*Director of the Botanic Garden*

Smith College, the largest independent women’s college in the U.S., seeks a
Director of its Botanic Garden. The Director reports to the Provost and
Dean of Faculty, ensuring the full integration of this celebrated living
collection with the College’s liberal arts mission of teaching, learning,
and research. The Botanic Garden, with a national and international
reputation, is a premier garden among college and university gardens. The
accredited Campus Arboretum, the Lyman Conservatory, the Systematics Garden
and the Rock Garden are extraordinary assets, encompassing well-documented
and biologically diverse collections that serve students and researchers
around the globe. Situated in an Olmsted-designed arboretum, the Botanic
Garden hosts a rich learning and research ecosystem, welcoming an
increasingly diverse community of users engaged in botany, horticulture,
and landscape studies. The director heads a staff of 14 with an annual
budget of ~$1.2m.

The new Director will join Smith at a propitious moment. With an endowment
of $1.7B, Smith is financially strong and committed to expanding the
curricular impact of its unique collections. The new Director will be a key
partner with faculty and staff in advancing botanical and environmental
literacy among students and the public, fostering student research, and
leading plant conservation efforts. New opportunities for collaboration
among Smith’s three unique college collections – the Museum, Library and
Botanic Garden – are a key focus of Smith’s strategic plan. As the college
embarks on the centerpiece of its capital plan over the next five years –
the redesign of Neilson library by the renowned designer Maya Lin – the
Director will play an important role in campus landscape planning.

The new Director will be responsible for the leadership, care and
management of the Botanic Garden as an integral part of the mission of the
college. This will require careful oversight of the primary operations of
the botanic garden, which include: improvement and maintenance of the
living collections as an instructional garden; public programming,
education and outreach; and ancillary teaching and research activities in
the area of botany, horticulture and landscape studies.


*Management & Administration:* Manage the operations of the living
collections in a manner that enhances the scientific value and beauty of
the campus. Cultivate strong relationships across the college, including
with academic departments and other users of the collections and facilities
including the Department of Biological Sciences, the Landscape Studies
Program, the Department of Education, the Center for Environment,
Ecological Design and Sustainability (CEEDS), the Environmental Science and
Policy Program, the Art Department and others. Develop and maintain strong
working relationships with professional botanic gardens within and outside
the US. Serve on appropriate campus committees. Manage the budget and
endowed funds of the Botanic Garden. Partner with Development and Alumnae
Affairs in communicating the campus strategic vision and goals,
fundraising, and general outreach.

*Academics*: Establish and maintain strong collaborative relationships with
Smith faculty to ensure that the botanic garden resources meet their
research and teaching needs. Create an inclusive learning environment for
students. Facilitate access to the living collections by outside
researchers and academic collaborators. At the discretion of the Provost
and by agreement with the academic unit(s) involved, the position may
involve teaching, mentoring student projects, curricular collaboration, and
research, within an academic department appropriate to expertise, on a
flexible basis.


·         Lead the continuing evolution of a living collection integrated
in an academic institution, including creating a new strategic plan that
looks toward the next half-century of interdisciplinary work the botanic
garden will foster

·         Cultivate a culture of positive change and collaboration during a
period of transformation

·         Forge strong partnerships within and outside of Smith, making the
botanic garden an interdisciplinary crossroads and world-wide destination
for a broad community of scholars and students


The Director of the Botanic Garden will be an accomplished and creative
leader, committed to the mission of a women’s college. The successful
candidate will bring many of the following talents to this work:

·         Professional knowledge of botany and horticulture, landscape
design and historic preservation – as well as the administration and
maintenance of living botanical collections.

·         At least five years of proven operational leadership in a complex
organizational setting, including the effective management of fiscal,
human, and physical resources; ability to continually assess Botanic Garden
programming to enhance its support for teaching, learning, and research at

·         Minimum qualifications include a master’s degree in a discipline
appropriate to the leadership of a Botanic Garden in a research-intensive

·         The ability to be an engaging and thoughtful spokesperson for the
future of the Botanic Garden and the college’s role in shaping this future
with internal and external partners.

·         A lively intellect and comfort with working in a fast paced
environment; a record of innovation and creativity achieved by working
collaboratively with others.

·         Resilience and stamina for the tasks at hand; personal equanimity
in dealing with a broad spectrum of personalities; a positive outlook and a
good sense of humor.

·         Demonstrated expertise in working with diverse communities
including first-generation, multiethnic, and multilingual students and
staff as well as alumnae, donors, visitors and others.

·         A successful history of staff recruitment, development, and team
building, including a demonstrated commitment to building and supporting a
diverse staff.

·         A history of writing and communicating well to varied audiences
in person, in print, and across varied media.


*Smith College is an EO/AA/Vet/Disability employer encouraging excellence
through diversity. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to

Serena Harris
HR Specialist/AA Officer
Smith College
Human Resources

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