Rutgers University is searching for a new Director of Rutgers Gardens and Campus Stewardship to lead and develop new initiatives at the Gardens and coordinate education and outreach efforts in the campus-centered Living Labs program.
Rutgers Gardens, a 174-acre public garden in central New Jersey, is the premier expression of Rutgers University’s mission to use campus areas to extend research, teaching, and outreach (https://rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu/). Registered as a National Horticultural Landmark, the Gardens include 72 acres of display gardens that demonstrate an array of botanical collections and ecological systems, including display and collection gardens, plant propagation and plant breeding areas, the Bamboo Grove, the Student Farm, the 48-acre old-growth Helyar Woods and associated natural areas. For the past 10 years, there has been steady expansion of programming, including the Children’s Garden and summer camp, a weekly farmers’ market (Cook’s Market), educational classes, student internships, and seasonal community events. The Gardens also provide free green spaces that provides passive enjoyment, active recreation, and social functions for thousands who visit the Gardens year-round.
The Director will lead the development, programming, and management of Rutgers Gardens (https://rutgersgardens.rutgers.edu/) and further the cohesion, efficiency, and impact of the campus-as-living-lab initiative (http://livinglabs.rutgers.edu/). Aligning with the strategic plans of SEBS and Rutgers University, and supporting Rutgers’ President Holloway’s call to strengthen Rutgers’ identity and cultivate a beloved community, the Director will engage in strategic planning, coordination, and community building to optimize the potential of the Gardens and living labs. The director will also oversee daily management of the Gardens to ensure that they are properly maintained, accessible, inclusive, advance public education and outreach, and link to curricular and co-curricular opportunities. The Director reports to the Executive Dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), a school that is unique within the university due to its co-evolution with the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES).
Rutgers Gardens is also a community of active learners. It has the support of over 500 members, over 100 regular volunteers, and a mailing list that reaches 4000 households. Multiple academic departments and programs use the Gardens horticultural collections, organically run farm, and natural areas, active research in plant breeding and biodiversity, and as a source for materials and outdoor classroom space.
Education and Experience
We seek applicants who have demonstrated experience in public garden management and higher education institutions. The Director must demonstrate ability to work with a diverse public and stakeholders and to support inclusive practices. The Director should possess characteristics of team leadership, organization, conflict management skills, ability to consider perspectives of diverse stakeholders, and capacity building. Horticultural knowledge and experience is important, as is demonstrated success in managing and developing personnel, fundraising, public engagement, and program development. Excellent writing and public speaking skills are essential. The Director should hold at least a Masters degree or equivalent in an appropriate area of study or demonstrate equivalency in professional experience, so as to make operational and strategic decisions informed by an extensive knowledge of horticultural practice. Women and persons of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Responsibilities of the Director
- Spearhead planning and development efforts to improve Rutgers Gardens and Living Labs, in coordination with SEBS, NJAES, and Rutgers strategic plans. This includes working with faculty, staff, and students to develop a comprehensive and cohesive model for campus-as-living-lab that also supports the diversity within these programs, as well as achieving efficiencies in operations, communications, marketing, and programs so that the sum is greater than the individual parts.
- Daily supervision and management of Rutgers Gardens staff overseeing programs, membership, events, volunteer activities, and rental of facilities. This includes building a team to address many needs, from horticultural to volunteers. It also includes developing and distributing tasks based on priorities, setting performance goals and conducting evaluations; professional development opportunities; and daily supervision. Supervise financial management of Rutgers Gardens, including financial analysis, forecasts and budgeting, together with Business Specialist.
- Coordinate with SEBS and University administrative offices to align Rutgers Gardens with financial, HR, risk management, and fundraising practices and policies. Work closely with University Facilities to coordinate planning, operations, maintenance, and communication with University practices.
- In coordination with the Office of Philanthropy and Strategic Partnerships at SEBS and the Rutgers University Foundation, support fundraising efforts for Rutgers Gardens and living labs.
- Lead communication and outreach to education programs (pre-school, school years, and beyond), interest groups, garden clubs including local gardening organizations and the Garden Club of New Jersey, area residents, etc., as well as to the University community at large. Engage with peer horticultural institutions and the horticultural community to build state-wide and national recognition of Rutgers Gardens and campus living labs.
- Cultivate and engage meaningfully with the Rutgers Gardens Advisory Board, which consists of horticultural and public garden experts, faculty, alumni, community members, and donors. Work closely with the Rutgers Gardens Living Labs Academic Advisory Team to identify and support opportunities for courses, internships, research, and student engagement in living labs and Rutgers Gardens.
Apply at the Rutgers University’s Job Posting website: https://jobs.rutgers.edu/postings/123586
Application deadline: Jan 16, 2021.
Requested application materials: Cover letter, CV/Resume, Contact information for three references, and (optional) Personal Statement (showcasing experience and vision).
Women and persons of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Additional information can be found in the application website (see link below). Contact Dr. Nicholas Polanin (email@example.com), Chair of Search Committee, for questions about the position; for questions about the application procedures and materials contact Business Specialist Tanesha Grand-Pierre (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please note that the Rutgers Gardens office is closed for holidays Dec 25-Jan 3.