Director (Academic Administrator VII)

Director (Academic Administrator VII)

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, United States

(Academic Administrator VII)
University of California Botanical Garden (UCBG)
University of California, Berkeley

The University of California – Berkeley seeks applications for a Director of the University of California Botanical Garden (UCBG). This full-time position is anticipated to start in July 2019 for an initial three-year term, and is renewable thereafter based upon performance.


The mission of the University of California Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain a diverse living collection of plants, to support teaching and worldwide research in plant biology, to further the conservation of plant diversity, and to promote public understanding and appreciation of plants and the natural environment. Established 125 years ago, the UC Botanical Garden today serves both the University and the general public through its research, conservation, education, and interpretive programs. The UCBG is formally recognized as a living museum, with ties to the natural history museums located on campus: the University of California Museum of Paleontology, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Essig Museum of Entomology, and the University and Jepson Herbaria.

The UCBG occupies 34 acres of Strawberry Canyon in the hills above the Berkeley campus. The nature of the canyon and its elevation gradient provide a wide range of exposures and micro-climates, providing opportunities to grow a vast array of plants from around the world. With more than 12,000 plants representing more than 9,000 species, the Garden is one of the most diverse plant collections in the United States and it is unparalleled in its high percentage of wild-collected plants with documented sources, making its collection invaluable to botanical research and conservation. Nine major geographic collections are featured: Asia, Australasia, California, Eastern North America, Mediterranean, Mexico/Central America, New World Desert, South America, and Southern Africa. Specialty and ethno-botanical collections are also represented.

The Garden has a long history in both conservation and research. Since its move to Strawberry Canyon in the 1920s, the Garden has been directly involved in research, first as a campus resource and gradually expanding its reach to serve as a world-wide research resource. As increasing numbers of species around the world have become endangered, conservation has become a major Garden commitment as well. Indeed, some 2,000 of the Garden’s species are listed as rare, endangered or even extinct in their natural habitats.

Visitor education efforts in the Garden include public programming, visitor guides and maps, interpretive signage, docent tours open to the public, educational materials provided on the Garden website, lectures, workshops, and summer camps. Docent-led tours serve some 6,500 visitors per year, including students in grades K-12 and adult groups. The Education Coordinator and docents also bring educational content into K-6 schools through the programs Botany on Your Plate, Pollinators, and California Natives: Plants and People, and related Garden publications. More information about the current activities, events, and programs can be found on the Garden’s website at
University operational funding provides one third of the Garden’s budget of approximately $2.7 million per year. The remainder comes from memberships, grants, annual giving, endowment earnings, and revenue generating activities (plant sales, gift shop sales, wedding and conference rentals, programs, concerts, camps, and tours). The Garden is maintained by 33 staff members and some 310 volunteers. Volunteers work as docents, propagators for plant sales, horticulturists, librarians, gift shop sales staff, and advisory board members, as well as undertaking a variety of other tasks. Volunteers contributed approximately 15,000 hours in 2014.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Director reports to the Vice Chancellor for Research and works closely with the UCBG Advisory Board, the Garden staff, and the Faculty Advisory Committee to establish policies, priorities, and the strategic direction of the Garden. In addition the the Director has the support of the Faculty Liaison to the Garden, whose role is to promote increased interest and participation of the Berkeley faculty community in research and instruction at the Garden. The Faculty Liaison also assists in representing the Garden at various forums on the Berkeley campus. The Director works with Garden and University Development staff, the Faculty Liaison, and with members of the Botanical Garden Advisory Board to identify and gather, through major fundraising initiatives, the resources needed to fulfill the Garden’s mission and strategic priorities. The Director is responsible for the executive leadership of the Garden’s fiscal, human, and physical resources, as well as interpretation, conservation, research, teaching and public programs based on the Garden’s plant collections. The Director acts as an effective advocate and spokesperson for the Garden at local, regional, national and international levels. The Director also serves on the leadership council of the Berkeley Natural History Museums, whose other members include the Directors of the University Herbarium, the Museum of Paleontology, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Essig Museum of Entomology, and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, to coordinate shared objectives.

This is not a tenure-track professorial appointment, but there may be opportunities for the successful candidate to obtain an Adjunct faculty appointment contingent upon the candidate’s academic qualifications and with the support of an appropriate academic department.

Specific duties include:

Program and resource development, implementation, and evaluation: The Director ensures that the Garden serves as a leading center for research and education on the flora and plant communities represented in the Garden, oversees a varied set of programs and resources dedicated to that goal, and ensures that priorities are set and projects are managed efficiently and effectively.

Outreach and partnership development: The Director sees that the Garden serves the local community, the state, and beyond by providing programs, expertise, knowledge resources, and access to the Garden. Collaboration is a hallmark of the Garden’s work; consequently the Director establishes and nurtures partnerships with University faculty, public and private organizations, and individuals to further the Garden’s mission and goals, particularly in the area of conservation. Outreach efforts include educational programs for schoolchildren, university students, and members of the public, opportunities and programs for volunteers, and resources and opportunities for researchers.

Fiscal, administrative, and operational oversight: The Director is responsible for sound financial management of the Garden and its programs, promoting the financial wellbeing and economic stability of the Garden, and securing resources through which the goals of the Garden are accomplished. The Director oversees budget preparation, fiscal practices, financial analyses, and annual reporting. The Director effectively organizes and supervises employees, cultivates teamwork and open communication, promotes diversity, fosters a culture of scholarly engagement and service, evaluates performance, and provides opportunities for recognition, training and professional development.

Garden management and development: The Director is responsible for the wellbeing and expansion of the of the Garden’s extensive plant collections. The Director works closely with the Faculty Liaison to the Garden, UCBG Advisory Board, Garden staff, campus faculty and University administration to implement the UCBG Master Plan for 2025, including working with Garden and University development staff to develop and implement a capital campaign to address the objectives of this plan. [You may download a PDF of the 2020 UCBG Master Plan at]

Basic Required Qualifications (required at time of application):
PhD or equivalent international degree

Additional Required Qualifications (required by the start date of the position):
7-10 years of administrative and management experience
Experience in administering and evaluating multiple aspects of botanical garden programming.
Experience with private fundraising.
Staff management experience including leadership, interactions with advisory groups and boards.

Preferred Qualifications:
Knowledge of federal and state granting agencies, private foundations, attracting and maintaining grant funding.
Knowledge of fundraising and capital development campaign principles.
Knowledge of botanical garden business operations, including budgeting, financial management and marketing.
Administrative and management experience of increasing responsibility at a botanical garden, natural history museum, or equivalent organization.
Knowledge of priorities, policies and structure of university botanical gardens.
Knowledge of curatorial practices appropriate to botanical gardens.
Demonstrated capacity for conceptualization and organization of research and educational programs and their accompanying publications.
Experience teaching and conducting research in an academic setting.
Familiarity with international conventions pertaining to the acquisition of botanical specimens.
Written and oral communications skills.

Ability to garner the support of volunteers and appreciate their contributions.
Passion and drive for the goals of the Garden.
Commitment to the Berkeley Principles of Community.

Salary & Benefits:
Salary will be commensurate with experience. UC Berkeley has an excellent benefits package as well as a number of policies and programs in place to support employees as they balance work and family.

Application Procedures:

This position is open until filled. To apply, please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references online at :

All applications will be kept confidential. Letters of reference are not required at this time. We will seek your permission before contacting your references. Should letters be solicited, all letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality:

This position is a sensitive position and is subject to a full criminal background check.

Please address any questions to Laura Mays at

The University of California 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, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Please apply via recruiter’s website.