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Professor and David M. Kohl Chair

Agriculture / Life Science


Professor and David M. Kohl Chair

  • 522224
  • Blacksburg, Virginia, United States
  • Agricultural & Applied Economics
  • Agriculture / Life Science
  • Teaching & Research Faculty
  • Virginia Tech University

Job Description

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech invites applications for the Kohl Centre Chair. This Chair will be a full-time academic year tenured position at the rank of Professor. The successful candidate will have an established record of achievement and leadership in agribusiness and/or agricultural and applied economics with an emphasis on economic decision- making using modern quantitative tools.

This position provides the opportunity to lead the Kohl Centre and develop a program that integrates the wealth of data now available in agriculture with firm-level, business-ready decisions, strategies and market solutions. The outreach and engagement mission of the Kohl Centre includes establishing and building strong partnerships with stakeholders at the state, national and international levels and fostering a pipeline of agribusiness analytics talent to private and public companies and organizations. Such partnerships may take various forms from professional education programs to funded research projects, with the goal of positioning Virginia Tech as a global leader in agribusiness analytics and data informed decision making.
These efforts will build on existing initiatives in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences within the Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture, which includes the SmartFarm Innovation Network and Data Analytics research platforms. The Kohl Chair will have the opportunity and is expected to build and lead a team of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to the Kohl Centre, including, but not limited to, the Kohl Junior Faculty Fellow and the James A. and Renae C. Pearson Collegiate Faculty Fellow.

The Chair’s vision will provide experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to prepare them for successful careers in the rapidly evolving field of data- driven agriculture, agribusiness, and food systems management. These programs will be coordinated with other experiential learning initiatives in the department such as the Commodity Investing by Students (COINS) program and the Data Science for the Public Good (DSPG) program. The position is a nine-month, academic-year appointment with expectations for funding summer activities through external grants, teaching, or other mechanisms.

Teaching: The Chair will lead the Kohl Centre’s efforts to support the department’s undergraduate and graduate programs, with a focus on the agribusiness program, its most popular undergraduate major. Centre personnel will assist the department in developing and promoting a new analytics-focused undergraduate major and in creating highly valued experiential learning opportunities for our students. An important priority for the teaching mission of the Centre is to provide innovative teaching approaches emphasizing experiential learning, analytical skills, critical thinking, strategic decision making, and professional development.

Research: The Chair and the Kohl Centre team will maintain a highly visible applied research program in agribusiness management and applied economics that supports and reinforces the teaching and outreach missions of the Centre. Research responsibilities will focus on analytic solutions for the agribusiness and food sector, and may include but are not limited to precision agriculture, blockchain, data security, marketing technology and strategy, market channels and supply chain analysis, and global value chains, trade policy and digital exchange.

Centre personnel will collaborate with faculty in the department, college, and across campus to contribute to interdisciplinary programs, such as the Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture, SmartFarm Innovation Network and the Academy of Data Science. There is an expectation of excellence in external fundraising, timely communication of research findings through publication in peer-reviewed journals, and undergraduate and graduate student mentoring.

Outreach and Engagement: The Chair will foster and maintain relationships with industry and agribusiness stakeholders in Virginia and beyond to identify relevant research topics for student- led, experiential projects. As appropriate, the Chair will also be expected to present policy-relevant work and research results to external audiences. Furthermore, the Chair will work with others in the department and the college to identify and promote internship and employment opportunities for students.

Required Qualifications

● Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness, Applied Economics, Economics, Business
Management, Applied Statistics, or a closely related disciplinary or interdisciplinary
● Excellent interpersonal skills and experience working with clientele groups such as
government agencies, industry groups, or commodity organizations
● Demonstrated excellence in teaching and delivering content relevant to business analytics
and data-informed decision making
● An established record that supports an appointment at the rank of Professor
● An established track record of obtaining external funding to support research or outreach

Preferred Qualifications

● An entrepreneurial mindset combined with experience advising students for experiential
learning activities such as competitions or student consulting
● Experience developing and delivering economic-based educational programs to Extension
personnel, business managers, industry groups, and public agency employees
● Experience developing new and diverse revenue streams to support programmatic
● A record of developing curriculum in agribusiness management and delivering classes in a
variety of formats
● A record of preparing and presenting management-focused educational programs such as
teaching curricula materials, management decision aids, or peer-reviewed documents for
professional distribution and recognition

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with Experience

Review Date

January 15, 2023

Additional Information

Required application materials include: 1) cover letter, 2) current curriculum vitae, 3) research statement, 4) teaching statement, 5) diversity statement, and 6) full contact information for three professional references. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2023 and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected.

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.


About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Jason Grant at jhgrant@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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