Posting Close Date/Time
Friday, February 26th, 2021 at 11:59 pm
Desired Start Date
Thursday, July 1st, 2021
Full/Part Time
Full time
Number of Openings

The Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia is seeking applications for the position of Head of the Department of Botany.  The Department is committed to excellence in research and education, and plays a key role in a range of interdisciplinary and graduate programs, including the interdisciplinary Biodiversity Research Centre and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. The Department takes pride in its innovation and commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching and learning. Further information about the department can be found at https://botany.ubc.ca/

We seek a dynamic individual with an excellent international research profile, a strong commitment to educational programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level, a compelling research vision for the future of the Department of Botany at UBC, and demonstrated leadership abilities, including management, organizational, financial, communication, and consensus-building skills.  The successful candidate will be responsible for the overall academic and non-academic leadership of the Department, will lead the implementation of strategic priorities for the Department and will be a strong advocate for the Department within the University and in the national and international arenas.

The position is for a five-year term and will be available beginning July 1, 2021.  The successful candidate must hold a tenured professorial position at the University of British Columbia, with strong preference being given to a faculty member currently at the rank of Professor.  The University of British Columbia hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity.  All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. We especially welcome applications from members of visible minority groups, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities.

Nominations are strongly encouraged and should be sent to scidean@science.ubc.ca

The deadline for applications is February 26, 2021; applications will be processed as soon as they are received.  Applications, consisting of a cover letter, curriculum vitae, publication list and the names and addresses (including e-mail addresses when possible) of at least two references, should be sent to:

Dr. Meigan Aronson
Dean, Faculty of Science
University of British Columbia
2178-2207 Main Mall 
Vancouver, B. C.
Canada  V6T 1Z4
E-mail: scidean@science.ubc.ca (preferred)


Recruitment of the Next Head of Botany


Strong Academic Record: A strong track record of excellent scholarship or educational leadership, as well as a demonstrated commitment to teaching excellence in botany and biology.

Administrative Experience: Strong potential to facilitate the career advancement of faculty members, including promotion and tenure at UBC. Skill at managing financial resources and human resources. Effective at delegation and the development of a strong leadership team.

Strategic leadership: Ability to develop and lead the implementation of a strategic plan for the Department of Botany in order to build on its international reputation for research and teaching excellence. Able to engage and inspire a diverse range of people to support and contribute to the vision.

Collaborative Leadership: Able to provide effective, enthusiastic and transparent leadership for the department. A proven track record of being a consensus builder who raises morale and advances the missions of the department.

Commitment to Research Excellence: High academic standards with a commitment to advancing excellence in research through budgetary decisions, recruitment, retention, promotion and tenure.

Commitment to Excellence and Innovation in Education: Has a demonstrated track record and commitment to advancing and improving science education, including through innovations in teaching and learning.

Breadth of Academic Interests: Interested and committed to the breadth of research and teaching programs within the department. A passionate advocate for Science education and research.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Demonstrates a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion as a key element in attaining excellence in scholarship, teaching, faculty and staff recruitment, and community engagement.

Strong interpersonal skills: Builds trust through an open, respectful and collegial approach. A collaborator who is able to work in a highly interactive and productive manner with faculty, staff and students across UBC and the broader research community in the support of department goals.

Communication Skills: Has strong communication skills – able to listen actively and communicate effectively to individuals and groups. Is consultative with respect to energizing the department. Inspires others to put forward their best effort and ideas. Resolves issues in a consultative, sensitive and fair manner.

External Relationships and Fundraising: Will represent the department and play an active leadership role in fundraising.

1Adapted from the profile for the search for the Dean of Science (Boyden)

Important priorities for the Head2

  1. Represent the department to the Faculty of Science and the rest of UBC.
  2. Assemble a departmental self-study document, lead an external review and develop a strategic plan, including faculty hiring plans.
  3. Support and promote educational initiatives, promote best practices in teaching and learning, work with department members to obtain funding for educational initiatives.
  4. Support the development and sustainability of core research facilities and infrastructure. Support and promote research initiatives and collaboration.
  5. Position the department to compete for prestigious research Chairs (e.g. CERCs, President’s Excellence Chairs, CRCs) that could be used to recruit leading researchers.
  6. Manage the department’s interactions with the various research units.
  7. Promote faculty, staff and student well-being and value their contributions. Promote and maintain a respectful workplace environment. Create a positive, supportive, equitable environment in the department. Build consensus and collegiality. Promote departmental cohesion
  8. Assign teaching in collaboration with the Associate Head of Biology and the Zoology Department Head. Assign service and committee responsibilities in an equitable and transparent manner. Allocate merit and other forms of financial compensation for faculty and staff according to UBC policies, and in a transparent manner

Other essential Department activities that are organized and overseen by the Head2

  1. Oversee departmental finances together with the Administrative Director.
  2. Mentor new faculty members, lead promotion and tenure processes.
  3. Work with the Associate Head of Biology, Associate Head of Graduate Affairs, and Head’s Advisory Group to enhance our undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as postdoctoral training.
  4. Oversee departmental staff, encourage their career development and initiative.
  5. Manage and provide advice on human resource issues, personal and interpersonal issues, conflicts of interest or commitment. Work with Faculty Relations, the Faculty Association, UILO, the UBC Legal Counsel, and others to oversee positive outcomes.
  6. Engage alumni and the greater community, support outreach activities.
  7. Participate in fundraising activities.
  8. Provide required oversight on grant applications, ethics certificates, and grant expenditures via signing authority.

2Adapted from the M&I Head Search