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Plant Science – Ethnic Studies Affinity, Assistant Professor

Apply now Job no: 533325
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: Pomona
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time, Faculty - Agriculture, On-site (work in-person at business location)

Tenure Track Faculty Position
Department of Plant Science
Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona invites applications from teacher-scholars for a tenure track, assistant professor faculty position in the Department of Plant Science.

Cal Poly Pomona is one of three polytechnic universities in the 23-campus California State University system and among 12 such institutions nationwide. Since its founding in 1938, Cal Poly Pomona students participate in an integrative experiential learning education that is inclusive, relevant, and values diverse perspectives and experiences. With a variety of degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, engineering, and professional disciplines, the university is well known for its learn- by-doing approach and Teacher Scholar Model.

The university is noted for its scenic and historic 1,400-acre campus, which was once the winter ranch of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg. We acknowledge that Cal Poly Pomona resides on the territorial and homelands of the Tongva and Tataavium people who are the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar. The university’s nearly 30,000 students are taught and mentored by the campus’s more than 1,400 faculty as part of 54 baccalaureate and 29 master’s degree programs, 11 credential and certificate programs, and a doctorate in educational leadership.

Highly regarded among its peer institutions, Cal Poly Pomona is No. 2 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of top public regional universities in the west and was named the No. 28 best value college in the nation by Money Magazine. Cal Poly Pomona, a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, stands as a national leader in promoting social mobility, and was placed among the 25 top institutions in the country in awarding bachelor’s degrees to minoritized students by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

The Cal Poly Pomona campus is located less than 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It is within an hour’s drive of beaches, mountains, and deserts. For additional information about the university, please visit, and for more about faculty life, please see YourLife@CPP.

Student Population. California residents comprise the majority (96%) of applicants to undergraduate programs at Cal Poly Pomona, and 41% of new students were transfers in Fall 2022. 57% of Cal Poly Pomona students are first generation, 70% receive financial aid, and 44% qualify as Pell-eligible. The university enrolls a diverse student body that identifies as 53% Latinx, 22% Asian, 14% White, 3% Black, 2% International, 4% two or more races, 3% unknown and less than 1% Native Hawaiian or Native Pacific Islander and less than 1% Native American Indigenous. Thirty-nine percent of the student body were STEM majors with the top enrolled programs including psychology, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, biology and computer science.

Inclusive Excellence and Student Success. We aspire to be the model inclusive polytechnic university in the nation. We have a strong commitment to inclusive excellence and to educational experiences that leverage the diverse perspectives and experiences needed to succeed and thrive in a diverse society.

*As a part of the application for faculty positions, all candidates must submit a Student Success Statement that demonstrates their commitment and record of contributions to diversity and equity through their teaching, scholarship, or service by speaking to at least two of the inclusive excellence criteria below.

Candidates should explain how they have engaged in the criteria below in their pedagogy, scholarship, and/or service, as well as the level to which these efforts have been consistently incorporated into their work.

Inclusive Excellence Criteria:

1. Incorporates the contributions and struggles of historic ethnic minority groups or other disadvantaged communities into their teaching, scholarly work, and/or service contributions;
2. Adopts teaching strategies that support the learning and success of students from diverse student populations;
3. Mentors and engages diverse student populations in discovery, scholarship, and creative activities;
4. Engages students in problem-based projects and learning that address the needs of diverse communities;
5. Possesses knowledge of challenges and barriers for underrepresented students and faculty within the discipline and uses it to inform their work in specific ways;
6. Mentors and assists diverse student populations interested in pursuing graduate education;
7. Engages in community-responsive action research or service with diverse student populations and communities;
8. Has experience in or demonstrates a commitment to adopting experiential learning activities and pedagogy with diverse student populations and communities; and
9. Has expertise in or demonstrated commitment to teaching, scholarship and/or service that contributes to access, diversity, and equal opportunity in higher education.

