Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences

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Application deadline: January 6, 2020

Senior Consultant: Ann Die Hasselmo

Consultant: Chris Butler

Associate Consultant: Melissa Anderson Parker

Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences

The Department of Geological Sciences (DGS) at The University of Alabama seeks an individual with an outstanding record of proven leadership, teaching, research, and service to be hired at the rank of Full Professor with tenure for the position of Department Chair. The successful candidate must be internationally recognized within their field, have an active research program that includes external funding, and be able to promote the research goals and stature of the faculty and the DGS in consonance with those of a tier-one research institution. The candidate should be able to forge a dynamic vision for the DGS by working with the faculty and to communicate that vision to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Provost of the University.

The DGS seeks a Chair who can build upon a strong foundation to increase the quality of B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. programs and who can advance the DGS’s research productivity and profile. The applicant should possess proven leadership abilities and have an enthusiasm for the University’s teaching and research missions. The candidate must hold a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences or a closely related field and have expertise that complements that of existing faculty. The following will also be considered during the committee’s evaluation: previous administrative experience; ability to vigorously advocate on behalf of faculty, staff, and students; innovative recruiting approaches to attract diverse undergraduate and graduate students; leadership excellence, particularly in promoting collegiality in implementing change; innovative curriculum development and program advancement abilities; budget oversight and facilities management experience; ability to bring innovative ideas to enhance teaching quality and external research funds; experience with program assessment; capability for inspirational mentoring of colleagues and students; and a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, consistent with the University’s vision and mission.

The 22 DGS faculty members conduct a wide range of research that spans the geosciences, and they collaborate with institutions such as the Alabama Water Institute, the National Water Center, the Center for Sedimentary Basin Studies, and the Geological Survey of Alabama. The faculty are also establishing new energy industry consortia.

The DGS is distinguished by a number of points of pride, including:

  • A collegial group of dynamic and productive faculty
  • The DGS’s percentage of female faculty is among the highest in the nation within geology
  • The faculty consist mostly of tenure-track or recently tenured faculty in comparison to peer geology departments of similar size
  • The core group of junior faculty have expanded the research scope of the DGS
  • Strongly supportive alumni with a generous donation record, which has led to a high level of alumni endowment, including two endowed professorships
  • Strong support (financial, expertise, and career) from the Geological Sciences Advisory Board (GSAB) – a group of alumni and other departmental supporters that includes well-established and well-recognized business men and women and leaders in the field, entrepreneurs in the field, industry colleagues, governmental and policy leaders, consultants, and energy leaders
  • Recently acquired R1 status for the University of Alabama
  • Faculty and graduate student publication rates that have more than doubled in the past 5 years
  • Faculty who have won many awards in recent years, including 2 NSF CAREER awards, a PECASE winner, an NAS Kavli Fellow, and 4 GSA Fellows
  • Additional high-profile collaborations beyond those listed above, include with the Alabama Transportation Institute; the Alabama Life Research Institute; the Alabama Cyber Institute; the DGS Energy Consortium; and the Alabama Oil and Gas Board

The DGS also contains or has access to extensive research facilities, which include cutting edge analytical facilities, instrumentation, and equipment. These facilities and equipment include:

  • The Alabama Stable Isotopes Laboratory; the Alabama Analytical Geochemical Laboratory; the Radiogenic Isotopic Laboratory; the Organic Geochemistry Laboratory; the Contaminant Transport Laboratory; the Cosmochemistry Laboratory; and the Alabama Central Analytical Facility
  • Truck-mounted Geoprobe and coring device
  • Vibracore
  • GPR
  • Electrical Resistivity System
  • CHIRP Profiler
  • Sparker
  • Magnetometer
  • Gravimeter

Further details regarding existing DGS research programs, equipment, and facilities can be found at

Applications, nominations, and expressions of interest can be submitted in confidence to: Applications should consist of a cover letter that describes the candidate’s current and future research and their predictions and/or assessment for the future of the geological sciences field. Additionally, the candidate should provide a curriculum vitae and the names and contact information for at least five referees. No referees will be contacted without the explicit permission of the candidate. Review of applications will begin January 6, 2020, and will continue until the position is filled.

Confidential discussions about this opportunity may be arranged by contacting Ann Die Hasselmo at or Chris Butler at, consultants with Academic Search, Inc., Washington, D.C.

The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status, and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants to and employees of this institution are protected under Federal law from discrimination on several bases.