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Job ID: 228922

Department Chair of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
University of Kentucky

Date Posted Jan. 16, 2024
Title Department Chair of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
University University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY, United States
Department 7H180:Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Professor
    Department Head/Head/Chair
  • Biology - Molecular
    Biology - Biochemistry
    Biology - General
The University of Kentucky College of Medicine invites applications and nominations for the position of chair to lead the highly ranked department of molecular and cellular biochemistry.

The UK College of Medicine seeks a visionary chair with a successful record of achievement in academic research in biochemistry or appropriately related fields. Exceptional accomplishments as a researcher and academician are a must as the chair’s duties will include continuing their own research program as well as supervising and maintaining academic activities.

The predominant criteria for appointment as chair include a national reputation for research, and the proven ability to mentor faculty while training future leaders in biochemistry. A successful candidate will be a nationally-prominent academic leader and role model with an established record of excellence in research, education, and mentorship.

The successful candidate should demonstrate strong leadership skills as a listener, decision-maker, humanist, and an effective advocate for the department and its faculty. The candidate should have experience developing collaborative initiatives and the personal characteristics needed to promote, foster, and facilitate the trust of colleagues and the broader University faculty. The successful applicant should demonstrate impeccable integrity and be an effective communicator. Prior extensive administrative experience as a department chair, vice chair, or director of graduate studies or equivalent is preferred.

The College of Medicine seeks qualified applicants who value its missions and share its commitment to creating an environment in which diversity is valued, inclusion is imperative, and belonging is foundational. As an Equal Opportunity Action Employer, we strive to foster a community in which individuals of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives can feel secure and welcome.

This position is established in keeping with the mission statement of the UK College of Medicine.

Mission Statement
The College of Medicine promotes a diverse and inclusive environment that provides excellence in education, equitable health care, and transformative research to improve the health and wellness of Kentuckians and beyond.

Scope of Role
As a position of oversight, the chair of molecular and cellular biochemistry will ensure that department faculty work in conjunction with one another and with other groups across the college and campus, sharing research resources whenever possible. This will also include administrative, teaching, laboratory, and mentoring support. The chair will work closely to maximize the net yield of each project and avoid segregation or duplication of work in multiple isolated units.

Specific Responsibilities:
  • Provide oversight for the research portfolio of the department.
  • Facilitate faculty mentoring in research.
  • Facilitate an environment of collaborative research and conduct including maintaining records of accomplishments and facilitating acquisition of external funding.
  • Continue their independent research in line with the goals of the department.
  • Publish in peer-reviewed literature as an author and co-author.
  • Provide oversight for the educational portfolio of the department.
  • Participate in and advocate for quality teaching programs for all learners within the department.
  • Assign faculty to teaching roles and manage distribution of educational assignments among faculty.
  • Mentor faculty in various professorial series and oversee the academic development and productivity of the department.
Ideal Candidate Experience and Attributes:
  • A strong visionary and inspirational leader who can artfully convey a long-term vision for the department, yet is equally skilled at implementing a detailed plan to achieve that vision. Highly approachable and compassionate; a record of promoting a culture of innovation, collaboration, teamwork, respect, and honesty; a professional and personal demeanor characterized by integrity, graciousness, humility, genuineness, empathy, and sincerity; and a passion for the organization’s mission and objectives.
  • Exceptionally team-oriented; skilled at working well and partnering with scientists across the college and University to identify, build, and negotiate “win-win” relationships and collaborations; politically astute yet apolitical with an ability to break down silos and ensure a collegial and productive work environment.
  • Highly adept and at ease managing the day-to-day operational details with the ability to make strong and decisive decisions when needed while at the same time creating unity within a diverse department.
  • Able to conceptualize and analyze complex business opportunities and to understand the finances of an academic department and apply that knowledge to appropriately manage the all aspects of the department.
  • Actively develop the department’s mission, strategies, and practices to support a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • Actively embody, encourage, and support the five College of Medicine DIReCT values to help guide actions, behaviors, and decision making to foster a cohesive work culture focused on patient-centered care.

The DIReCT values are:
  • Diversity: We foster a people-centered environment that is inclusive of all.
  • Innovation: We embrace continual learning and improvement to drive positive change.
  • Respect: We value our patients and families, our community, our co-workers, ourselves, and the resources entrusted to us.
  • Compassion: We express empathy for the needs, thoughts, and feelings of those we serve and with whom we work.
  • Teamwork: We cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships to create positive outcomes.

For full consideration of this position, you must apply within the Internal Employment system at the University of Kentucky via the following website:
 Confidential inquiries, nominations, expressions of interest, and submission of candidate materials (including a letter of interest and CV) in addition to the application submission at the University of Kentucky Internal Employment system, should be submitted via email to the WittKieffer search consultants, Jeff Schroetlin, Joyce De Leo, Ph.D. and Jillian Williams, at

The position is open until filled. Please include a CV, cover letter, and specific request detailed below, with the application.

Details in regards to Specific Request 1:
Please upload a statement addressing the following: research interest, teaching philosophy, leadership vision, and approach on diversity and inclusion.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

Please see the job description for contact details
pertaining to this university job announcement.


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