College of Agriculture: The Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture offers a variety of applied science programs in Agricultural Science, Animal Health Science, Animal Science, Food Science & Technology, Nutrition Science and Dietetics, and Plant Science, as well as management and technology programs in Agribusiness & Food Industry Management and Apparel Merchandising & Management. We are the legacy College of Cal Poly Pomona and a foundational aspect of the university’s identity and heritage. Located in Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the nation with over 10 million people, and close to the second largest U.S. city (Los Angeles), we are committed to the development and support of urban agriculture and of sustainable food, agriculture, and related systems in California. Our educational programs prepare our students for exciting careers in the food, agriculture, nutritional health, animal health, and apparel sectors as well as opportunities in federal and state agencies. We are the primary provider of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in these disciplines in Southern California. Our orchards, greenhouses, vineyards, 150-acre urban farm with organic certified acreage, animal units and laboratories, veterinary clinic, food science laboratories, experimental kitchens, and digital apparel design, production, and retail laboratories, provide hands on experiences for our students under Cal Poly Pomona’s “learn by doing” philosophy. Our students engage with the campus and local community, gaining practical experiences working with faculty and staff in our AGRIscapes Center, the Discovery Farm, and the Farm Store, and with the extended community through industry internships, volunteer activities, and other interactions. Our faculty are engaged teacher-scholars with a strong commitment to student success, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Department of Plant Science: The Plant Science Department is a close-knit, experiential learning focused community where students get to know their professors well. We provide a unique integrative approach to Plant Science-related undergraduate and graduate programs that recognizes the strong disciplinary interdependencies of professional orientation and culture, basic societal needs, lifestyles, and social and environmental responsibility. We emphasize high-impact teaching practices to develop an inclusive and highly skilled workforce of Cal Poly Pomona graduates in sustainable production agriculture; urban and controlled environment agriculture; and plant science across the green industries from water resources and irrigation design, arboriculture, and sports turf management, to public horticulture and natural resources conservation.

Our expanding faculty offers a Bachelor of Science to over 210 undergraduate students in the Plant Science Major, with the opportunity for all Cal Poly Pomona students to minor in Urban and Community Agriculture, Horticulture, Water Resources and Irrigation Design, Soil Science, Pest and Disease Management, and Agronomy. We also offer a Master of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Plant Science enrolling 4-6 students each fall semester who are matched with a faculty thesis advisor.

The department is home to AGRIscapes Center (20 acres) with over 46,000 square feet of greenhouse space supporting research and student activities in nursery production, hydroponics, aquaponics, specialty crops, and controlled environment agriculture. Department facilities and resources include Spadra Educational Farm, located one-half mile from campus with 150 acres of farmland, including a 10-acre block used for certified organic vegetable production, a citrus grove, areas for field agriculture, vegetable production, and field and forage crops. Additional cropping is interspersed across 325 acres on campus, including three vineyards, an heirloom citrus block, a coffee varietal trial, avocados, numerous subtropical and rare fruit horticultural plantings, and our faculty-mentored, student-run Microfarm.

Position description: The person appointed to this position will teach in one or more areas of PLANT SCIENCE that integrate one or more of the four foundational ethnic studies disciplines: African American, Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x, Indigenous People/s, and Asian American and Pacific Islander studies. Alternatively, the successful candidate will teach in an area of ETHNIC STUDIES that aligns with one or more Plant Science subdisciplines (please see below).

We welcome applications from individuals at various stages of their academic careers, such as advanced ABD candidates, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty on both tenure and non-tenure tracks, teaching faculty, scholars in contingent roles, those in research and teaching positions outside of traditional academia, as well as independent scholars, to submit their applications. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. by the start of employment.

The new faculty member will have demonstrated potential for excellence in interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching that integrates Plant Science & Ethnic Studies, and mentor undergraduates and master’s students on research and community engagement service-learning projects. Teaching responsibilities will include general plant science courses with existing curriculum, and new undergraduate and graduate courses in the candidate’s area of expertise. The new faculty member will be expected to assist in curriculum development, serve on department, college, and university committees, and engage in professional development activities. The teaching assignment is 3 courses fall semester/3 courses spring semester in the first two years and 4/4 in the years following, with course-reduction opportunities for research, service, and teaching initiatives. 

