Department Head - Geosciences

The Department of Geosciences, within the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University, invites applications from a diverse pool of candidates for the position of Department Head and Professor of Geosciences, qualified for appointment with tenure. The position requires a dynamic, innovative, and visionary leader and is open to any area of research interest within geosciences. A PhD in a relevant field is required and previous experience in academic or professional leadership is desirable. The appointment begins on or after July 1, 2024.

The Department pursues fundamental, cutting-edge, and strategic research in areas that have great societal impact and educates students for careers that advance the forefront of knowledge in the geosciences. The department's focus areas include the development and management of natural resources, assessment of natural hazards, investigation of processes that govern and modify the Earth's interior, surface, climate, and other environments, including their response to natural and anthropogenic forces, and investigation of the habitability of Earth and other planetary bodies. The department achieves its mission by attracting and retaining a diverse, world-class faculty and student body, by providing a stimulating and collegial educational and research experience for undergraduate and graduate students, and by educating a broader population to make informed decisions about key environmental and resource issues.

The department head fosters an environment for creating and executing the department's strategic vision, reports to the dean, and represents the department to senior leadership across the university. Furthermore, the head is responsible for ensuring the fiscal health of the department, including securing the necessary resources to bring its strategic plan to life. To succeed, the head must be a collaborative and inspiring leader, an excellent communicator, and a promoter of excellence and cohesion throughout the department. They must have leadership skills and an entrepreneurial spirit to expand the reach of the department across emerging research and educational landscapes through collaboration with other programs, departments, and institutes throughout the university, with university administration, and with external stakeholders. The head must be committed to high-quality undergraduate and graduate education, both in residence and online, mentoring students, postdocs, faculty, and staff, and championing the department's diverse set of teaching, research, and outreach programs. The head must also have credibility within the geosciences demonstrated by a proven track record of teaching and research excellence.

The successful candidate will demonstrate a sincere commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, as evidenced by prior successful, high-impact initiatives. We understand that our shared future is guided by basic principles of fairness, mutual respect, and commitment to each other. We are committed to nurturing a learning and working environment that respects differences in culture, age, gender, race, ethnicity, physical ability, gender identity, and religious affiliation. Applicants should share this commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence to create a welcoming and supporting environment in the classroom, department, and university. We strive to meet the needs of professional families by actively assisting with partner-placement needs.

Application Instructions:

To apply, applicants should upload the following materials through the PSU jobs website: 1) a cover letter demonstrating their administrative experience and detailing their vision for how they would lead the department and contribute to its teaching, service, and research programs; 2) a complete curriculum vitae; 3) a statement describing plans for fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment within the department and the professional community; and 4) the names and contact information of four referees. Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. Questions about the position should be directed to Dr. William Brune, Chair of the Search Committee, at

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

posted: 03 October 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.