Dean, Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture (MPP IV) (62960)

  • Pomona
  • Pomona, California
  • Oct 01, 2020
Full Time Agriculture or Farm or Ranch Education and Training

Job Description

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Search for the Dean of the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture
Pomona, California

Cal Poly Pomona, one of two polytechnic universities in the 23-campus California State University System and one of only seven polytechnic institutions nationally, seeks an innovative and visionary leader to serve as the next Dean of the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture. Reporting directly to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Dean will lead the College in the development and implementation of a dynamic strategic plan that honors the College¿s rich history and leads it into its next era of excellence.

The Don. B. Huntley College of Agriculture is one of the four colleges of agriculture in the California State University System and the only one located in Southern California. It is the sole provider of comprehensive agricultural programs focusing on the needs of the $1 trillion Southern California economy and its 21 million people. The College aims to be a national leader in urban and sustainable agriculture. The College provides a unique integrative approach to agriculture-related undergraduate and graduate programs that recognizes the strong disciplinary interdependencies of professional orientation and culture, basic societal needs, lifestyles, and social and environmental responsibility. It is well positioned to meet the expanding demand for qualified graduates in highly specialized fields within the agricultural, food, apparel, and animal industries.

The Dean will have a comprehensive understanding of and appreciation for the changing landscape of agriculture both in practice and education, specifically the emerging role of 21st century small and urban agriculture. The Dean fosters an environment conducive to academic quality, collegiality, innovation, and open discussion, and an appreciation for ethnic, cultural, and social diversity. Within the College, the Dean promotes collaboration, team building, and active involvement with the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the community.

The successful Dean will be a visionary leader prepared to serve as a visible and vocal advocate for the College. They will engage the College¿s stakeholders in a sense of cohesion and common purpose, possess the ability to advance excellence in the fields within the College, and build and grow mutually beneficial partnerships across the State of California. To achieve these goals, the Dean will need to address the following opportunities and challenges that are central to the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture¿s future success:

- Develop a strategic plan and vision that honors the College¿s history while leading it boldly into the future;
- Invest in students to ensure academic and professional success;
- Recruit, retain, and develop diverse faculty and staff;
- Increase external partnerships and fundraising;
- Serve as a visible and vocal leader, spokesperson, and advocate for the College; and
- Strengthen infrastructure to support the College¿s work.

A list of the desired qualifications and characteristics of the Dean can be found at the conclusion of this document, which was prepared by the search committee with the assistance of Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to provide background information and detail the key opportunities and challenges related to the position. All confidential applications, inquiries, and nominations should be directed to the parties listed at the conclusion of this document.

About California State University

The California State University system spans the entire state of California and has an annual operating budget of more than $7 billion; it is not only the largest four-year university system, but it is also one of the most diverse and affordable university systems in the nation. With 23 campuses, 482,000 students, and 53,000 faculty and staff, CSU is a leader in high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education. The CSU confers more than 100,000 baccalaureate degrees every year, roughly half of the bachelor¿s degrees awarded in the state of California. The CSU system prepares the majority of California¿s leaders and policymakers: approximately 64 percent of Californians with master¿s degrees in public administration studied at the CSU, as well as 35 percent of those with bachelor¿s degrees. In addition, 49 percent of Californians with bachelor¿s degrees in city, urban, community, and regional planning studied at the CSU. Ten percent of California¿s workforce graduated from a CSU campus and with a living alumni base of 3.8 million, nearly one-in-twenty Americans with a college degree earned it from a CSU campus. The CSU System has produced tens of thousands of graduates who have had an immeasurable impact in fields such as education, health care, agriculture, government, arts and entertainment, medicine, science and engineering, and non-profit leadership. To learn more about the California State University system, see

About Cal Poly Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona was originally established in 1938 as an all-male division of the California State Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo. It was located on 150-acres of land in San Dimas, on the site of the former Voorhis School for Boys. In 1949, breakfast cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg deeded 813 acres of land located three miles south of this campus to the state of California. In 1956, 508 students and 44 faculty and staff moved from San Dimas to the Kellogg campus. In a first for the all-male campus, 329 women joined the student body in 1961. The Pomona campus officially separated from the San Luis Obispo campus in 1966 and became the site of Cal Poly Pomona today. University status was granted in 1972.

