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Professor and Department Head, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Virginia Tech, College of Natural Resources and Environment
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
Commensurate with experience.
Closing date
Dec 14, 2022

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Job Type
Dean / Head, Faculty, Professor / Chair
Organization Type


The College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech invites applications and nominations of exceptional leaders for the position of Professor and Department Head, Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. This is a full-time, 12-month, tenured position.  Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2022.  Department faculty, staff, and students are nationally recognized for the quality of their scholarship across a broad array of disciplines. The department is one of four academic units in the College of Natural Resources and Environment (Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Geography, and Sustainable Biomaterials). The Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation is considered one of the premier teaching, research, and engagement programs of its kind in the country, and the College has repeatedly been distinguished as one of the leading Natural Resource Colleges in the nation.  

We seek a leader with a strong and creative vision to facilitate the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation’s goals of: 1) addressing challenges for forests and the environment under existing and emerging pressures in Virginia, and at regional, national and global scales; and 2) advancing our research, teaching, extension, and service missions within the context of the missions and strategic priorities of the department, college, and university. We aspire to have a visionary leader who will foster a diverse and inclusive environment and keep the department at the leading frontiers of forest science and environmental conservation. The Department Head provides leadership in the management and administration of the department, with oversight in areas of faculty and staff recruiting and retention, diversity, departmental self-governance, deployment of departmental human resources, curriculum development, extension, research, budgeting and reporting, facilities, gifts and endowments, alumni relations, and acquisition of external funding. The Department Head should be responsive to the needs of faculty, staff, and students, and serve as an effective advocate for the department within the College and University as well as with diverse external stakeholders. This position reports to the Dean of the College of Natural Resources and Environment, and liaises with other administrators of the college, university, state and federal agencies, and relevant stakeholders. As part of the College’s leadership team, the Department Head is expected to fully support the commitment and goals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion as set forth in the College’s strategic plan. The Department actively seeks and promotes the contributions of diverse people and perspectives in pursuing its mission, and is committed to continuous improvement to foster an inclusive environment and to expand opportunities for all. Women and/or candidates from historically underrepresented groups in the professoriate are especially encouraged to apply.  

Established in 1959, the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation’s vision is to be an inclusive and collaborative department recognized as a regional, national, and global leader in addressing critical forest and environmental resource issues through teaching, research, and outreach. The department has a tenure-track faculty of more than 30, a research faculty of 12, and an excellent and supportive staff. The department’s educational, research and outreach missions are supported by a number of off-campus research laboratories and field sites including the Fishburn Forest. On-campus, the department is housed in portions of adjacent Cheatham and Latham Halls.

The Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation is well known for encompassing diverse disciplines and promoting interdisciplinary collaborations in areas such as:

  • Economics and Policy
  • Ecosystem Science and Management
  • Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
  • Genetics and Biotechnology
  • Geospatial Analysis and Biometrics
  • Forest Ecology, Management, Operations and Business
  • Urban Forestry
  • Water Resources

The department offers the bachelor of science degrees in Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation and in Water: Resources, Policy, and Management. Within the Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation degree, students may major in environmental resource management, environmental data scienceforestry, or environmental conservation and society. The department also offers Master of Forestry, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in a diverse range of subjects reflecting the broad expertise and interest of the faculty.  

Virginia Tech is a highly collegial research-intensive Land Grant University that boasts exceptional collective strengths in environment-oriented fields. Virginia Tech has numerous strategic initiatives that connect faculty from diverse disciplines and colleges through resource allocations that foster collaboration and new synergies to solve today’s greatest socio-environmental challenges. Faculty in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation are highly engaged in these initiatives, including The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech and the Translational Plant Science Center. Likewise, numerous faculty and graduate students are affiliated with cross-campus interdisciplinary graduate education programs, to include the Geospatial and Environmental Analysis; Remote Sensing; Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational BiologyTranslational Plant Sciences; and Interfaces of Global Change Programs. Virginia Tech also has a rapidly growing presence near Washington D.C., generating exciting opportunities for engaging stakeholders in the National Capital Region.


Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech's main campus is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. The New River Valley offers the charm of a small town combined with the modern conveniences of a metropolitan area. The thriving community boasts unique restaurants and stores, symphonies, theaters, historical attractions, museums, a vibrant nightlife, and sporting events. The area has a temperate climate, with nationally recognized outdoor recreation activities. Virginia Tech is a short driving distance from a number of state and national forests including the Monongahela, Washington, and Jefferson national forests, as well as the Shenandoah and New River Gorge national parks and nearby Mountain and Claytor lakes. The Appalachian Trail and the New River are both within a 20-minute drive from campus, and the area is surrounded by numerous additional hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreational opportunities.


Required Qualifications: Candidates must have a Ph.D. in any academic discipline related to areas of programming and scholarship in the department. Candidates should possess a distinguished record of accomplishment, including demonstrated strength in teaching, research and/or extension, that meets the departmental expectations for appointment at the rank of Professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Candidates must have leadership experience, with a strong track record of working effectively with diverse people at all levels of an organization. The Department Head should have a demonstrated ability to contribute to the growth of an inclusive campus culture while building diversity among faculty, staff, and students. Prior demonstration of collegial leadership, transparent decision making, and effective management and communication skills is paramount. 

Candidates should possess a broad understanding of current and emerging trends in natural resources science and management and recognize the key contributions of both the biophysical and social sciences. 

Preferred Qualifications: In addition to the above required qualifications, it is preferred that candidates have academic administrative experience to include supporting a horizontal governance structure; a history of collaboration with colleagues on and off-campus; experience with interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship; experience reaching out to business, industry, government agencies, nonprofits, other universities, and professional associations; experience cultivating the professional development of faculty and staff; an articulated vision for enhancing external funding of the department; and demonstrated ability to be a good departmental, college, and university citizen. 

Application: Application materials should include a resume and the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of five professional references. References will not be contacted until later stages of the search and candidates will be notified in advance of contacting references. The applicant should address their interest in the position by preparing a written statement of interest (three page maximum) that addresses their qualifications relative to the position description and commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.  All materials must be submitted electronically. An official transcript must be provided as a condition of employment. Submit application materials online at, referring to posting No. 522127. Review of candidate files will begin by December 1, 2022, and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.

Nominations and Inquiries: 

Dr. William A. Hopkins 

Professor, Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation 

Director, The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech

Associate Executive Director, The Fralin Life Sciences Institute

College of Natural Resources and Environment

Virginia Tech, 100 Cheatham Hall (0321) 

Blacksburg, VA 24061 

Phone: 540-231-7292 or email

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the executive director for Equity and Access at 540-231-2010 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061.


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