Dean, College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture – University of Maine

The University of Maine invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture (NSFA). The dean is the chief executive officer of the college and reports to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

We seek a dean who will provide visionary leadership to strengthen and further integrate the college’s research and academic programs, which span the health, agricultural, natural science, and environmental science fields.

Now is a particularly momentous time in the history of the university. The University of Maine System recently received a $240 million investment from the Harold Alfond Foundation, which is the most ever gifted to a public institution of higher education in New England and will transform the state’s largest educational, research, innovation and talent development asset. With leadership of the dean, NSFA, one of the most expansive and disciplinary-diverse colleges at the state’s flagship university, has the opportunity to build upon its excellence in research, learning, and service. We seek a dean who is an innovative and collaborative leader who has a record of effectively leading through meaningful change, and who values and upholds transparency. The dean will be a transformational pioneer who will demonstrate a commitment to promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion, and equity; support world-changing research; encourage innovative teaching practices; and amplify the college’s and university’s profile. The dean is charged with encouraging a culture of innovation and excellence within the college and collaborating with the other deans and center/institute directors in developing and implementing shared initiatives that support and advance the university’s overall Strategic Vision and Values, and that benefit the state of Maine and beyond. The dean will be a champion of cultivating a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable climate, and will develop and implement strategies to recruit and retain a more diverse student body and faculty. The dean will be a dynamic leader who has the ability to consider issues and perspective of multiple stakeholders and disciplines, and has a demonstrated record of working collegially and cooperatively by reaching across unit boundaries to form and advance positive and productive relationships.

About the College

The College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture aims to discover the path to healthy environments, people, businesses, and communities in the state of Maine and across the globe.  The college consists of 12 academic units. These include the schools of Biology and Ecology, Earth and Climate Sciences, Economics, Food and Agriculture, Forest Resources, Marine Sciences, Nursing, and Social Work; the departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, and Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology; and an interdisciplinary program in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. All the above offer academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The college offers 28 undergraduate, 24 master’s, and 12 Ph.D. programs. There are 2,598 undergraduates, 444 master’s students, and 194 Ph.D. students. The college has more than 180 faculty. About 100 faculty are supported by and work on projects within the Maine Agriculture and Forest Experiment Station, which is supported by a $9 million annual appropriation. The college also received $29 million in grants and contracts in Fiscal Year 2020. In addition to laboratories on the Orono campus, the college/station maintains field sites throughout the state, including Aroostook Farm in Presque Isle, Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro, Witter Teaching and Research Center in Orono and Old Town, the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden and the Clapp Greenhouse in Orono, the Demeritt Forest in Orono, the Penobscot Experimental Forest in Bradley, and the Darling Marine Center in Walpole. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders operates the Conley Speech, Language and Hearing Center. Research occurs throughout Maine. The university is a two-hour drive to the largest block of undeveloped forestland east of the Mississippi River. The owners of these millions of acres of private forestland are frequent research partners with the college. Since many University of Maine programs are interdisciplinary, the dean works closely with affiliated, campuswide colleges, centers and institutes, such as the Climate Change Institute, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, Aquaculture Research Institute, Lobster Institute, Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, U.S. Geological Survey Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the Center on Aging.    

The dean will provide overall leadership for the college and foster excellence in teaching, research, and service to the state. The dean will execute the university’s commitment to diversity, discovery, and the student experience through internal and external partnerships, including by representing the college and the university to external agencies, constituents, and legislative delegations at the local, state, and federal levels. The dean actively participates in the university’s fundraising initiatives and partners with the dean of Cooperative Extension to meet the service and educational outreach needs of Maine through Land and Sea Grant efforts. Depending on the qualifications of the successful candidate, the President may appoint the dean to also serve as director of the MAFES.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership and vision for a multifaceted college to bridge gaps between disciplines, and promote interdisciplinary collaboration, experiential learning, and problem-solving that impact Maine and beyond.
  • Promote and support NSFA teaching, research, and public service missions.
  • Overall management of fiscal, human, and facility resources of NSFA and MAFES.
  • Lead the college’s fund-raising operations.
  • Work collaboratively with other college deans and the university’s senior leadership to advance UMaine’s strategic initiatives, including Strategic Vision and Values and Define Tomorrow .
  • In conjunction with the associate deans, work successfully with external advisory groups, such as the University of Maine Board of Agriculture, Cooperative Forest Research Unit Advisory Committee, and others.
  • Represent the university to external constituencies.

Successful applicants must have the following credentials:

  • A doctorate related to the disciplines represented in the college, with credentials and experience to qualify for the rank of professor with tenure in a discipline within the college.
  • The ability to work effectively with a range of constituencies, including from academic, business, health care, biomedical, agricultural, environmental science, natural resource, and tourism fields.
  • Experience with inter- and transdisciplinary research and programming.
  • A record of effective administrative leadership, including personnel and budget management.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in the acquisition of public and private resources to develop and expand strong programs.
  • Experience with federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Agriculture (particularly National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and United States Forest Service), United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  • Personal integrity.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Demonstrated accomplishments in teaching, research, professional and public service.
  • Knowledge of the missions and applications of a Land Grant/Sea Grant institution and State Agricultural and/or Forest Experiment Station.
  • Documented ability to work effectively with both state and federal Congressional delegations.
  • Experience in marketing academic programs and recruiting students.

Founded in 1865, the University of Maine is the state’s Land, Sea, and Space Grant institution. The University of Maine is part of the seven-member University of Maine System created in 1968. Within the system, the University of Maine is the flagship institution responsible for providing high-quality undergraduate and graduate education, basic and applied research, and outreach services to extend the University of Maine’s expertise and resources statewide and beyond.

The University of Maine is located in beautiful central Maine. Our faculty report that a primary reason for staying at UMaine is quality of life. Numerous cultural activities, excellent public schools in neighborhoods where children can walk to school, high-quality medical care, little traffic, and a reasonable cost of living make the greater Bangor/Orono area a wonderful place to live. The University of Maine is just 60 miles from the Bar Harbor area and Acadia National Park and 2 hours from Portland, offering access to a wealth of outdoor activities and a thriving restaurant and music scene. As a former NSF ADVANCE institution, UMaine is committed to diversity in our workforce and to dual-career couples.

For more information, please refer to:

Nominations and inquiries should be addressed to Dr. Dana Humphrey, Dean of Engineering and Search Committee Chair, via To apply, submit a letter explaining your background, experience, and qualifications for the position; a current curriculum vitae; and names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers of at least three professional references. All application materials must be submitted via HireTouch (, “Apply for Position.” You will need to create a profile and application. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Review of applications will begin Jan. 30, 2021, and continue until a qualified candidate is chosen.

All UMS employees are required to comply with applicable policies and procedures, as well as to complete applicable workplace related screenings, and required employee trainings, such as Information Security, Safety Training, Workplace Violence, and Sexual Harassment. The finalist for this position must successfully complete appropriate background checks. The University of Maine is an EEO/AA Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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