The University of Wisconsin-Madison welcomes applications and nominations for the position of director of its Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. This position is an opportunity for an integrative and creative leader to build upon the momentum of a growing and thriving interdisciplinary institute with deep roots extending back to Aldo Leopold and John Muir. The Nelson Institute has world-class strengths in studying climate change, sustainability, energy, environmental history, land use, water, biodiversity, and many other key issues of the 21st century.
The institute is a unique hybrid that has its own tenured faculty and degree-granting programs while simultaneously synergizing the intellectual and institutional resources of one of the greatest gatherings of environmental scientists, scholars, and professionals in the world. Its successes are firmly grounded in collaborations that honor the values and objectives of the communities with which it works. The university is seeking a leader who can cultivate and inspire a diverse community of colleagues, students, and partners to strengthen relationships that advance the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a world leader in addressing environmental challenges.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a major land-grant university committed to excellence in teaching, research and public service with revenues of $2.4 billion, a student body of approximately 42,000 and faculty/ staff of 20,000.
The director of the Nelson Institute has the rank of a dean, reports to the chancellor and the provost, serves on the Dean’s Council, and provides general leadership for environmental initiatives across the campus. The director promotes faculty, staff, and student collaborations and programs in interdisciplinary environmental scholarship, instruction, and community engagement.
The Nelson Institute has an annual operating budget of $3.2 million, endowments totaling $9.3 million, and averages $4.5 million in external research awards per year. It is home to 18 budgeted and 140 affiliated faculty members from more than 40 natural and social science, engineering, and humanities departments across the campus. Besides offering more than 100 courses in partnership with the university’s schools and colleges, the Nelson Institute administers three graduate degree programs (in Environment and Resources, Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, and Water Resources Management), five graduate-level certificate programs (in Air Resources Management; Culture, History, and Environment; Energy Analysis and Policy; Humans and the Global Environment; and Transportation Management and Policy) and the largest undergraduate certificate program (in environmental studies) at the UW-Madison. The university recently approved a new undergraduate major in environmental studies, and implementing that major will be a significant initiative for the new director. Total enrollment in the graduate programs is approximately 200 students; enrollment in the undergraduate program averages approximately 400. The Nelson Institute includes four interdisciplinary research centers — the Center for Climatic Research, the Center for Culture, History, and Environment, the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, and the Land Tenure Center — and has a strong commitment to fostering community partnerships in education, research, and service at the local to international levels.
Candidates will be evaluated on the following professional and personal characteristics: commitment to the institute’s mission and to maintaining and extending the scholarly values, academic breadth, and diverse missions of a public research university through interdisciplinary scholarship, teaching, and service; a record of successful leadership in higher education, business, or non-profit organizations; proven ability to build coalitions with diverse stakeholders; extensive experience and a strong track record in development and fundraising; commitment to shared governance with faculty, staff and students; and ability to work with external constituencies including state and federal government, business, non-profit agencies, community organizations, and alumni. Candidates must be qualified for tenure at the level of full professor at UW-Madison. In keeping with the university’s goals and objectives, candidates will also be evaluated on their demonstrated commitment to the diversity of students, faculty and staff, to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and non-discriminatory practices, and to advancing an inclusive climate that stimulates diversity. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has one of the strongest traditions of shared governance in the United States, and a successful director must be able to work effectively in this context.
Electronic applications and nominations must be received by 15 October 2011 to ensure consideration. Later applications and nominations may also be considered. The committee strongly encourages applications and nominations of women and persons of underrepresented groups. At a minimum, a nomination should include full contact information for the nominee, including an email address. An application should include a current resume or curriculum vita and a comprehensive cover letter that addresses how the candidate’s strengths and experience match the qualifications for the position, and what the candidate sees as challenges and opportunities of the position, as well as the names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of five references. Candidates will be informed before references are contacted. Please note that in accordance with Wisconsin statutes the names of nominees and applicants who explicitly request confidentiality will not be made public. However, the university is required to release the names and titles of the finalists who will be interviewed by the chancellor. Applications and nominations should be submitted electronically to the Nelson Institute Director Search and Screen Committee at:Nelson-Institute-Search@secfac.wisc.edu. Questions may be directed to the search committee office at608-262-1677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.