Professor and Head

Job Summary

Tenure and Tenure-track Faculty Positions
Mississippi State University
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

The Department of Physics & Astronomy at Mississippi State University (MSU) is pleased to invite applications for the position of Department Head. The department is at a critical juncture in its growth and seeks a dynamic, strategic, and effective leader to fully realize the potential of its faculty, staff, and students.

The department, with approximately 35 undergraduates and 45 graduate students, forms a critical component of science and technology education and research across a thriving and entrepreneurial campus that values and supports interdisciplinary and collaborative studies and transformative research. Reporting to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, the largest college on campus, the position is a 12-month appointment charged with responsibilities for all departmental operations including strategic planning, fiscal and personnel management, academic scheduling, resource allocation, and fundraising. The successful candidate should demonstrate strong administrative skills, leadership experience, a national reputation, and a track record of excellence in research, teaching, and other scholarly activities- required for appointment at the rank of Full Professor. We encourage applicants with a bold and strategic vision for academic administration, research, and teaching.

The department has a total of 18 tenured/tenure-track faculty, 5 non-tenure-track faculty, several adjunct faculty, and 5 permanent staff. Faculty conduct research in experimental, theoretical, and computational areas of several core sub-fields, such as condensed matter physics, nuclear physics, astronomy, biophysics, quantum computing, AMO, and plasma physics. Faculty research is supported by external grants from a variety of agencies including NASA, NIH, NSF, DOE, and ARO and two currently hold prestigious early career awards. In recent years, the department’s annual research expenditures routinely exceed $2 million, with an expectation of continued growth. The department grants B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Physics through the College of Arts and Sciences, and a Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics through the Bagley College of Engineering. Faculty and students collaborate widely across departments, colleges, and institutes, such as the Institute for Clean Energy Technology, the High-Performance Computing Collaboratory- which hosts the 7th fastest computer in the U.S. academia, the Center for Computational Sciences, and the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. The department houses an electronics shop, a self-service machine shop and a 3D printing facility. The department also operates the Howell Observatory which is primarily used for outreach and community engagement. Additional information on the Physics and Astronomy department is available at

MSU is the leading research university in the state, a comprehensive Carnegie R1 (Very High Research Activity) campus that serves more than 23,000 students. Known for its campus beauty and as the home of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, MSU is enhanced by robust relationships with the surrounding area and is further recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the strength of its community engagement. For seven consecutive years MSU has been named as a “Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education, and featured in their higher distinction category of “Great Colleges Honor Roll” list. A founding member of the Southeastern Conference with a strong athletic heritage, MSU thrives on its land-grant mission to serve and inspire the people of Mississippi and is proud to be among the 10 percent of U.S. colleges and universities that shelter a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. Located in the growing city of Starkville, Mississippi’s College Town, we are situated within a short drive of more than 120,000 acres of state and federal natural areas, with abundant opportunities for recreation.

Applicants must apply online at (search job XXXXX under the Careers tab). Complete applications must include a cover letter, a CV, a statement of administrative experience and philosophy (2-page maximum), a statement of research and teaching expertise and goals (2-page maximum), a vision statement for promoting growth while maintaining a collegial and respectful atmosphere free from harassment and ensuring equal opportunity for all (2-page maximum), and contact information for five references. Screening of applications will begin November 14, 2023, but the position will remain open, and applications accepted, until filled. Informal inquiries may be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. John Rodgers ([email protected]).

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building an inclusive community that reflects the diversity of our student population.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2023 Aug 15
Application Deadline
2023 Oct 15


John C. Rdogers