Head, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: West Lafayette, INDIANA
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Job Summary

Purdue University seeks a highly accomplished scholar and visionary leader as Head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. The head provides transparent leadership to uphold the tradition of excellence in teaching, research, extension/outreach, and service in accordance with the land-grant mission. The head actively fosters academic growth and professional development, recruitment, and retention of diverse and talented faculty, students, and staff to enhance the programs of the department. The head is charged with developing and sustaining premier research programs and preparing students to become high-performing professionals in the local and global workplace.

The Department

The department is in an exciting time of research and innovation, recently recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as the #1 undergraduate program for the eighth consecutive year and the #1 graduate program for 11 of the past 12 years. A substantial department building renovation and addition (165,000 square feet) is underway with completion in late 2020. The department consists of 37 faculty (plus 9 adjunct faculty), 14 professional and 5 administrative staff, 100 graduate students, and 15-20 postdoctoral associates. The department also maintains an active visiting scholar program, hosting numerous scholars each semester. The undergraduate programs include students in Agricultural Engineering (machine systems; environmental and natural resources), Biological Engineering (cellular and biomolecular; food and biological process; pharmaceutical; bioenvironmental), and Agricultural Systems Management. Currently, there are 312 sophomore-senior students in the ABET-accredited engineering programs and 117 in the Agricultural Systems Management program. Graduate degree programs at both the master and doctoral levels are offered. The current annual departmental budget is $17.3 million, of which 40 percent is generated from external funds.

The Colleges

The Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering is part of the Colleges of Agriculture and Engineering. The College of Agriculture is deeply committed to the land-grant mission, to international activities and perspectives that span all missions, and to excellence in all we do. It is one of the world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences and ranked sixth in the US in the 2019 QS World University Rankings. The college has 11 academic departments and includes 313 faculty, 2803 undergraduate students, and 672 graduate students. The College of Engineering is ranked eighth by U.S. News and World Report for undergraduate programs and seventh for graduate programs. The college has 13 academic units and includes 452 faculty, more than 8918 undergraduate students, and nearly 3550 graduate students.  The colleges’ strategic plans may be accessed at https://ag.purdue.edu/plan/ and https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/AboutUs/MeetDean/Pinnacle/


Successful candidates will possess an earned doctoral degree in agricultural and biological engineering or a closely related area, and present a distinguished record of scholarship appropriate for a tenured full professorship. They must have demonstrated leadership excellence and have a working knowledge of state and national funding environments. Candidates must demonstrate effective communication skills and the ability to work successfully within the framework of a large university, as well as with external groups. Candidates should be able to lead creative collaborations between interfacing research areas. They should have a strong commitment to diversity, excellence in teaching, basic and applied research, and outreach and extension. Candidates must be able to articulate and advocate the vision and goals of the department.


The head’s primary role is to provide vision and leadership in the department, promoting an environment optimal for the pursuit of excellence in learning, engagement, and discovery. The head actively represents the department to a variety of stakeholders inside and outside the university. The head also provides leadership for the recruitment and promotion of faculty, staff, and students; budget development; and allocation of fiscal and physical resources within the department. The head provides leadership in fundraising and builds capacity for obtaining extramural support. The head reports to the Deans of Agriculture and Engineering and works closely with heads and administrators in both colleges.

Application Procedure

Applications will be reviewed beginning September 5, 2019 and will be accepted until a suitable candidate is chosen. Qualified persons are requested to submit a letter of application to include the applicant’s vision for future needs for research, teaching and engagement in agricultural and biological engineering in the next 10-15 years, administrative philosophy, experience and qualifications; a complete curriculum vitae; and the names and contact information for five references. Initial nominations and inquiries will be kept confidential; references will be contacted only upon approval by the applicant. The Colleges of Agriculture and Engineering are committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including discovery, instruction, and engagement. Candidates should address at least one of these areas in their cover letter, indicating their experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion. Purdue is an ADVANCE institution–https://www.purdue.edu/advance-purdue/


Nominations of outstanding potential candidates for the position are welcome. Applications, nominations and inquiries should be addressed to: Dr. Stephen Cameron, Chair, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department Head Search Committee, Purdue University. Electronic application submission is required via this site – https://careers.purdue.edu/go/West-Lafayette-Faculty/7721600/ . Address questions regarding the position to Stephen Cameron at (765) 494-4554 (cameros@purdue.edu ).  A background check is required for employment in this position.


Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

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