about CAFES.


Founded in 1901, Cal Poly is one of only five comprehensive polytechnic universities in the nation, with approximately 22,000 undergraduates, 120 postbaccalaureate, and 900 graduate students. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Cal Poly #1 among public master's universities in the western United States for 25 consecutive years. A primarily undergraduate university, Cal Poly offers academically focused students 66 baccalaureate degrees and 27 master's degrees. Operating on the quarter calendar system, Cal Poly takes pride in its "Learn-by-Doing" approach to teaching and learning, which has characterized Cal Poly since its founding. One of the 23 campuses of the California State University system, Cal Poly has a statewide mandate as a polytechnic university. Cal Poly is one of the largest land-holding universities in the nation and uses all of its land holdings in active support of its educational programs. Cal Poly is located in historic San Luis Obispo, a city of 47,500, 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean and midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California's scenic Central Coast. With excellent public education resources, recreational facilities and an expanding dedication to the arts, the area is known for its scenic landscapes and extraordinarily temperate climate.

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