E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professorship-Un. of Missouri, St. Louis

The University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL, http://www.umsl.edu/proud/index.html), invites nominations and applications for the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professorship in Botanical Studies.

UMSL seeks an outstanding scientist in an area of research that incorporates molecular and genomic approaches to the study of plant diversity, including phylogenetics and systematics, to further understanding in his or her field for the university, the region, the country, and the globe. This unique appointment supports a tremendous breadth in research, teaching, and outreach at both UMSL and the Missouri Botanical Garden (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/about.aspx), where discovery and knowledge-sharing of plants and their environments helps to preserve and enrich life. 

The professorship is one of 35 endowed professorships comprising the Des Lee Collaborative Vision (DLCV, https://www.umsl.edu/desleecollaborative/), which are distinct from more traditional academic positions in having a key responsibility for community outreach and engagement in addition to their scholarship. 

The Endowed Professorship in Botanical Studies:
The Des Lee Endowed Professor in Botanical Studies will be expected to pursue an active program of research in botanical studies and oversee a laboratory at the University that facilitates the training of students in molecular techniques.  Areas of particular academic interest are: plant systematics and evolution, biodiversity studies, population genetics, ecology and conservation. In keeping with existing strengths in our program, research emphasis on tropical organisms, communities, or floras is particularly welcome. 

The endowed professor will be actively engaged in community outreach and will have teaching responsibilities similar to other tenured, research-active faculty in the department. The professor is expected to take an active and integrative approach to his or her scholarship, which will be made accessible to a wide range of diverse audiences. This tenured position may be appointed at either the associate or full professor rank and will also carry a title of research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden. 

The partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden includes collaboration with the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at UMSL, which promotes research and education in tropical biology and conservation, and participation in our outstanding graduate program in ecology, evolution, systematics, and conservation, which attracts top scholars from all over the world. 

The Department of Biology, serving as the academic home for the endowed professorship, has an active research group in cell and molecular biology, in addition to its strengths in ecology, evolution, and behavior, and participates in a joint program in biochemistry and biotechnology. Laboratory and office space at the University, as well as all research facilities at the Missouri Botanical Garden, will be available to the successful candidate. The position includes an annual budget in support of the collaboration between the University and the Garden and the work of the professorship. In keeping with the Des Lee Collaborative Vision, the successful candidate will have demonstrated interest and skills related to engaging scholars outside his or her focused research specialty, and in engaging the general public. Therefore, we seek a broadly interactive colleague who is interested in crossing disciplinary boundaries within science and from science to the larger community. 

The University of Missouri-St. Louis:
Established in 1963 in suburban St. Louis, the University of Missouri–St. Louis is the largest public university in eastern Missouri. This metropolitan research and teaching institution is consistently recognized for its strong programs across disciplines, and it is considered a primary driver of the St. Louis economy, providing industries with educated and capable employees and leaders. UMSL is committed to meeting the diverse needs in the state’s largest metropolitan community and, accordingly, is educating traditional and nontraditional students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs so they are prepared to be leaders in health professions; liberal and fine arts; science and technology; and in metropolitan and international affairs such as business, education and public policy.
The University of Missouri–St. Louis is a leader in partnerships with key institutions in the St. Louis Region. Alliances and programs have resulted from collaborations with the Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis Science Center, Danforth Plant Science Center, and many others. 

The Des Lee Collaborative Vision:
The Des Lee Collaborative Vision is the realization of an idea that linking the knowledge and resources of universities with public organizations through collaboration and partnership “… can produce a synergism far exceeding the efforts of any one segment working independently” (E. Desmond Lee).

A vision of E. Desmond Lee, St. Louis philanthropist and revered contributor to the region’s top cultural institutions, this unique network of private and public resources created endowed professorships within the University of Missouri System. With a mission to link the knowledge, expertise and resources of academic institutions in St. Louis to the community’s civic, cultural, business, and educational and government entities, current Des Lee Collaborative Vision Endowed Professors are partnering with local civic and scientific organizations to bring collaborative success to such areas as botanical studies, citizenship, education, classical history, international relations, life sciences, arts, music, zoological studies, and public policy. 

The Missouri Botanical Garden:
Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation's oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark. For over 158 years, the Garden has been an oasis in the city, a place of beauty and family fun—and also a center for education, science, and conservation.

The Missouri Botanical Garden's mission is driven by our need to protect and conserve plants and their ecosystems. The Garden takes seriously its role as both steward and educator, and it partners with the University of Missouri-St. Louis and other institutions to achieve its mission. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a fully-committed partner to the Des Lee Collaborative Vision, and to the Endowed Professorship in Botanical Studies that we seek to fill. With more than 45 Ph.D. scientists, the Missouri Botanical Garden has a renowned research program, an outstanding library, and a world-class herbarium with more than seven million plant specimens. 

The Search Process:
The application review process is ongoing and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, candidates must provide a cover letter outlining qualifications and interests, and detailed curriculum vitae. Later in the search process, statements of current and future research plans, and of experience and plans in community outreach, along with names and contact information for three references may be requested. 

Partnering in the search is Tim McIntosh, Director of Recruitment for the University of Missouri System. Inquiries and application materials can be sent to umhrexecutivesearch@umsystem.edu. 

The position is also posted on the University’s website: www.umsl.jobs. Click on the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professorship in Botanical Studies, and follow the instructions provided. Job posting ID is 27799.

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