Open menu

Director, School of Ocean Science and Engineering, The University of Southern Mississippi

Job Summary
The Director of the School of Ocean Science and Engineering (SOSE) will provide energetic, collaborative, and visionary leadership, administrative guidance, and advocacy for the mission of SOSE in the areas of teaching, research, professional and public service, and outreach. The Director will be expected to maintain and nurture philosophies of shared governance, research-integrated teaching, and diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility (DEIJA). SOSE includes graduate and undergraduate degree programs spanning Coastal Sciences, Hydrographic Science, Marine Biology, Marine Science, and Ocean Engineering, as well as a certificate program in Uncrewed Maritime Systems. The faculty and staff of SOSE leverage their locations along the Gulf Coast and expertise in marine science, engineering, policy, and ecosystem health to address challenges facing coastal and marine environments, both regionally and globally. SOSE has significant research infrastructure and facilities across four principal sites: the NASA Stennis Space Center, the Gulf Park Campus at Long Beach, the Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise at the Port of Gulfport, and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs.

The Director will guide the strategic vision for undergraduate and graduate education, teaching effectiveness, and scholarly research.  In addition to investing in their own research agenda, the Director is expected to lead, promote, and/or participate in inter- and multi-disciplinary research involving inter-institutional collaborations and diverse funding sources. The Director also encourages partnerships with USM coastal research centers (described below), and community and professional agencies. The Director serves as the chief academic and administrative officer of SOSE, reporting to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The position is full-time, 12-month, tenure track (pre- or tenured), and begins as early as Summer 2024. The salary for this position is competitive and commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate.

For more information, contact:
Dr. David M. Cochran, Jr.
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education
Campus Coordinator, NASA-Mississippi Space Grant Consortium
Chair, Director of Ocean Science and Engineering Search Committee

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
The Director holds responsibility for leadership of SOSE and representation of SOSE to the College and University administration. The main office for this position is at the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, but the Director is expected to maintain a regular, sustained presence at all campuses where SOSE has a presence. In addition, the Director:

  • Oversees and guides strategic planning and analysis of School operations, budget, technology, and facilities, and actively engages in external/extramural relations
  • Contributes to the Coastal Operations Leadership Team
  • Participates as a member of the University in scholarship and teaching activities
  • Engages in program and curriculum development for undergraduate and graduate academic programs, including remote learning
  • Oversees program assessment and accreditation in SOSE
  • Guides student recruitment and retention practices
  • Engages in faculty recruitment, review, and retention practices
  • Promotes research and scholarship productivity and fosters an environment conducive to impactful, externally funded scholarly activities among faculty and students
  • Fosters community, professional, and public partnerships that support the mission of SOSE
  • Promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility, and faculty governance
  • Enhances a collegial workplace built on mutual respect, transparency, and accountability
    Performs other duties as assigned
  • Job Type: Faculty
  • Organization: School of Ocean Science and Engineering - The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Qualifications: Minimum Qualifications An earned Ph.D. from an accredited college or university in a relevant discipline in marine/coastal/ocean science or engineering or a closely related field; evidence of administrative leadership experience; evidence of a distinguished and sustained scholarly record that would qualify the applicant for tenure at the rank of at least associate professor; evidence of strong teaching and mentoring experience; evidence of significant national and/or international professional service; evidence of potential to develop/maintain a strong, externally funded research program, publish peer-reviewed literature, contribute across disciplines, and promote the continued interdisciplinary growth of the academic and research programs within SOSE. Knowledge, Skills & Abilities Understands higher education and is proficient in industry/professional terminology.  Thinks strategically and seeks to align department services and goals with institutional strategic goals.  Asks critical questions to identify solutions.  Understands the interconnection of decisions, actions, outcomes, and measures. Demonstrates openness and flexibility towards new ideas and concepts, and effectively influences and facilitates during times of change.  Helps others become more effective through development and coaching.  Utilizes candid feedback, knowledge, resources, and opportunities to improve the performance of others and to increase their contributions.  Sets clear expectations for performance, provides meaningful and timely feedback, holds employees accountable, and recognizes successes. Demonstrates the ability to deliver accurate, concise, and quality communication (verbal and written) in a timely manner.  Encourages an open exchange of ideas and differing perspectives.  Adapts communication style to meet the needs of diverse audiences and situations. Actively listens to others and makes a concerted effort to understand alternative and opposing points of view. Works to build and manage productive relationships with peers, leaders, and partnerships.  Effectively engages and interacts with others to collaborate and provide value-added support that enhances department results and team effectiveness.  Affects outcomes and direction of partnerships by maintaining effective relationships, trust, and credibility.    Preferred Qualifications Distinguished record of achievements consistent with a preferred rank of full professor; administrative and leadership experience that indicates an ability to manage a diverse school with multiple programs and across multiple campuses; experience with research and scholarly programs similar to SOSE; expertise in undergraduate and graduate programs, including online education; experience with securing funding for and leadership of large research efforts and centers; experience with budget preparation and resource allocation; experience with organizational communication and outreach.
  • How to apply: Apply on website:
  • Location: Long Beach, MS
  • Web address:

Contact Information

David Cochran

Share This Listing

Upcoming Events