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Academic Unit Head (Department Head), Department of Biology

James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Closing date
Dec 19, 2022

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Biogeosciences, Education
Job Type
Dean / Head
Organization Type

Academic Unit Head (Department Head), Department of Biology

James Madison University invites applications for the position of Academic Unit Head (Department Head) for the Department of Biology, to begin July 1, 2023.

The Department of Biology at JMU resides within the College of Science and Mathematics, which also includes the departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Geology & Environmental Science, and Physics & Astronomy. The Department currently serves over 1000 undergraduate Biology and Biotechnology majors and 15 to 20 Masters’ students. The 53 full-time faculty and 6 staff members are engaged in teaching and research in a broad range of sub-disciplines. We offer a wide variety of courses for biology majors, general education, and health-related undergraduate majors and minors, including a 4-semester, lab-intensive core curriculum. Our department provides outstanding educational experiences across the sub-disciplines of biology, with an innovative core curriculum including large scale CUREs which has visibility as a national model. Faculty commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in our active HHMI Inclusive Excellence funded initiative to catalyze further advances in faculty development and student support. We house the Center for Genome and Metagenome Studies (CGEMS) that provides resources to support leading-edge research and training in the methods and principles of genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, and bioinformatics for students at all levels and faculty. The department features state-of-the-art instrumentation including a new gross anatomy dissection laboratory, state-of-the-art undergraduate anatomy laboratory, a vivarium, advanced microscope facility, an herbarium, and greenhouses. We take an active role in interdisciplinary programs on campus including current disciplinary based education research as well as environmental data science cohort hires, Biotechnology and data analytics programs, study abroad programs, and funded collaborations with colleagues within and outside the College of Science and Mathematics.

Duties and responsibilities:

Our biology department seeks a unit head with a strong understanding of both the national trends in biology education and the future of the biology field. The unit head will lead the department as we pursue our vision to be a national model of excellence in biology through the integration of innovative, learner-centered teaching and scholarship.

Competitive candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • PhD in Biology or a closely-related field
  • eligible for the rank of Full Professor
  • a vision for integrating biological research and education for diverse populations of students
  • a history of productive scholarly research program that includes mentoring undergraduates
  • excellent leadership, management, and communication skills
  • experience fostering collaborative working relationships
  • commitment to building and maintaining inclusive environments for students, faculty, and staff

Preferred experiences include:

  • mentoring graduate students
  • managing budgets, grants, and fixed assets
  • advocating for faculty/staff and securing resources
  • mentoring and evaluating faculty
  • developing programs and curricula
  • developing collaborative relationships within and across disciplines
  • leading large organizations or groups
  • understanding of federal and state agencies that award grants

To learn more and to apply, go to and reference posting F2002 or go to Review of applications will begin on November 4, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. Salary is commensurate with experience. For questions regarding the position, please contact the search committee at

James Madison University is committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status We promote access, inclusion and diversity for all students, faculty, staff, constituents and programs, believing that these qualities are foundational components of an outstanding education in keeping with our mission. The university is interested in candidates whose experience and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to this core quality Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991.

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