Assistant Professor in Horticulture

Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

United States

Assistant Professor-Tenure System

Apply now Job no: 791894
Work type: Faculty/Academic Staff
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Agriculture And Nat Resources
Department: Horticulture Anr 10002410
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Agriculture, Education/Training, Tenure System Faculty, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union

Position Summary

The Department of Horticulture ( in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU) invites applications for a full‐time, 12-month tenure-track Assistant Professor with a 40% outreach, 40% teaching, and 20% applied research assignment.  The preferred start date is January 2023, but the position will remain open until filled.

The successful candidate will oversee all operations of the 4-H Children’s Garden (i.e., the Pete & Sally Smith Schoolyard Demonstration Garden, and the Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden), and the Curiosity and Garden Gateway Classrooms -- including educational programming with pre-K through 12 teachers/classes, as well as well as working with 4-H youth and leaders. Annually these well-established programs reach 14,000 participants/visitors and are highly respected and sought after by teachers and students. This position is part of the MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute (CYI), and the Curator is a member of the Science Team, contributes to Exploration Days, and serves on other CYI committees as appropriate.  For example, the incumbent will develop outreach and extension collaborations within the MSU Floriculture/Nursery/Landscape faculty and statewide Extension Educator teams in MSU Extension’s CYI for disseminating information to formal educators (Michigan Science Teachers Association), community groups and national organizations (e.g., American Horticultural Association, National Science Teachers Association, American Public Gardens Association).

Instructional responsibilities include 8 to 10 credits preferably to include Landscape Design and Management Specifications (HRT 311) and Landscape Contract Management (HRT 411) but expertise and interest in teaching Introductory Horticulture (HRT 203, 3 credits), Landscape Plant ID I and II (HRT 211 and 212), and Horticulture Business Management (HRT 404) and Horticulture Marketing (HRT 407) could fulfill instructional responsibilities. There is also the opportunity to teach a graduate course/seminar within their area of expertise (such as outreach/extension pedagogy, gardens for healing and wellness, etc.).  In addition, the candidate will help supervise undergraduate internships.

Areas of scholarship include, but are not limited to: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) learning through plants, field trip design and pedagogy, technology integration with hands-on learning, NSF broader impacts, gardens as tools for health and wellness, garden design and function, environmental education, and place-based education with the 4H Children’s Garden as a primary location for applied learning and scholarship. Opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations exist with faculty in allied programs such as the MSU Museum, Abrams Planetarium, Kellogg Biological Station, Tollgate Farm and Education Center, and MSU’s Dept. of Plant Biology, School of Planning and Design, and the College of Education.  Additional expectations include timely publishing in peer-reviewed and extension journals; mentoring graduate and undergraduate students; and participation in leadership activities in regional, national, and international professional associations.

The successful candidate is expected to generate extramural funding to further support and expand the outreach/extension activities and programming in the 4H Gardens, from federal and state agencies (e.g., NSF, USDA, NEEF, Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education, etc.). Similarly, the Curator is expected to expand garden funding in conjunction with the Michigan 4-H Foundation and the CANR Development offices, and to maintain and grow connections with existing and new garden donors.

MSU is a global leader in basic and applied plant science research, teaching, and outreach, with over 150 faculty members engaged in programs ranging from sustainable agriculture and ecology to breeding, genomics and biochemistry. State-of-the-art gardens, laboratories, and controlled environment- and field-based facilities are available for extension programming and applied research. The 4-H Children’s Garden is a key part of the Horticulture Demonstration Gardens. In addition to these gardens, the MSU main campus houses the William J. Beal Botanical Garden and the campus is managed as an arboretum. Hidden Lake Gardens is another MSU garden located in the nearby city of Tipton.  Plant science faculty, staff, and students represent an inclusive, diverse community committed to the advancement of science and the recruitment and retention of persons from richly varied backgrounds and perspectives to maintain and enhance the excellence of the University.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree

Doctorate -Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, or related disciplines.

Minimum Requirements

  • Candidates must hold a doctoral/Ph.D. degree in Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, or related disciplines.
  • Proven track record of accomplishment within their field of expertise
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Knowledge, skills, and passion for teaching
  • Ability to work collaboratively, both as a team member and a leader
  • Ability to work with children and the general public

Desired Qualifications

  • Knowledge and experience of the landscape industry and public gardens and arboreta
  • Connections to multiple horticultural industry segments, such as landscape, nursery, floriculture, gardening, etc.
  • Experience/track-record in attracting extramural support.

Required Application Materials

  • Letter of application that summarizes your qualifications and accomplishments
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Separate statements of teaching and outreach/applied research philosophy that highlights your experience and alignment with the position description and qaulifications
  • A description of how you will contribute to our diversity, equity and inclusion goals
  • Contact information for three professional references 

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Special Instructions

The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA. Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the top research universities in the world and home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs. MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, and scientists that provide regional, national, and international leadership in basic and applied research and excellence in teaching. In addition, consistent with its Land Grant origins, the MSU community pursues international engagement and provides strong extension programs that partner with diverse stakeholders to provide much needed research in the areas of food, energy, water and the environment. MSU enjoys a park‐like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of >500,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found at

Review of Applications Begins On



Department Statement

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion. Candidates are invited to view Horticulture’s community norms and other DEI information at (

MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Advertised: Jul 6, 2022 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Jul 6, 2024 Eastern Daylight Time

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