Today, Cal Poly Pomona employs 3,000 faculty and staff who support the education of over 26,000 students. The University is organized into eight academic colleges: Agriculture; Business Administration; Education and Integrative Studies; Engineering; Environmental Design; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Science; and The Collins College of Hospitality Management.

Cal Poly Pomona is known for its applied hands-on approach to higher education. To that end, it recognizes that students who solve classroom problems today have an advantage in solving real-world problems tomorrow. Quality teaching remains the faculty¿s top priority, creating opportunities for students to use their knowledge in hands-on projects, collaboration in research, and participation in valuable internships and service-learning programs. As a result, Cal Poly Pomona¿s graduates are sought after as strong practitioners, integrative thinkers, and model leaders, and they are among the top 20 in the nation in terms of mid-career salaries. Cal Poly Pomona is committed to providing highly valued undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities through superior teaching, research, creative activity, and service to the people of California and the world.

Historically, the University has used its assets wisely, including developing public-private partnerships of distinction. Innovation Village, the University¿s research park, is a prime example of the University¿s efforts in advancing education and research, while simultaneously generating new revenue opportunities.
For additional information about the University, please visit
Mission and Strategic Plan

Cal Poly Pomona's mission is to cultivate success through a diverse culture of experiential learning, discovery, and innovation. It aspires to be the model for an inclusive polytechnic university that inspires creativity and innovation, embraces local and global challenges, and transforms lives. It is guided by the core values of Academic Excellence, Experiential Learning, Student Learning and Success, Inclusivity, Community Engagement, and Social and Environmental Responsibility.

In 2017, Cal Poly Pomona developed a refreshed Strategic Plan that charts the University¿s course through 2021 while also identifying top academic and campus initiatives and the resources and facilities to achieve those objectives. The result is a set of strategic initiatives and goals Cal Poly Pomona aspires to have achieved by the year 2021:

- Deliver quality programs that promote integrative learning, discovery, and creativity
- Enhance student learning, development, and success
- Prepare our students for the Future of Work and civic engagement
- Strengthen our economic vitality and impact
- Advance organizational development and employee excellence

To learn more about Cal Poly Pomona¿s Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Plan, please visit

About the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

The Don. B. Huntley College of Agriculture is one of the four colleges of agriculture in the California State University System and the only one located in Southern California. It is the sole provider of comprehensive agricultural programs focusing on the needs of the $1 trillion Southern California economy and its 21 million people. The College aims to be a national leader in urban and sustainable agriculture. The College provides a unique integrative approach to agriculture-related undergraduate and graduate programs that recognizes the strong disciplinary interdependencies of professional orientation and culture, basic societal needs, lifestyles, and social and environmental responsibility. It is well positioned to meet the expanding demand for qualified graduates in highly specialized fields within the agricultural, food, apparel, and animal industries.

The College is home to 106 faculty members (28 tenure/tenure track; 78 adjuncts) and 2,143 students (2,072 undergraduates; 71 post-baccalaureate).

In 2016, Don B. Huntley pledged his pistachio farm to the College of Agriculture as an estate gift. In response, the California State University Board of Trustees approved a new name for the college: the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture. It is only the second named college at Cal Poly Pomona, following the Collins College of Hospitality Management, and the only one named for an alumnus. It is the second college in the 23-campus CSU system to be named, following the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State.

