Human Resources

Department Chair, Biological Sciences

Apply now Job No: 23109
Department: Biological Sciences
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Sciences, Academic Administrator, Biology

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University invites applications for the position of chair. We seek an established and proven scholar, mentor, and leader committed to stewarding the continued growth of our department. Successful applicants will promote collaborative and innovative research, commit to enriching undergraduate and graduate student education, invest in mentoring the advancement of faculty, staff, and students, and foster professional and community partnerships. We seek an applicant who demonstrates high achievement in teaching, research, service, and management, the guidance of the professional development of their mentees, the development and/or evaluation of curricula, and a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.

Michigan Tech attracts world-class faculty and staff who enrich the educational experience of smart, motivated, and adventurous students. Applicants who are committed to promoting a sense of belonging and contributing to an equitable and inclusive learning environment for all are strongly encouraged to apply (

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

● Provide leadership in achieving excellence in research, teaching, and service
● Guide advancement of strategic plans of the Department, the College of Sciences and Arts, and the University
● Support and encourage effective communication among diverse stakeholders, including students, faculty, and staff
● Promote efforts to continuously increase externally funded research
● Actively engage in fundraising activities and alumni outreach
● Supervise department faculty and staff, provide mentorship of faculty and staff towards achieving all levels of career advancement, conduct performance reviews of tenured and teaching faculty, and make recommendations on reappointment, tenure, and promotion cases.

Education and Research Program Focus:
● Increase student enrollment through strategic marketing and outreach efforts
● Provide guidance on student career development
● Enhance the research environment, collaborations, and visibility
● Oversee the review and assessment of academic programs within the Department of Biological Sciences
● Develop infrastructure, including guiding department renovations

● Manage a diverse teaching and learning community
● Participate in mentoring, including a focus on professional development opportunities for students, faculty, and staff
● Foster shared governance and transparency in departmental operations
● Foster a culture of safety in compliance with regulations through actions, communications, and training
● Manage the Department’s financial responsibilities and strategies to achieve short- and long-term departmental goals

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

Ph.D. in Biological Sciences or closely related discipline

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

● Experience sufficient for the rank of full professor at Michigan Tech
● Demonstrable experience in:
  o Teaching
  o Mentoring students
  o Organizational management
  o Obtaining, managing, and leading externally funded research projects
  o Leadership in internal and external academic service capacities

Desirable Education and/or Experience

● Experience leading and implementing departmental or other strategic planning initiatives
● Active research that overlaps with one of the existing departmental areas of research focus, including Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Human Health
● National or international service experience

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

● Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff
● Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

● Academic teaching experience at multiple levels and using multiple pedagogical methods.
● Obtaining funding for collaborative research projects
● Demonstrated success in, or potential future contributions to, working with persons from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of belonging, and fostering a fair, objective, welcoming place to work for persons with a wide variety of personal characteristics and viewpoints.

Language, Mathematics and/or Reasoning Skills


Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

The work environment is that of a typical office and/or classroom setting. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training


Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

The successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring eligibility for employment in the United States on or before the effective date of the appointment.  This is not an E-Verified Position.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

11 months



Pay Rate/Salary


Title of Position Supervisor

College Dean

Posting Type

Internal & External

Dependent on Funding


Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)

Review of applications will begin on October 30, 2023.

Applicants should include the following documents (1) a cover letter stating the candidate's interest in the position and outlining the candidate's qualifications in relation to the required and desired qualifications, including a focus on past leadership experiences and a vision for the leadership of an academic department. We also strongly encourage applicants to share how they will contribute to the Vision and Mission of Michigan Tech; (2) curriculum vitae that includes the applicant’s record of teaching, publications, grants, advising, and administrative and leadership experience; and (3) a list of three reference providers.

Additional Information

The Department of Biological Sciences serves as the focal point for multidisciplinary bioscience research at Michigan Tech. Our faculty research strengths include collaborative program s in the fields of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and Human Health. Our department features 7 undergraduate majors, including Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Human Biology, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Computational Biology and Nursing. The department is also developing an undergraduate major in Human Biology with a Nursing focus. We offer an accelerated MS, MS, and PhD program in Biological Sciences and an MS focus in Medical Laboratory Management. We have a diverse faculty dedicated to excellence in teaching and transdisciplinary research, and we are excited to welcome a new leader to guide us in our continued growth. For more information on the Biological Sciences department, please visit

Michigan Technological University, one of the four major research universities in the State of Michigan, is located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula adjacent to Lake Superior. The community offers a small-town environment with outstanding four-season recreational opportunities. Michigan Tech is located in Houghton, MI on the south shore of Lake Superior.

Michigan Tech is proud to be an ADVANCE Institution that has thrice received National Science Foundation support to increase diversity, inclusion, and the participation and advancement of women and underrepresented individuals in STEM. (see

Michigan Tech recognizes the importance of supporting faculty members’ partners; candidates selected for on-campus interviews will be invited to bring a guest. Additional details on our Partner Engagement Program can be found at

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

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