The University of Maine invites applications and nominations for the position of Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture (NSFA). The dean is the chief executive officer of the college and reports to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. Click here for more information.

We seek a dean who will provide visionary leadership to strengthen and further integrate the college’s research and academic programs, which span the health, agricultural, natural science, and environmental science fields.

Now is a particularly momentous time in the history of the university. The University of Maine System recently received a $240 million investment from the Harold Alfond Foundation, which is the most ever gifted to a public institution of higher education in New England and will transform the state’s largest educational, research, innovation and talent development asset. With leadership of the dean, NSFA, one of the most expansive and disciplinary-diverse colleges at the state’s flagship university, has the opportunity to build upon its excellence in research, learning, and service. We seek a dean who is an innovative and collaborative leader who has a record of effectively leading through meaningful change, and who values and upholds transparency. The dean will be a transformational pioneer who will demonstrate a commitment to promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion, and equity; support world-changing research; encourage innovative teaching practices; and amplify the college’s and university’s profile. The dean is charged with encouraging a culture of innovation and excellence within the college and collaborating with the other deans and center/institute directors in developing and implementing shared initiatives that support and advance the university’s overall Strategic Vision and Values, and that benefit the state of Maine and beyond. The dean will be a champion of cultivating a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable climate, and will develop and implement strategies to recruit and retain a more diverse student body and faculty. The dean will be a dynamic leader who has the ability to consider issues and perspective of multiple stakeholders and disciplines, and has a demonstrated record of working collegially and cooperatively by reaching across unit boundaries to form and advance positive and productive relationships.


About the College

The College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture aims to discover the path to healthy environments, people, businesses, and communities in the state of Maine and across the globe.  The college consists of 12 academic units. These include the schools of Biology and Ecology, Earth and Climate Sciences, Economics, Food and Agriculture, Forest Resources, Marine Sciences, Nursing, and Social Work; the departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, and Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology; and an interdisciplinary program in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. All the above offer academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The college offers 28 undergraduate, 24 master’s, and 12 Ph.D. programs. There are 2,598 undergraduates, 444 master’s students, and 194 Ph.D. students. The college has more than 180 faculty. About 100 faculty are supported by and work on projects within the Maine Agriculture and Forest Experiment Station, which is supported by a $9 million annual appropriation. The college also received $29 million in grants and contracts in Fiscal Year 2020. In addition to laboratories on the Orono campus, the college/station maintains field sites throughout the state, including Aroostook Farm in Presque Isle, Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, Blueberry Hill Farm in Jonesboro, Witter Teaching and Research Center in Orono and Old Town, the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden and the Clapp Greenhouse in Orono, the Demeritt Forest in Orono, the Penobscot Experimental Forest in Bradley, and the Darling Marine Center in Walpole. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders operates the Conley Speech, Language and Hearing Center. Research occurs throughout Maine. The university is a two-hour drive to the largest block of undeveloped forestland east of the Mississippi River. The owners of these millions of acres of private forestland are frequent research partners with the college. Since many University of Maine programs are interdisciplinary, the dean works closely with affiliated, campuswide colleges, centers and institutes, such as the Climate Change Institute, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, Aquaculture Research Institute, Lobster Institute, Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, U.S. Geological Survey Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and the Center on Aging.

Founded in 1865, the University of Maine is the state’s Land, Sea, and Space Grant institution. The University of Maine is part of the seven-member University of Maine System created in 1968. Within the system, the University of Maine is the flagship institution responsible for providing high-quality undergraduate and graduate education, basic and applied research, and outreach services to extend the University of Maine’s expertise and resources statewide and beyond.

The dean will provide overall leadership for the college and foster excellence in teaching, research, and service to the state. The dean will execute the university’s commitment to diversity, discovery, and the student experience through internal and external partnerships, including by representing the college and the university to external agencies, constituents, and legislative delegations at the local, state, and federal levels. The dean actively participates in the university’s fundraising initiatives and partners with the dean of Cooperative Extension to meet the service and educational outreach needs of Maine through Land and Sea Grant efforts. Depending on the qualifications of the successful candidate, the President may appoint the dean to also serve as director of the MAFES.

The incoming dean will hold an earned doctorate related to the disciplines represented in the college, with credentials and experience to qualify for the rank of professor with tenure in a discipline within the college. For additional information about NSFA and the dean position, including specific qualifications and application instructions, go to

Screening of candidates will begin March 5, 2021, and continue until the position is filled. All interviews are anticipated to occur remotely.

Nominations and inquiries should be addressed to Dr. Dana Humphrey, Dean of Engineering and Search Committee Chair, via [email protected]

The University of Maine is an EEO/AA employer, and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 N. Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469; 207.581.1226 (voice), TTY 711 (Maine Relay System), or [email protected] with questions or concerns.