Role of the Dean

The Dean leads a college team consisting of an associate dean, five department chairs, as well as staff, tenure track and temporary faculty. The Dean oversees an annual budget of approximately $7 million including grant income. This includes management/oversight of five academic departments (Agribusiness & Food Industry Management/Agricultural Science; Animal & Veterinary Sciences; Apparel Merchandising & Management; Nutrition & Food Science; and Plant Science), the College Farm (livestock units, campus field laboratories, Pine Tree Ranch and Chino Farm), the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, AGRIscapes and Norco Ranch.

The Dean must maintain and maximize the quality of academic programs within the budget and available resources. The Dean¿s Office serves as the college-level arena in which interested parties (e.g., tenure track and temporary faculty, students, their parents and other family members, department chairs and their staff, departments as an entity, labor representatives, community partners, dean¿s office staff, administrators, etc.) regularly interact with one another. The Dean is responsible for brokering communication and understanding within this complex group and for providing strategic direction. This can be challenging because members have diverse and often competing interests with agendas that must be taken into account when making decisions. The Dean is the designated HEERA manager of the College and must be fair, transparent, and supportive of all. Finally, many of the actions performed by the Dean¿s office (e.g. faculty searches, steps in the reappointment, tenure, and promotion (RTP) process, retention or range elevation of lecturers, student disqualification decisions, Letters of Reprimand, etc.) have legal, ethical, and sometimes life-changing repercussions and must be rendered honestly, fairly, and without prejudice.

Program Quality and Accreditation

The Dean is responsible for: directing and guiding college strategic planning; ensuring program quality, and student learning outcomes; supporting accreditation in those departments that have accredited programs (Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Nutrition & Food Science) and faculty-led assessment efforts; ensuring appropriate training and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to develop and enhance their academic and professional qualifications; and promoting professionalism and ensuring inclusive shared governance.

Student Success

The Dean is responsible for the academic success and timely graduation of students through:
- Strategic enrollment planning and growth;
- College-based advising;
- The creation and utilization of a college-based student success team; and
- Course scheduling ¿ The Dean ensures that major/core courses offered are aligned with student demand; and
- Robust summer course offerings based on student demand.

The Dean guides the college in the innovative utilization of classrooms to create an environment that ensures successful student learning outcomes. The Dean collaboratively works with appropriate stakeholders on campus to implement the campus and college strategic enrollment plans for undergraduate and graduate programs and credentialed programs.

Fundraising and Resource Enhancement

The Dean actively collaborates with Advancement to raise private funds and establish mutually beneficial relationships with donors, alumni, supporters, and community partners to advance college and department initiatives, goals, and priorities. The Dean is also responsible for creating an environment that fosters the increase of externally funded research and contracts, as well as international and non-state supported instructional programs through extended learning. Working closely with the College Development Director and Dean's Council, the Dean will strategically position the College in comprehensive development and fundraising campaigns. Additionally, they will identify development projects with input from the Development Director and Department Chairs. The Dean is also responsible for overseeing and managing college self-support programs by working closely with the College of Extended University and the Cal Poly Foundation.

Outreach and Strategic Communication

In consultation with Strategic Communications, the Dean is responsible for creating and executing an internal and external strategic communication plan. They will develop collaborative relationships with school districts, community partners and businesses in our service area. The Dean promotes and supports activities that engage alumni, donors, and other supporters, and represents the college at public events. Additionally, the Dean participates on regional, University, and CSU-wide level committees and supports University initiatives and activities.


The Dean is responsible for recruiting highly qualified and diverse faculty, staff, and students to the College; reviewing, evaluating, and recommending faculty and staff for retention and promotion; recommending faculty for sabbatical leaves and tenure; and supporting and ensuring the professional development of faculty, staff and employees. The Dean will provide leadership and guidance to associate dean and department chairs with regard to curriculum development and revision of programs, as well as the development of scholarly activity and research programs. The Dean will review proposals and provide college resources as available.


The Dean develops a multi-year budget and allocation plan for the College. Additionally, they oversee and manage budgets; provide direction to the Budget Analyst; review contracts, leave requests, assigned time requests, and stipend requests.