The faculty member will have teaching and scholarly expertise that emphasize approaches to Plant Science with a specialized knowledge in one or more of the historically racialized groups that originally established Ethnic Studies: Indigenous People/s, African American, Latinx American, and/or Asian American communities. Areas of application related to Plant Science could include (in alphabetical order) agroecology, agronomy, apiculture, crop ecology, environmental science, environmental toxicology, ethnobiology, ethnobotany, native plant ecology, urban/community agriculture, or a related field. Fields of expertise may include interdisciplinary training relevant to environmental justice, food justice, sustainable agriculture, and/or traditional ecological knowledge.

The new faculty member will be part of Cal Poly Pomona’s Faculty Cluster Hire (Ethnic Studies Affinity Group) to advance Ethnic Studies and an Inclusive Curriculum from different disciplinary and methodological vantage points. Faculty hired as part of this cluster will join an emerging and vibrant community of practice and can engage with the new and permanent Office of Interdisciplinary Ethnic Studies Teaching & Scholarship. This is a space for collaboration across disciplines, mentorship, and professional development programming. The faculty member will be a part of the community advancing the new California State University Ethnic Studies requirement. The new Ethnic Studies requirement is a 3-unit General Education and graduation requirement that encompasses one or more of the four historically racialized groups, named above. The successful candidate will have the training, expertise, and experience to support our efforts to diversify the curriculum and promote interdisciplinary studies.

We encourage applications from candidates with a sincere commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Minimum requirements include:

a. Ph.D. in a plant science discipline or related field with academic training in ethnic studies; or Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies or related field, with academic training in plant science-related field. Degree must be conferred by the start date of the position.

b. Demonstrated commitment to inclusivity and equity. Evidence should be provided in a Student Success Statement that responds to the prompt above - “Inclusive Excellence and Student Success”.

Preferred/Desired Qualifications: 

University teaching experience.

Potential for excellence in interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching that integrates Plant Science& Ethnic Studies.

Academic training and interest in developing Ethnic Studies and Plant Science Studies interdisciplinary courses.

Evidence of conducting scholarly research activities with undergraduate and graduate students.

Potential for securing external funding.

Conditions of Employment:

The person offered this position is required to pass a background check.

Application Process: 

A completed application will consist of:

o Cover letter in which you describe your interest in the position, relevant experience, and how you meet the minimum and preferred qualifications;
o A Student Success Statement (up to 2 pages, single-spaced) that responds to the prompt above - “Inclusive Excellence and Student Success” and addresses at least two of the inclusive excellence criteria listed (please indicate the criteria numbers in your Statement).
o Curriculum vitae;
o Teacher-Scholar Philosophy Statement (maximum 2 pages), including how you apply, or envision applying, a Learn-By-Doing philosophy and the Teacher-Scholar Model that integrates Plant Science & Ethnic Studies and engages undergraduate and graduate students;
o The names and contact information for at least three individuals that can serve as references;
o Unofficial transcripts (undergraduate and graduate), official transcripts will be required of finalists);

Finalists for the position will:

o be required to provide official transcripts for highest degree before the on-campus interview;
o be required to provide three letters of reference dated within the last two years;
o Final candidates being interviewed are expected to make a presentation of their scholarly work and a teaching demonstration to faculty and interact with students.

The position is open until filled. First consideration will be given to completed applications received no later than February 4, 2024. 

Please direct inquiries to: Dr. Eileen Cullen,

Salary Range for 9-month, Academic Year appointment: $80,000-$81,500

Applications accepted only via PageUp—online application portal—for University hires.

Equal Opportunity Employer
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The university seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the people of California, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing. Cal Poly Pomona subscribes to all state and federal regulations and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity/gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, genetic information, medical condition, and covered veteran status. The university hires only individuals lawfully authorized to work in the United States. As required by the Clery Disclosure Act, the university prepares a public annual security report.

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