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Department Head position - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Jobs & Postdocs
Posted Oct 9
Department Head, Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science



About the Position:

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) College of Arts & Sciences invites applications for the position of Head of the Department of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science (BGE) at the rank of associate or full professor. This is a tenure-track, 12-month position with appointment to begin August 1, 2021. The field of specialization is open, but candidates must have an earned Ph.D. in Biology, Geology, Environmental Science, or a related discipline to be considered. Applicants must have administrative experience and demonstrate the ability to support and integrate our large, complex, multidisciplinary department while promoting our disciplinary identities and strengths. The successful candidate should be a forward thinker who is able to motivate the department to pursue a long-term vision that will grow our strengths and capitalize on our uniqueness. We are especially interested in candidates with strong communication skills that will encourage open conversation within the department and facilitate advocacy of departmental needs to the upper administration. Applicants should have a history of teaching accomplishment and scholarly productivity and a sustained commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education with a focus on increasing the participation of underrepresented students and faculty in the sciences. We encourage applications from members of under-represented groups, including but not limited to women, people of color, LGBTQ+, gender-nonconforming individuals, first generation college graduates, and people with disabilities. 


About the Department:

The Department offers six B.S. degrees in Biology, Biology: STEM Education, Geology, Environmental Geology, STEM Geology, and Environmental Science, as well as an M.S. degree in Environmental Science. Our 35 faculty are actively engaged in teaching, research, student mentorship, and service. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate student majors and contribute substantially to the University’s General Education program. Facilities include recently renovated classrooms and labs that support a variety of research activities, a Natural History Museum including an herbarium, local field stations, access to high-performance computational resources through our affiliation with the UTC SIM Center of Excellence in Applied Computational Science and Engineering, and access to more than 500,000 holdings in the UTC Library and other resources through an extensive interlibrary loan system.


With the support of a full-time administrative assistant, accounts specialist, and faculty associate, the Department Head manages and leads the Department, teaches two courses per year in an area of expertise, engages in and promotes scholarship and service, and maintains internal and external collaborations and partnerships.


Additional information about the BGE Department can be found at


About the University:

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is the second-largest school in the University of Tennessee System, serving a diverse student body of more than 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students through five academic colleges. UTC offers a unique blend of private and public school traditions and is a driving force for achieving excellence, embracing diversity, inspiring positive change, and enriching the community. The UTC commitment—each and every day—is to earn the trust and confidence of those we serve. Our goal is to make a difference in our community and in the lives of our students.  


About Chattanooga:

Chattanooga is a thriving urban community surrounded by mountains, lakes, and rivers that offers both mid-size city amenities and a wide range of outdoor activities. It has been recognized as one of the Best in the U.S. by Lonely Planet and Top 45 Places To Go by the New York Times. Chattanooga is home to the Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga Zoo, Creative Discovery Museum, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, and numerous land trusts. The Cumberland Trail runs nearby, and the surrounding region includes numerous state parks and natural areas, the Cherokee National Forest, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The City is known for trendsetting, collaborative economic development opportunities in areas of conservation and sustainability. Chattanooga was also among the first US cities officially recognized by US Ignite ( as a Smart Gigabit Community.  This designation indicates a commitment by the community to leverage advanced science, mathematics, engineering, computing and networking technologies to improve city processes and quality of life for all citizens.   In addition to its own amenities, Chattanooga is within a couple of hours drive to the Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, and Knoxville metropolitan areas.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Biology, Geology, Environmental Science, or a related discipline;

  • Record of research, teaching, and service sufficient enough to be tenured in the Department of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science at the full professor rank;
  • Three years minimum of relevant administrative experience;
  • Demonstrated and sustained commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education with a focus on increasing the participation of underrepresented students and faculty in the sciences.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Administrative experience as a department head, director or similar position that includes personnel and budget management and curriculum oversight;
  • A record of success in supporting and advocating for departmental colleagues, including tenure-track faculty, non-tenure track faculty, support and administrative staff, and students.


Skills & Abilities:

  • Outstanding leadership and consensus-building skills;
  • Strong communication skills that will facilitate cooperation, collaboration, and advocacy;
  • Ability to support and integrate a large, complex, multidisciplinary department while promoting disciplinary identities and strengths;
  • Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with donors, alumni, and the professional community;
  • Ability to engage in assisting the UTC campus to reach goals as specified in UTC’s Strategic Plan.


Application Procedure:

Applicants should prepare to submit all the following information to our online application system for consideration:

  • CV, including up-to-date personal contact information;
  • Letter of interest addressing how the applicant meets the qualifications for the position;
  • Leadership statement describing the applicant’s ability to manage a large, complex department;      
  • Diversity statement detailing evidence of the applicant’s value and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Statement describing the applicant’s teaching and research areas of expertise and achievements;
  • Names, titles, and email addresses for 3-5 professional references for confidential letters of recommendation to be requested. 


Review of applications begins Friday, November 6, 2020 and will continue until position is filled. 


The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or protected veteran status.