Key Opportunities and Challenges for the Dean

The overarching charge of the Dean of the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture will be to build on the success of the College and build and increase its impact. The Dean will develop an understanding and appreciation for the College¿s varied departments and will be attentive and responsive to stakeholder needs. To achieve these goals, the Dean will address the following opportunities and challenges:

Develop a strategic plan and vision that honors the College¿s history while leading it boldly into the future

The new Dean has the distinct opportunity to lead the only college of agriculture in Southern California and the first college established at Cal Poly Pomona. The College¿s rich history, its geographic location, and the impact that faculty, staff, and students have made locally and across the state have established a solid foundation to build on. The Dean will be responsible for honoring this legacy, extending and enhancing the college¿s impact, ensuring the sustainability of its programs and services, and developing a forward-looking and innovative vision to lead the College into its next era of excellence.

It is imperative the new Dean gain a firm understanding of the College¿s range of departments; the diverse needs, opportunities, and challenges facing each department; and the unique role the College can play as an urban college of agriculture, while also balancing the needs of external stakeholders, senior university leadership, faculty, staff, and students.

Invest in students to ensure academic and professional success

The Dean¿s principal responsibilities will be to promote Cal Poly¿s mission of ¿Learn by Doing¿ through excellent, hands-on educational opportunities in a comprehensive polytechnic setting, generating career-ready graduates. The next Dean will build on the College¿s commitment to attracting and retaining high quality students from diverse backgrounds. To successfully achieve this goal, the Dean must understand and be sensitive to the different potential obstacles to recruiting and retaining students and utilize that understanding to create strategies and tools for the College to use to attract a strong, vibrant, and diverse student population. Further, the Dean will ensure a supportive infrastructure is in place to keep students engaged, help them reach their individual academic and professional goals, see them through to graduation, and assist them in job placement.

Once students are enrolled, the Dean¿in partnership with faculty and staff¿will work tirelessly to provide them with a world-class, hands-on learning experience. This includes identifying and securing funding for students, frequent and transparent communications, robust and relevant curricula, and opportunities for research and industry engagement.

Recruit, retain, and develop diverse faculty and staff

The College will only be successful if it can continue to recruit and retain talented faculty and staff. By fostering a sense of community and shared purpose within the College, the Dean will greatly assist in these efforts, but the Dean will also need to engage faculty and staff in meaningful conversations around how to creatively and strategically address their needs in a resource limited environment. The Dean will evaluate the infrastructure of the College on an ongoing basis and adapt it as necessary in support of faculty and staff while fulfilling the College¿s strategic ambitions. The Dean will work with College and University leadership to strike the appropriate balance of teaching and scholarship for all faculty, as well as to ensure the right student-to-faculty ratio for the College is achieved.

Increase external partnerships and fundraising

As a representative of the College, the Dean will be a leading voice locally and across the state. The Dean is supported by the Dean¿s Advisory Council to connect the College with external partners and to gather feedback on industry needs. An ambassador for the value and the success of the College, the Dean will grow external relations with industry, nonprofits, and other institutions and create public-private partnerships. This will begin with¿but develop beyond¿increased partnerships with varied industries in Los Angeles County, gaining visibility and prominence for the College in Southern California and beyond. The Dean will also formulate a long-term fundraising vision and be able to communicate this vision to all constituencies. Currently, the College¿s donor base is comprised primarily of individuals affiliated with the traditional agriculture disciplines. The Dean will work with University Advancement to diversity the funding base and engage with alumni and donors across all of the College¿s disciplinary areas. The Dean will also identify opportunities to collaborate with other colleges and units on the Cal Poly campus and other educational and community organizations in the area.

Serve as a visible and vocal leader, spokesperson, and advocate for the College

As the public face and representative of the College, the Dean will be a powerful advocate for its successes and its needs. The Dean will broadcast accomplishments across all departments, championing excellent teaching, research, and community engagement in established fields while advancing and promoting interdisciplinary initiatives. In doing so, the Dean will reinforce the importance of the University and community¿s ongoing commitment to the College and to enabling students to thrive in their academic and professional journeys and faculty to thrive as world-class teacher-scholars.

