Department head of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Job Type
Job Rank
Job Institution
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
Job Description

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville seek nominations and applications for a dynamic leader to serve as Head of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and holder of the “Twenty-First Century Leadership Chair in Engineering”. We seek a leader with a clear vision to elevate the national prominence of our department by fostering an environment in which faculty, staff, and students from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive, as well as growing the strengths and capabilities of the department, advancing the undergraduate and graduate programs, expanding interaction with the private sector, and developing interdisciplinary programs.

The Department: The UA Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department (BAEG) provides an ABET-accredited undergraduate degree to more than 74 undergraduate students. The program once again received ABET accreditation in 2021, and the next accreditation visit is in 2027. The department provides both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees to 10 graduate students with focuses on Water, Food, and Energy Systems. The faculty advise 17 graduate students in total, including students registered in interdisciplinary programs. The Department provides strong research and extension programs through the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and College of Engineering and enjoys an effective communicative and advising relationship with its alumni through the BAEG Academy. The Department’s 15 faculty provide Arkansas, the region, and the world with research and extension expertise to address problems relevant to our stakeholders, not only dealing with food and agriculture, but also in sustaining ecological prosperity for a healthy planet. Over the past four fiscal years, faculty annual research expenditures have averaged over $2.5M.

Faculty in BAEG benefit from close collaboration with the Arkansas Water Resources Center for water quality analysis, Center for Advanced Spatial Technology, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, UA Economic Development, Entrepreneurship Program, Sustainability, Brewing Certificate Program and the interdisciplinary graduate programs in Cell and Molecular Biology, Material Science and Engineering, Public Policy, and Environmental Dynamics. The programs provide a biological and systems perspective in partnership with the state-wide extension team. Faculty expertise exists in nutrient management, design, and practice for animal manure
management; sustainability engineering, commercialization of research through startup companies, web and mobile-device information delivery for advanced irrigation technology, modeling of watersheds, climate-change, and biomass resources; nano-bio-technology, air-emission quantification for control and mitigation of air-pollution, poultry-house indoor air-quality; robotics and technology for advance food processing, sustainable rice production and processing, engineering for the emerging craft brewing industry, poultry farm energy efficiency, thermal energy-conversion, and residential energy conservation and efficiency; and biosensing, robotics and artificial intelligence for agricultural and food systems.

The strategic plans for the University of Arkansas System partners supporting this position may be accessed at:

Division of Agriculture Research and Extension Programs:

College of Engineering:

Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering:

Responsibilities: The successful candidate shall provide exemplary leadership in planning, implementing, and integrating multidisciplinary, applied/basic research, extension and outreach, and teaching programs. Duties of the department head are comprehensive and include:

• administrative and fiscal leadership for departmental personnel, programs, and physical resources,
• all aspects of departmental teaching programs, including ABET accreditation, student recruitment, instruction, retention, and liaison with students present and past,
• program planning, faculty development, and pursuit of extramural funding,
• serving as the liaison between the Department and the BAEG Academy for purposes of implementing fundraising efforts, scholarships, and other Academy projects,
• coordination with other university programs, professional and governmental agencies, and industry groups,
• leading the department in resource development, in partnership with the UA System Division of Agriculture and College of Engineering, and
• maintaining an awareness of agriculture in Arkansas and the evolving research and extension priorities and needs across Arkansas in Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

The successful candidate will also effectively and transparently execute a vision for raising the visibility and reputation of this Department and its faculty nationwide. The Department Head will also serve as part of the broader administrative team of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and the College of Engineering.

Qualifications: The successful candidate must hold a PhD in Agricultural Engineering, Biological Engineering, Biosystems Engineering, or a related field, and meet the academic achievements commensurate with appointment as a full professor with tenure. The successful candidate must demonstrate successful administrative experience, have a distinguished record in research, demonstrated leadership in teaching and academic program development, and a demonstrated understanding of extension and outreach. The successful candidate must possess excellent communications skills. This is a tenured position with a twelve-month appointment.

Division of Agriculture: The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is comprised of two arms that conduct research through the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and outreach through the Cooperative Extension Service. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. The Division of Agriculture has locations in all 75 of Arkansas' counties with four research and extension centers and a fifth under construction. For more information see:

College of Engineering: The College of Engineering consists of eight departments that offer Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in ten disciplines, as well as the PhD Degree in Engineering with nine concentrations. The undergraduate enrollment in the college currently stands at over 3,100 and the graduate enrollment stands at just over 1,000. The college has 120 tenured/tenure-track full-time faculty, 32 Clinical & Research faculty, 138 staff and has externally funded annual research expenditures of approximately $34.5M. The University of Arkansas is home to intellectual leaders in a wide variety of fields and the future has never been brighter.

University of Arkansas: Located in the stunning Ozark Mountains, the University of Arkansas is the nation's seventh fastest-growing public research university and consistently ranks among the top public universities and best values in the United States. Founded in 1871 as a land grant institution, the state's first public university is classified by the Carnegie Foundation among only two percent of universities in America with the highest level of research activity. For more information about the University, see

In 2020, the University completed a capital campaign that raised nearly $1.5 billion, including a $194.7 million grant from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation that established the University of Arkansas Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research (I3R). I3R will transform the research, innovation, and economic development culture of the university, allowing the university's research engine to thrive while driving commercialization and entrepreneurship education. Funding provided by that grant will be used to establish a new $89 million research facility aimed at attracting top faculty to engage in innovative, cross-disciplinary work. The grant also includes the establishment of new faculty chairs and endowments, start-up matching funds for faculty and support staff, and more. All these advances allow the University of Arkansas to provide an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in a wide
spectrum of disciplines as we work to fulfill our public land-grant mission to serve Arkansas and beyond as a partner, resource, and catalyst.

Northwest Arkansas: Northwest Arkansas is one of the most economically stable regions in the nation and serves as the base of operations for Walmart, Tyson Foods Inc., and J.B. Hunt Transport Services. Because of their presence, many other corporations have established primary or secondary headquarters in the region. Their proximity to the university offers exceptional opportunities for research partnerships, internships, and post-graduation employment, as well as access to high-end amenities and world-class art, culture, and entertainment. For additional information about the area, see

Application Procedure: Applicants will electronically submit, as one pdf document: (a) a letter of application addressing their perspective on leadership, vision for the department, and teaching, research, and extension philosophies (5 page maximum), (b) comprehensive curriculum vita, (c) a statement of the candidate’s experiences and perspective on inclusion and diversity, and (d) names and contact information for four professional references. Applications must be submitted via Department Chairperson - 12 MONTH (

Deadline: To ensure full consideration, this file should be submitted by March 15, 2023. Applications submitted after that date will be reviewed until the position is filled.

The University of Arkansas is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants are subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and persons hired must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States.

Inquiries, nominations, or questions may be directed to:

W. Micah Hale
Co-Chair, BENG Department Head Search Committee
Professor and Department Head of Civil Engineering
21st Century Leadership Chair in Civil Engineering
Michael Looper
Co-Chair, BENG Department Head Search Committee
Department Head, Department of Animal Science