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Director, Tidewater AREC

Apply now Job no: 514607
Work type: Teaching & Research Faculty
Senior management: Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department: Tidewater AREC
Location: Tidewater VA
Categories: Agriculture / Life Science

Job Description

The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is seeking a Director for the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center (TAREC). This is a tenure-track position at the Associate or Professor rank. The tenure home for this position will be within one of the 9 academic units with CALS, negotiated at time of hire.

The TAREC pursues a vision of excellence in discovery, development, evaluation, and dissemination of technical information critical to profitability and sustainability of field crop agriculture and commercial swine production in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.

The primary responsibility of the Director, who serves as the administrative head of the TAREC, is to provide leadership and support for regional, national and international excellence in current and future integrated research and Extension programs appropriate for TAREC’s vision and mission. Leadership activities include, but are not limited to, recruiting and facilitating the professional development of faculty, staff, and graduate students; developing and implementing short- and long-term strategic plans for the Center; managing the Center’s human, physical, and financial resources; and facilitating intra- and inter-departmental teamwork among faculty and staff and collaboration with other units. The Director is responsible for providing or coordinating mentoring and professional development opportunities as well as providing annual evaluation of TAREC faculty and staff members, in pursuance of enriching the TAREC community and promoting collaboration, programmatic, and unit excellence. The Director will build TAREC’s capacity in digital and precision agriculture in support of the VT SmartFarm Innovation NetworkTM . In addition, the Director will maintain a research/extension program in an area relevant to the mission of the TAREC at a level that fits with the leadership role priority.

The Director will maintain a liaison with CALS administration and agricultural leaders in accordance with TAREC’s mission and goals and in support and alignment with CALS strategic plan and VAES mission and vision. The Director facilitates TAREC involvement in interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research through the Virginia Tech Destination Areas and involvement of federal and state initiatives and priorities, such as the Commonwealth CyberInitiative and Vibrant Virginia, consistent with the TAREC vision and mission. The Director will collaborate with appropriate academic department heads on tenure and promotion actions for faculty positions.

The Director reports administratively to the Director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Required Qualifications

● An earned Ph.D. in an agricultural or related discipline; the tenure home for this position will be within one of the 9 academic units within CALS, as negotiated at time of hire;
● Demonstrated strong professional leadership, interpersonal, and administrative experience, including personnel and fiscal management;
● Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively (oral, written) with individuals at all levels and from diverse backgrounds within the university, industry, and public sectors;
● Strong commitment to applied research, Extension programming, and long-term sustainability of agriculture;
● Agricultural research and/or Extension program experience or equivalent industry experience;
● Demonstrated record of scholarly achievement in industry or academic research and outreach/Extension warranting appointment at the rank of a tenured associate professor or professor; applicants are not required to have attained full professor status prior to applying. Evidence includes, but is not limited to, scholarship, experience in obtaining extramural support from commodity and industry groups, governmental agencies, and/or foundations.

Preferred Qualifications

● Experience in developing and implementing strategic plans
● Capacity for advancing innovation for applied agriculture research and Extension programming
● Evidence of effective graduate student recruitment and mentoring

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with Education / Experience

Review Date

February 15, 2021

Physical and Environmental Demands & Conditional Terms

  • Working or traversing uneven terrain
  • Hand/Finger dexterity
  • The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check
  • Must have a driver's license check
  • Must have an acceptable and safe driving record
Application Instructions

Individuals wishing to apply should go online to and search for Job # 514607.

Review of applications will begin on February 15, 2021 and continue until a suitable candidate is selected.

Applications should include:

  • The completed on-line application;
  • A formal letter addressing the applicant’s interests, qualifications, management and leadership experience, and vision for the Director role of an off-campus; Agricultural Research and Extension Center;
  • A 1-2 page statement of leadership style and values;
  • A 1-2 page statement of the vision of an integrated research and Extension program for the future (by 2030) of an off-campus Agricultural Research and Extension Center;
  • A current curriculum vitae which includes a biographical sketch, service, administrative/management experience, and a complete list of research and Extension publications and grants; and
  • three (3) names and contact information of references who can assess the candidate’s qualifications for this position.

For Questions Regarding the Search

Contact Information:

Susan E. Duncan, Ph.D., R.D.

Associate Director, Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station

Professor, Food Science and Technology

Director, Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture

Virginia Tech

Contact Information:

Tony Wolf, Ph.D.

Director, Alison H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Virginia Tech

Additional Information

Tidewater AREC typically operates Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Director is responsible for insuring that livestock, crops, and facilities are cared for and maintained outside of normal work hours by appropriate scheduling of responsible staff. Some seasons require longer times in the field and some travel and coordination of programming and field days will be required. Travel to other meetings (Blacksburg (campus), other ARECs, professional meetings) is a part of this role.

The TAREC is located in a rural setting 11 miles west of Suffolk, Virginia, a city of about 91,000 and recognized as the largest city by acreage in Virginia. Suffolk is one of the seven cities stretching along the Chesapeake Bay and Southeastern Virginia coastal region, a region of 1.8 million people, and is 37 miles from Virginia Beach.

The TAREC, one of 11 ARECs in the VAES system, pursues a vision of excellence in discovery, development, evaluation, and extension of technical information critical to profitability and sustainability of field crop agriculture and commercial swine production in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond. In addition to the Director, TAREC has 6 tenure-track faculty positions and 8 hard-funded staff positions plus additional soft-funded staff. The center includes 465 acres, lab facilities and farm buildings, graduate student housing, and an office complex to support research and Extension, primarily focused on cotton, peanut, and soybean, corn, sorghum and small grains and related disciplines of entomology, plant physiology and pathology, as well as a swine reproductive physiology and management facility. TAREC faculty actively engage in the CALS Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture, in which the Virginia Tech SmartFarm Innovation NetworkTM is a principal research platform.

Through its mission of research, teaching, and extension, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences ( has been instrumental in helping agriculture and other life science industries make significant strides in improving people’s lives. Today’s College is adapting to society’s expectations and needs by focusing its resources and efforts on improving human health and nutrition, sustaining agriculture and the environment, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, and developing cures for devastating and debilitating diseases. Nearly 3,000 students are pursuing degrees in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. CALS is administered by the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Associate Dean and Director of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, the Associate Dean and Director of CALS Global Programs, and the Associate Dean of Academic Programs. The College has 9 academic units, 11 Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (ARECs) and a presence in every county in the Commonwealth through Virginia Cooperative Extension. Today, in addition to two‐year associate degrees, the college grants bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Virginia Tech also engages in cooperative work with Virginia State University in Petersburg. 

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Susan Duncan at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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