The dean is expected to promote excellence in all facets of the Agricultural Research Division. 

Culture, Climate, and Inclusive Excellence

  • Ensuring opportunities are open to all and efforts are made to engage diverse audiences, especially those that are traditionally underrepresented.
  • Fostering an inclusive culture in which all contributions to the team are appreciated and recognized, collaboration and innovation are encouraged, and the abilities of all are engaged to fully realize the potential of the team, and the success of each person.

Strategic Visioning

  • Leading the development and implementation of a robust shared vision for ARD and a strategic plan that is highly aligned with IANR’s vision and mission.
  • Ensuring ARD/IANR’s continued leadership in advancing UNL’s N2025 goals related to research, creative activity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
  • Working with and mentoring department heads and school directors, center directors, and others to ensure that each has a strategic framework that advances ARD’s goals.
  • Overseeing the implementation and advancement of the statewide Research, Extension, and Education Center (REEC) strategic plan.
  • Leading IANR’s strategic partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center.
  • Communicating with transparency and clarity all aspects of ARD initiatives, operations, and challenges and opportunities with administrators, faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders. 

Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

  • Establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with international partners to advance IANR’s research, discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurial mission.
  • Leading the development of data-driven mutually beneficial affinity partnerships with industry and corporate partners to increase research funding, connect talent and workforce development pipelines, and advance research, discovery, and innovation programming in IANR.
  • Initiating and developing major trans-institutional partnerships to advance IANR’s research and discovery mission.
  • Supporting IANR’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and activities among IANR faculty and staff to increase development of licensed innovative practices, products, and intellectual property, the creation of faculty/staff/student led start-ups, and proactive engagement with entities critical to the success of these activities.

Resource, Personnel Management, and Advancement Activities

  • Aligning and managing personnel, financial, and physical facilities across Nebraska responsibly and strategically to maximize the effectiveness of those resources, exhibiting fiscal discipline and transparency, and using best management practices.
  • Overseeing the research centers reporting to IANR/ARD, including IANR’s three REEC’s and their associated locations across Greater Nebraska, including supervision of the directors of these centers.
  • Supervising Nebraska’s Foundation Seed Division (i.e. Husker Genetics)
  • Overseeing the success of IANR staff assigned to USMARC.
  • Co-creating the development and implementation of a multi-year federal and state engagement plan to garner resources that advance IANR’s strategic research goals and that position UNL as a co-thought-leader with federal and state agencies, Congress, and the Nebraska Unicameral.
  • Working with IANR’s expanded leadership team in donor engagement, fundraising, and stewardship to advance ARD’s research, discovery, and innovation goals.
  • Ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations and requirements related to IANR’s research activities.


  • Demonstrating a commitment to excellence wherever it lies on the discovery to practice continuum. This includes initiative-taking, collaboration with the deans of Nebraska Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), the College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS), and other leaders across IANR.
  • Working with IANR’s expanded leadership team to promote and support collaborations and team building across colleges, divisions, academic units, centers, and REEC’s.
  • Fostering collaboration and team science among IANR’s scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, and Extension professionals.
  • Serving as IANR’s strategic lead to the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED), the research leads for the University of Nebraska’s other campuses, and UNL’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), CEHS, and the College of Engineering.
  • Partnering with the VC IANR, VC ORED and deans and associate deans for research in CAS, CEHS, and College of Engineering (COE) to strategically advance centers for which there is shared responsibility, such as the Center for Plant Science Innovation, the Nebraska Center for Virology, and Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases, and the Nebraska Center for Integrated Biomolecular Communication.
  • Developing and fostering relationships for expanded research initiatives with commodity boards, corporate partners and external stakeholders that have a clear and unique tie back to Nebraska farmers and ranchers that also enhance the land-grant mission. 

Nurturing Success of Faculty, Postdocs, Staff, Students and Other Leaders

  • Serving as success coach and mentor for department heads and school directors, center and REEC directors, faculty with research appointments (both tenure-track and research professors), postdoctoral fellows, and research staff.
  • Determining markers of excellence related to research productively and impact for faculty evaluation (e.g., annual, promotion, tenure) consistent with the inclusive culture of IANR.
  • Supporting graduate student success and transformative experiential learning through the activation of CASNR’s Graduate Framework and in collaboration with the deans of CASNR and CEHS.
  • Supporting the success of postdoctoral fellows and research professors through collaboration with the IANR AVC for Faculty and Academic Leader Success.
  • Ensuring that guidance documents (e.g., operational procedures, bylaws, performance review standards) are relevant and up-to-date, and that they promote equity and inclusion in both their content and application.
  • Providing counsel to the VC IANR for faculty with ARD appointments regarding promotion and tenure, annual and reappointment reviews, and merit salary increases.
  • Engaging in personal professional development to continually hone skills to effectively lead and manage operations and initiatives, and to advance the mission of ARD/IANR.
  • Encouraging and providing support for the professional development of others on the ARD team.

Success in the role will be measured by the accomplishments and impacts of the faculty, staff, and students contributing to the research mission of IANR and progress made against ARD’s key indicators of progress.