The Department of Horticulture at Auburn University is seeking candidates for the position of Fresh Produce Food Safety Specialist – Assistant Professor. This is a 12-month, tenure-track position (75% Extension and 25% research). The successful candidate will develop an Extension/research program focused on food safety of fresh produce (from producer to consumer) for fruit and vegetable growers and processors in Alabama. The objective of the programming is to 1) provide research-based knowledge relevant to the production, processing and marketing of fruit and vegetable products; 2) promote best practices and innovations that will ensure safe-to-eat, high quality products for existing and new high value markets ; 3) provide professional development training to ACES Regional Extension Agents; and 4) provide leadership to the development, delivery and evaluation of impactful Extension programs. Extension/research programs will address in-field and indoor/protected cultivation methods that could utilize conventional, sustainable, or organic growing systems. The successful candidate will lead fresh produce food safety work in collaboration with the Food Safety and Quality, Commercial Horticulture and Farm and Agribusiness Program Planning Teams in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Further, they will work with members of the Food Safety, Quality and Integrated Health interdisciplinary team of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Through competitive grant funding support, the successful candidate will mentor and advise both undergraduate and graduate students through research projects/internships or graduate school projects, respectively. The expected start date is August 16, 2020.
Specific responsibilities include the following:
Use workshops, county/state/regional presentations, mass media and online delivery techniques to teach food safety principles and best practices to fresh produce growers
Serve as food safety point-person to the fresh produce industry in Alabama.
Develop externally funded programs for both research and Extension programs that lead to high-quality peer-reviewed scholarship in scientific journals and appropriate Extension scholarly products
Train both undergraduate students and graduate students to be future leaders in the produce industry; produce food safety experts, scientists or Extension professionals
Provide leadership to the scientific profession through state and national professional society activities
Qualifications include an earned Ph.D. in Horticulture or related plant/food science discipline from an accredited institution at the time employment begins. Postdoctoral academic, Extension, and/or industry experience related to fresh produce food safety highly desirable. The candidate should be able to advise both undergraduate students conducting short-term projects and supervise MS/Doctoral graduate students. Evidence of peer-reviewed scholarship in respected scientific journals; competitive grant acquisition and successful administration thereof is necessary. Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills are essential. It is highly desirable that the candidate have professional Extension experience or experience working with producers and industry leaders. The successful candidate must meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States at the time the appointment begins and must be able to work legally in the United States for the proposed term of employment.
Cover letter that addresses the experience pertinent to the position’s responsibilities
Current resume or curriculum vitae
Extension philosophy statement and vision for the position (1-2 pages)
Research statement and vision for the position (1-2 pages)
NOTE: Unofficial transcripts may be requested from short-listed candidates and official academic transcripts for all degrees will be required for the successful applicant.
When prompted during the on-line process, please provide names, email addresses, and phone numbers for four (4) professional references. References will be contacted for short-listed candidates. Only completed application materials will be considered. Review of applications will begin on May 1, 2020, and the acceptance of applications will be ongoing until the position is filled. Please contact the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Joe Kemble (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions and details on the status of the search.
The Department: The Department Horticulture has 16 full-time faculty, 4 extension specialists, and about 160 undergraduate and 15 graduate students. It offers Horticulture undergraduate degrees in four specializations (fruit and vegetable production, nursery and greenhouse science, landscape horticulture and pre-landscape architecture), an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science, M.S. and M.Ag. degrees in Horticulture, a graduate Certificate in Public Horticulture and a Ph.D. in Horticulture. More information about the department can be found at http://hort.auburn.edu/ . More information about the Alabama Cooperative Extension System can be found at http://aces.edu
The University: Auburn University (http://www.auburn.edu/) is a land grant university with a Carnegie R1 (very high research activity) designation. In 2019, it was ranked 52nd among public universities by U.S. News and World Report. Auburn maintains high levels of research activity and high standards for outreach and teaching excellence. Auburn’s 1,450 faculty members are organized into twelve academic colleges and schools, offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, Educational Specialist, and Doctoral degrees in agriculture and engineering, the professions, and the arts and sciences, for a total of over 200 academic programs. Its 2018 enrollment of 30,440 students includes 24,628 undergraduates and 5,812 graduate and professional students. The University is nationally recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, its positive work environment, and its student engagement. Auburn University is understanding of and sensitive to the family needs of faculty, including dual-career couples. For more information about Auburn University and faculty jobs, visit the following link: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/facultyjobs/
The Community: Auburn residents enjoy a thriving community and Auburn is recognized as one of the “best small towns in America.” In addition to a moderate climate, there is easy access to major cities or to beach and mountain recreational facilities. Situated along the rapidly developing I-85 corridor between Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama, the combined Auburn-Opelika-Columbus statistical area has a population of over 500,000, with excellent public-school systems and regional medical centers. See https://www.auburnalabama.org/ for more information about the community.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY IS AN EEO/VET/DISABILITY EMPLOYER
About Auburn University
Auburn University is one of the nation’s premier public land-grant institutions. In 2019, it was ranked 52nd among public universities by U.S. News and World Report. Auburn maintains high levels of research activity and high standards for teaching excellence, offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, Educational Specialist, and Doctor’s degrees in agriculture and engineering, the professions, and the arts and sciences. Its 2018 enrollment of 30,440 students includes 24,628 undergraduates and 5,812 graduate and professional students. Organized into twelve academic colleges and schools, Auburn’s 1,450 faculty members offer more than 200 educational programs. The University is nationally recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, its positive work environment, its student engagement, and its beautiful campus.
Auburn residents enjoy a thriving community, recognized as one of the “best small towns in America,” with moderate climate and easy access to major cities or to beach and mountain recreational facilities. Situated along the rapidly developing I-85 corridor between Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama, the combined Auburn-Opelika-Columbus statistical area has a population... of over 500,000, with excellent public school systems and regional medical centers.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY IS AN EEO/VET/DISABILITY EMPLOYER