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The University of Georgia
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Posted: 11/02/2022
Dean of the Odum School of Ecology

Dean of the Odum School of Ecology

The University of Georgia (UGA), the flagship public, land-grant and sea-grant university of the state of Georgia, seeks an experienced and energetic leader to serve as the Dean of the Odum School of Ecology. The Dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of the School, reporting to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. The University seeks candidates who are innovative and accomplished leaders in their field, forward-thinking professionals who have a strong commitment to academic excellence and are dedicated to furthering an accessible and inclusive campus environment. The Dean will provide visionary leadership as well as principled administrative guidance and advocacy for the tripartite mission of the School in teaching, research, and public service/outreach.

Founded in 1785 as the first public university in the country, the University of Georgia is one of the leading public research universities in the nation and the world.  In Fall 2021, UGA enrolled 40,118 students, employed more than 3,000 faculty, and had an annual budget of nearly $2 billion. Interest in UGA degrees continues to rise with undergraduate applications for admission reaching nearly 40,000 and more than 6,200 new first-year students enrolling in Fall 2022.

UGA’s faculty excel in fundamental and applied research, innovation and technology transfer; and deliver outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and professional education; and support communities in Georgia and around the globe through public service and engagement. Total annual research expenditures at the University have increased 41% since fiscal year 2013, and research expenditures now stand at $495 million for fiscal year 2020. UGA’s main campus is in Athens, GA, 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, with extended campuses located in Atlanta, Griffin, Gwinnett, and Tifton as well as residential campuses in Washington, DC, Cortona, Italy, and Oxford, England. The University has numerous regional, national, and international partnerships for research, education, and service, and an extensive and dedicated network of more than 330,000 living alumni across the globe.

UGA maintains outstanding academic programs in the arts and humanities, agricultural and environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences, health and life sciences, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, engineering, journalism and communication, public and international affairs, education, and professional programs that include business, law, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. Its research and academic strengths are matched by an enduring commitment to technology transfer, as evidenced by UGA’s national leadership in intellectual property creation and licensing revenue. Recently, major investments in research have led UGA to international leadership in areas such as infectious diseases, data science and artificial intelligence, vaccine development, glycoscience, precision agriculture, human trafficking, resilience and environment, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and many others.

The University of Georgia has goals to advance its national and international standing in research and scholarship by leveraging the excellence of all its faculty and the comprehensive nature of its public, land- and sea-grant missions. For further information about the University of Georgia, please visit: www.uga.edu.

The Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia is the world’s first standalone college devoted to ecology. Founder and namesake Eugene P. Odum, widely referred to as “the father of modern ecology,” was internationally recognized as a pioneer of ecosystem ecology. He wrote the first textbook in the field, Fundamentals of Ecology, which was published in 1953. It has been translated into 12 languages and is now in its fifth edition. In 1970 he became the first UGA faculty member to be elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. With his brother Howard, he received the Crafoord Prize in biosciences–one of the top prizes in sciences–in 1987.

Originally established as the Institute of Ecology in 1967, it was granted status as a college within the university and became the Odum School of Ecology on July 1, 2007.The Odum School uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide an unparalleled experience to its undergraduate and graduate students. To be prepared for careers in ecology, students are provided a solid foundation in the fundamental sciences of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and data analysis. The Odum School offers doctoral, master’s, and certificate programs that provide students with an interdisciplinary course of study, allowing them to develop a broad background in ecology and related disciplines.

The Odum School is small, with approximately 150 undergraduates, 80 graduate students and over 30 faculty, allowing for a level of interaction with faculty, graduate students, and peers that is truly unique. Annual research expenditures at the Odum School topped $4 million in the most recent year, with a diversity of funding sources including NSF, NIH, USDA, USGS, NOAA as well as the Departments of Defense, Interior and Commerce. Research at the School is highly interdisciplinary, as evidenced by numerous faculty with joint appointments with other units on campus, including the College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Infectious Diseases, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Department of Genetics, the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. In 2016, The Odum School formed the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases, which has coordinated research efforts especially focused on emerging infectious diseases of humans, livestock and wildlife. Public service and outreach is a vital component of the Odum School, with initiatives serving the people of Georgia & beyond, including the River Basin Center and student-led initiatives like EcoReach and STEMzone. Additionally, Odum School students have spearheaded sustainability efforts on campus, including leading a campaign to adopt a student “green” fee that led to the creation of UGA’s Office of Sustainability.

Additional information about the Odum School of Ecology is available at https://www.ecology.uga.edu/.


  • Providing energetic and visionary leadership as well as principled administrative guidance and advocacy with faculty, staff, students, University of Georgia administrators, and alumni to promote the tripartite land-grant mission of the School in teaching, research, and public service/outreach.
  • Working in close collaboration with the associate deans and directors to lead the instruction, research, public service as well as the institutional advancement of the School.
  • Communicating the mission and importance of the programs of the School to external audiences so as to enhance, acquire and sustain private and public financial and non-financial support.
  • Interacting positively with constituent groups in business and industry, federal and state agencies, volunteer and professional organizations, and foundations whose goals are consistent with the mission of the School.
  • Representing the School to the University administration, collaborating with other schools and colleges at UGA, and providing leadership in guiding, engaging and building partnerships, including on campus-wide initiatives.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in a field appropriate to the School of Ecology
  • A demonstrated record of excellence in teaching, research and service, and be eligible for appointment as full professor with tenure at time of appointment. To be eligible for tenure on appointment, candidates must have been tenured at a prior institution and bring a demonstrable national reputation to UGA. Please see the School Guidelines for Appointment, Promotion and Tenure for more information including the requirements for the rank of Professor.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and/or Competencies:

  • Strong executive leadership with good budgetary skills.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative and collegial manner with the faculty, staff, and students while demonstrating a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Ability to be a successful fundraiser, working with foundations and individual donors as well as encouraging externally supported scholarship.
  • A clear understanding and commitment to the mission of a land-grant university.
  • The highest degree of personal integrity and an ability to gain the confidence of the faculty and staff, both internal and external to the School, through effective communications and transparent decision making.

Applications: Applicant screening will begin immediately. Candidates are encouraged to submit their materials by Thursday, January 5, 2023; however, screening will continue until the position is filled. The application packet should include a cover letter detailing how the applicant’s credentials and experience meet the needs, responsibilities, and qualifications stated above; a current resume; and contact information for three references (who will not be contacted without further correspondence with the applicant).

All applicants must apply online at https://www.ugajobsearch.com. Please see the job posting at: https://www.ugajobsearch.com/postings/288288

To request a descriptive Opportunity Profile for this position, provide a nomination, or seek additional information, please contact Anjanette Russell, Primary Consultant with the UGA Search Group, 770-596-7596 or adsmith@uga.edu. Letters of recommendation or a simple nomination should include the name and contact information for the nominee.

The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, genetic information, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status. As such, the University of Georgia is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community. to consider applying for this position, but we also maintain that all candidates should share our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Persons needing accommodations or assistance with the accessibility of materials related to this search are encouraged to contact University HR (HRWeb@uga.edu). Please do not contact the department or search committee with such requests.