Nationally, agriculture programs are at risk due to high education delivery costs, but their impact on the community is invaluable. Much of the College¿s work directly impacts the community and enables the University¿s commitment to strengthening the world it inhabits. The Dean will articulate the value proposition of the College and promote its reputation, impact, and potential, not just across the University, but also across the state. A successful candidate must be able to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and will have a proven track record in establishing relationships with community leaders, higher education organizations, nonprofits, funding agencies, foundations, private sector entities, and professional societies.

Strengthen infrastructure to support the College¿s work

The Dean will work to ensure that the College has the infrastructure¿people, processes, and space¿to deliver on its mission. The issue of space is a significant challenge for the College: its physical home needs significant maintenance, additional space for faculty and staff, and classroom renovations. Additionally, the Dean must work to increase availability and accessibility of existing space for individuals and groups to work, organize, network, and build community. The Dean will need to work toi identify and obtain campus and external resources to support renovations and to ensure space updates align with the School¿s strategic plan, vision, and goals.

Qualifications and Characteristics

Required Experience, Skills, and Abilities

- Earned terminal degree from an accredited institution in a discipline offered by the college or other relevant field.
- An academic record in teaching, research, scholarship and/or creative activities that would merit appointment at tenured full professor level in one of the college¿s departments.
- Progressive and/or administrative experience at, or comparable to, a department chair level or higher (e.g. director, program director, or associate dean etc.).
- Demonstrated success in developing educational programs and support services that foster success and inclusive excellence.
- Experience in strategic planning.
- Experience leading faculty, staff and students.
- Experience in external fund raising.
- Knowledge of budgeting in a complex fiscal environment.

Desirable/Preferred Qualifications

- Experience serving as an evaluator in retention, tenure, and promotion within a university (RTP).
- An understanding and appreciation of the changing landscape of agriculture both in practice and education ¿ specifically the emerging role of small and urban agriculture.
- Ability to work collaboratively with the senior leadership of the university and with constituencies from other colleges and content fields in the university.
- Ability to promote and effective learning-centered approach that reinforces and extends programs and interdisciplinary and multicultural initiatives based in the college at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Demonstrated commitment to and/or experience in fostering a climate of multicultural inclusion.
- Demonstrated success in implementing programs to increase graduation rates and close achievement gaps.
- Demonstrated commitment to shared governance in a university setting.
- Collaborative style of leadership.
- Ability to foster environment conducive to educational excellence, collegiality, innovation and open discussion.
- Experience in a collective bargaining environment in higher education.
- Knowledge and experience of state and national accreditation process and requirements.
- Ability to promote the role of public higher education in serving the educational and workforce needs of California¿s diverse population.
- Demonstrated success in attracting/managing extramural funding to enhance educational and research programs.
- Commitment to extending agricultural applied sciences and technologies to outreach activities and programming.
- Understanding of the College¿s unique location within a non-land grant public, comprehensive university in an urban setting.
- An articulated vision for leveraging the State of California Agricultural Research Institute.
Strong negotiating skills.
- Strong oral and written skills.

Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and will conclude on July 15, 2020. For best consideration, please submit an administrative CV and cover letter electronically by July 6, 2020. For more details and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.

Cati Mitchell-Crossley and Brett Barbour
Isaacson, Miller
1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.655.4900

The University is committed to cultural diversity and it is expected that the successful candidate will further this commitment. The University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

A background check must satisfactorily be completed before a candidate can be offered this position. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for this position. The background check consists of the following: Employment verification, education verification, reference checks, and checks of the following systems and databases: National Social Security Number/Address Locator, Felony/Misdemeanor, National Criminal Database, Federal Criminal, Department of Motor Vehicles, and National Sex Offender Registry.
Closing Date/Time: Open until filled

Job Address

Pomona, California 91768 United States View Map