Temporary ecology/organismal biology position at UMM

We’re hiring! If you have skill in teaching, and want to hone those skills at a school with a reputation for excellence in teaching, apply!

Full-Time One-Year Position in Biology
University of Minnesota, Morris

The University of Minnesota, Morris seeks an individual committed to excellence in undergraduate education, to fill a full-time, one-year, possibly renewable, position in biology beginning August 17, 2015. Responsibilities include: teaching undergraduate biology courses including a 2000-level survey of organismal biology for majors (with labs), an introductory-level survey of biology for environmental studies/science students (with labs, including field trips to local habitats), and an upper-level organismal or ecological elective in the candidate’s area of expertise; contributing to other courses that support the biology curriculum; and sharing in the governance and advancement of the biology program as well as the campus at large.

Candidates must be at least A.B.D. in ecology, organismal biology, environmental biology, or a closely related field by August 17, 2015. Experience teaching undergraduate biology is required. (Graduate TA experience is acceptable).

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) is a residential public liberal arts college serving about 1900 undergraduate students. As one of five campuses of the University of Minnesota, the Morris campus is located 160 miles west of Minneapolis in the rural community of Morris, MN. UMM is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Top 10 Best Public Liberal Arts College. The student body is talented, diverse and engaged. The UMM student body is one of the most ethnically diverse in the University of Minnesota system with 20% students of color (13% are American Indian students) and a growing international student population.

The college values diversity in its students, faculty, and staff. The college is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our community through their teaching, research, and /or service because we believe that diversity enriches the classroom and research experience at the University

Applications must include a letter of application, resume, graduate and undergraduate transcripts, a teaching statement with evidence of teaching effectiveness, and three letters of reference. Applications may be sent to Ann Kolden, Administrative Assistant, at koldenal@morris.umn.edu, (320) 589-6301, or they may be sent to:

Biology Search Committee Chair
Division of Science and Mathematics
University of Minnesota, Morris
Morris, MN 56267-2128

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Screening begins February 16, 2015. Inquiries can be made to Professor Heather Waye, Search Committee Chair, at (320) 589-6304 (wayex001@morris.umn.edu).

The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To request disability accommodation or material in alternative formats contact: UMM Human Resources, (320)-589-6024, Room309, Behmler Hall, Morris, MN 56267.


  1. Ichthyic says

    full time, one year position…

    so, I guess they won’t need to teach this material after the year is up?

    pretty tired of the new business model of everything being a low paid temporary position with no benefits.

    unless someone is really desperate, why would this, why SHOULD this, attract anyone with a mind to teaching for a career?

  2. David Marjanović says

    unless someone is really desperate

    You seem to have no idea how desperate my generation of scientists is.

  3. says

    It’s a sabbatical replacement. The material needs to be taught and will be taught.

    This position will have full time salary & benefits — this isn’t an internship! I agree that if you can land a full-time tenure track position, that would be infinitely preferable to a term-limited appointment like this one — but I can tell you that when we do have tenure-track positions opening up, we want faculty with the kind of teaching experience this job offers. Being able to state on your CV that you’ve taught a full course load at a liberal arts university is actually a pretty good aid to future jobs at similar places (it might even help get a position at a research university…if you can keep your research going at the same time.)

  4. yazikus says

    why would this, why SHOULD this, attract anyone with a mind to teaching for a career?

    The stunning scenery?

    Just kidding. It is really sad. I was on a hiring committee for a small private school one time. They were looking for a teacher. The pay wasn’t good, it was in a rural area far from any big cities, and there were so many applicants, from all over the country. People with multiple degrees, ready to uproot for this not-very-exciting job. I was surprised.

  5. Ichthyic says

    It’s a sabbatical replacement.

    that makes more sense, but still, you KNOW what I’m talking about.

  6. Ichthyic says

    also, if it’s sabbatical replacement, that should actually be noted in the job description.

    instead, it says:

    ” possibly renewable”

    like they’re dangling carrots…

  7. says

    The year after, we’re going to have another faculty on sabbatical who will need replacing, and we hope we’ll be able to keep this same person on to cover that. But this is an era of declining budgets, and we can’t promise anything.

    And yes, I know what you’re talking about — the academic job market sucks. Endless part-time positions filled by adjuncts at low pay are an evil I’ve railed about before. But even if the market were great and every graduate could walk right into a TT job, we’d still have a need for people to cover temporary absences, like sabbaticals. We really are doing our best to make this job, temporary as it is, good and productive for anyone who gets it.

    I’d also say that those in more research-oriented lines are accustomed to the idea of doing post-docs before getting a TT job, and in fact, it’s essentially mandatory nowadays. This is like a well-paid post-doc opportunity for an academic who wants to consider and get better qualifications for a teaching position. So it’s not that evil.

    But I agree, we’d rather be able to hire more TT faculty, so we’d have enough depth that we could cover all the necessary courses by juggling FTEs a little bit, rather than every time getting on our knees and begging the administration to give us temporary funding so we don’t have to deprive our students of essential classes.

  8. Trebuchet says

    Candidates must be at least A.B.D. in ecology, organismal biology, environmental biology…

    Can someone explain to this non-academic what A.B.D. means?

  9. futurechemist says

    Visiting Assistant Professorships are a good way to train for more permanent positions. I did a post-doc followed by 2 different VAPs before landing a permanent job. The visiting process – and the whole academic job market – can be incredibly stressful though. I’d move to the new city in early August, classes would start by Labor Day and then the first job applications for tenure-track positions would be due by mid-September, so the job application process seemed constant. It’s also not so great for students because there’s less consistency and quality control in how classes are taught, not to mention the expectation that the VAP will be missing a decent number of their classes to go on job interviews.

    One of the places I was a VAP finally realized that since some departments were asking for a visitor every year because of sabbaticals and exceptionally high course enrollments, it was more cost effective to just grant some of those departments a new tenure-track line rather than run a new visitor search every year.

  10. WhiteHatLurker says

    ABD is also: all but done, all but dissertation, all but doctor. I don’t recall seeing that in an advertisement though.

    A 2000 level class. Wow. The best I’ve taken are the 900 level “classes” you have to register for to stay a grad student. Puts the 400/800 classes I teach in perspective …

    I have to agree that a position like this for someone interested in the teaching side would be an advantage to those that are ABD. I’d say that most people interested in research would probably try for a post doc position, (I expect UMN Morris jobs pay better, though.)

  11. says

    Numbering here is different. 1000 level is first year, 2000 is second year, etc. The 2000 level course is a biodiversity survey course that many students take in their first year — it’s an introduction to taxonomy, ecology, that sort of thing, with a lab that includes a lot of simple dissections. It shouldn’t be at all intimidating to any biologist with a Ph.D.