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University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
Website URL:
Posted: 10/19/2022
Mid-Florida REC - Center Director and Professor

Mid-Florida REC - Center Director and Professor

For full consideration, apply at Careers at UF by 2 January 2023

Requisition #

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment of inclusive excellence that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. Inclusive excellence is the active process of including and respecting everyone as we strive for excellence and equitable outcomes in all we do at the University of Florida. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

We are seeking an innovative unit leader with broad programmatic vision and enthusiasm for leadership. The Center Director is the administrative head of the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) and provides leadership and support for the center’s multi-disciplinary research, teaching, and Extension programs. MREC programs seek to improve the viability of regional agricultural economies, protect and enhance natural resources, support sound urban and rural landscape practices, and encourage positive interests at the urban-agricultural interface. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The Center Director plays an active leadership role with the faculty to develop modern, and innovative research, teaching, and extension programs at the center addressing the present and future needs of the surrounding agricultural, natural resource, and urban communities. The Center Director reports administratively to the Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and programmatically to the Deans for Academic Programs, Research, and Extension. The Center Director cooperates with UF/IFAS Deans, Department Chairs, other UF/IFAS Research and Education Center Directors, District Extension Directors, County Extension faculty, and other UF units in program development. This position strengthens and maintains strong ties and goodwill with diverse audiences, such as agricultural commodity and support organizations, regulatory agencies, environmental groups, local and statewide governmental agencies, members of urban and rural clientele groups, and consumers.

The Center Director practices sound management of MREC resources, including transparent budgetary and personnel management, regularly communicates with local faculty, and develops short- and long-term goals involving programs, equipment, physical plant, and personnel. The Center Director is instrumental in obtaining financial support, including gifts and endowments for research, teaching, and Extension programs at MREC. The Center Director uses appropriate communication and management skills to promote teamwork among faculty and staff, delegates responsibility and makes timely decisions. The Center Director plays the lead role in recruiting and hiring faculty members. The Center Director is also responsible for evaluation of MREC faculty programs, and initiation of tenure and promotion actions in consultation with appropriate department chairs. 

OTHER INFORMATION:  MREC, located in Apopka, Florida, is 15 miles northwest of the Orlando metropolitan area and 30 miles from the Orlando International Airport. MREC is 95 miles from the main UF campus at Gainesville. This close proximity allows easy participation in UF/IFAS administrative meetings and other main campus activities. MREC is central to large concentrations of Florida’s diversified ornamental plant nurseries, landscape industries, and indoor and foliage plant production facilities. In addition, there are nearby fruit and vegetable production operations and many small, diversified farms. Center personnel include 12 faculty and more than 50 supporting staff, including part-time and grant-funded personnel and students. Currently, the interdisciplinary MREC faculty has members specializing in agricultural economics, entomology, landscape ornamentals and indoor foliage plants, landscape ecology, molecular biology, plant breeding, plant pathology, and edible and medicinal plant production.  More information on the MREC, UF/IFAS, and the region can be found at .

Minimum requirements:

An earned Ph.D. (foreign equivalent acceptable) in a field related to agriculture or natural resources with experience in conducting multi-disciplinary research, Extension and/or teaching programs with academic credentials equivalent to the full professor is required. The candidate should have demonstrated strong professional leadership, communication, interpersonal, and administrative skills. Candidates should also have experience in obtaining competitive extramural support for programs as well as support from commodity and industry groups. The candidate must demonstrate strong commitment to research,  teaching, and extension.