University of Arizona: Director, School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness

Institution (Location)
University of Arizona
Position Description

The University of Arizona invites applications and nominations for the role of Director of the new School for Nutritional Sciences & Wellness. Reporting to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), the Director will implement a strategic plan and vision for integrating nutritional sciences and allied disciplines in addressing acute and chronic global health challenges. The NSW Director will work closely with School faculty, the dean, leaders of CALS’ nine other academic unit and its two associate deans, the director of UArizona Cooperative Extension, the Office of International Initiatives, and Development, Alumni, Advocacy and Corporate Relations to develop and scale innovative education and research programs that advance human health.

The School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness (NSW) is housed within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Due to its rapid enrollment and academic program growth, NSW recently moved from an academic department to a school. NSW has more than 100 faculty and staff delivering research, instruction, and cooperative-extension programming. With over $11.5M in annual expenditures, NSW faculty are highly research-active and extensively engaged in community research and programming. The overarching objective of NSW’s research activities is to “achieve optimal health and quality of life through precision nutrition and wellness.” NSW supports four undergraduate majors  (Nutritional Sciences, Nutrition and Food Systems, Precision Nutrition and Wellness, Nutrition and Human Performance). The online version of the Nutritional Sciences BS degree is one of the fastest-growing programs on University of Arizona Online. NSW also supports  three graduate degree programs (MS & PhD), and two accredited dietetics programs at the undergraduate and master’s levels.  Current enrollment comprises almost 900 undergraduate and 49 graduate students.  The NSW’s Cooperative Extension programming includes SNAP-Ed, which NSW delivers for the State of Arizona in partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services’ AZ Health Zone unit,  EFNEP (the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, delivered in partnership with the USDA’s National Institute for Food & Agriculture division), and the Diabetes Prevention Program.

Leading an engaged and dynamic faculty and a dedicated cadre of staff, the Director will position NSW as a hub of innovative work at the intersection of research and practice, equipping students to advance careers that shape human health at individual, community, regional, and national scales whether through professional practice or advanced research. Capitalizing on the School’s exciting momentum, the Director will further build out a continuum of practice from basic science through community impact that engages faculty, students, staff, alumni, and partners to improve health and wellness broadly defined.

In continuing the School’s growth and development, the Director has the opportunity to position NSW in relationship to institutional initiatives spanning the University and its Health Sciences enterprise. Chief among these is One Health, which seeks to integrate expertise in human, animal, and environmental health to identify new solutions to challenges at both local and global levels. NSW’s integrative approach to holistic wellness, with applications across medicine, public health, policy, the social sciences, and other areas, creates an exciting set of opportunities that the Director will enable faculty, students, staff, alumni, and partners to capitalize on.

Candidate’s Qualifications (who should apply)

The Director will be an entrepreneurial and innovative leader with demonstrated ability in philanthropy, corporate and alumni relations, and excellence in business, financial, and budget management as well as diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives. They will be an effective communicator, both written and oral, with the demonstrated skills to build collaborations, create consensus, and work with advisory board members and other external stakeholders. As the leader of a growing academic enterprise, they will be a big thinker, a visionary who identifies opportunities for synergy and collaboration across CALS schools and departments and across the University.


Additional required qualifications include:


  • Doctoral degree in a relevant scientific discipline
  • Accomplishments and credentials appropriate for appointment as a Full Professor with tenure
  • Proven leadership and management in achieving objectives and outcomes effectively and efficiently
  • A demonstrated interest in and strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate instruction
  • Exemplary communication and interpersonal skills
  • Exceptional business, personnel and financial knowledge, skills, and talents in a complex environment
  • A demonstrated track record of initiatives that measurable advance inclusion, equity, and access
  • Private-sector experience is attractive but not required
How to Apply

The University of Arizona has engaged Opus Search Partners to support the recruitment of this position. Craig Smith, Partner, and Marisea Rivera, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent by email to Marisea ([email protected]). The search process will unfold with the greatest possible attention to candidate confidentiality. Required application materials include a CV, a cover letter, and DEI statement. The Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statement (typically between 150-300 words) helps the search committee assess the applicant’s skills, experience, and ability to contribute to DEI work in their professional role. The statement can include: 1) the applicant’s core principles and goals regarding DEI, 2) an evidence-based account of the applicant’s past contributions to DEI, and 3) the applicant’s vision for supporting DEI in this role.



The University of Arizona is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information