Director of Horticulture and Collections
Employment TypeJob (Full-time)
Administrative & Finance
Working Title: Director of Horticulture and Collections
Supervisor: Executive Director
Job Code: 9323MO
Starting Salary Range (minimum to maximum): $136,000 – $165,000/annually,
depending on education/ experience and internal equity
The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in partnership with the Department of Horticultural Sciences in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, is one of the nation’s premiere university-based public gardens. The Arboretum’s extensive landscapes across its 1,200 acres, includes 49 display and specialty gardens, 44 plant collections representing 6,100 taxa of plants including the nationally accredited pine and ornamental grass collections, and native and restored woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. The Arboretum is home to the Department of Horticultural Sciences’ thriving research programs in fruit and woody landscape plant breeding, responsible for over 150 plant introductions since 1908 including the Honeycrisp Apple and the ‘Lights’ series of azaleas. To meet the needs of remarkable growth in recent decades, the Arboretum seeks applications for a newly created Director of Horticulture and Collections.
Reporting to the Arboretum’s Executive Director and working as part of the Arboretum’s Leadership Team, the Director of Horticulture and Collections will provide visionary and strategic leadership in all aspects of landscape operations, collections, curation and care, greenhouse, nursery, and orchard management, and stewardship of the Arboretum’s extensive natural resources. The position collaborates and forges new partnerships with stakeholders across the University of Minnesota, including but not limited to the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, the Department of Horticultural Sciences, and Extension to advocate for gardens, plant collections, and resources in support of the mission of the Arboretum.
In execution of these responsibilities the Director of Horticulture and Collections leads a team of full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees, ensures appropriate personnel training, development, and performance feedback. The position fosters a workplace environment where all staff are committed to principles and practices of respect, diversity, inclusivity, continuous improvement, excellent customer service, and teamwork. The successful candidate is expected to play a leadership role on Arboretum-wide committees and interact and present regularly to the Arboretum’s Board of Trustees, government agencies, and other community and stakeholder groups. As the Arboretum launches its next Strategic Planning process and review of its site master plan, the Director of Horticulture and Collections will work with fellow Directors and staff to envision, create, and advance the future of the Arboretum and horticultural excellence for the institution.
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation’s most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.
At the University of Minnesota, we are proud to be recognized by the Star Tribune as a Top Workplace for 2021, as well as by Forbes as Best Employers for Women and one of America’s Best Employers (2015, 2018, 2019, 2023), Best Employer for Diversity (2019, 2020), Best Employer for New Grads (2018, 2019), and Best Employer by State (2019, 2022).
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a community outreach unit of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences. The Arboretum is located west of Minneapolis/St Paul and its 1,200 acres traverse the municipalities of Chaska, Chanhassen and Victoria. As a member of the American Public Garden Association and an accredited museum through the American Alliance of Museums, the Arboretum is a tremendous public asset. Visitors engage with gardens, collections, natural areas, a farm, research demonstrations, youth and adult education, events and exhibits. Please visit us at https://arb.umn.edu/
Duties & Responsibilities
SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Collections, Greenhouse, and Landscape Operations (50%)
– Organize and manage the overall development, stewardship, and enhancement of the 1,200-acre landscape including display gardens, living plant collections, research fields, educational support areas, and natural resources providing vision, setting goals, and prioritization resulting in horticulture excellence in alignment with other world-class botanical gardens and arboreta.
– Oversee full scope of greenhouse and nursery operations and systems supporting plant propagation and production for collections and gardens, research, and education programming.
– Direct living collections curation including policy, procedure, and advisory group development, plant acquisition, documentation, inventories, plant labels and mapping activities.
– Participate in plant exploration planning and execution with domestic and international partners.
– In coordination with the Director of Research, oversee management of 230 acres of research fields and greenhouse facilities.
– In coordination with the Director of Education, oversee management of food demonstration areas and learning greenhouse; co-create planning of new or redesign of existing gardens to align with diverse communities’ interests and emerging landscape trends such as landscapes for clean water, climate adaptation, and foodscaping.
– Administer holistic approach to plant health care, involving development and execution of integrated pest management, soils health, and arboriculture and tree risk assessment programs.
– Oversee landscape infrastructure condition assessments, maintenance, and improvements, including hardscape features, benches, gates, walls, paths, irrigation, and drainage systems to establish priority for repair, replacement, or renewal.
– Regularly inspect public grounds and maintenance areas and facilities to ensure compliance with industry standards for maintenance and safety.
– Ensure procedures and policies meet environmental health and safety standards across all aspects of horticulture and landscape operations, working closely with related University units.
– Manage the institution’s vehicle fleet including maintenance equipment, staff vehicles, and public transportation vans and shuttles.
– Coordinate 7-day a week operation including general maintenance, event support, and emergency and weather response including snow management operations.
Administration and Project Management (30%)
– Responsible for full scope of staffing and personnel management for the horticulture and collections department, consisting of organizational structure development, hiring, employee reviews, goal setting and performance planning, and union labor contracts.
– Foster a work culture that values significant volunteer engagement to increase capacity of staff to maintain and improve garden and managed landscape areas
– Prepare, manage, and oversee resources and budgets for all functions of the horticulture and collections department.
– In coordination with the Director of Facilities and Project Management, serve as project lead for operational and capital landscape improvements including directing planning and assisting in fundraising efforts.
– Meet regularly with Arboretum department representatives to ensure a high level of interdepartmental collaboration and support for cross-functional activities including visitor services, education, research and institutional advancement.
– Advise and support the Arboretum Executive Director in institutional planning and decision-making; support, advise, collaborate with fellow department Directors; serve as a member of the Senior Leadership Team
– Assist in engaging and supporting the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Foundation Board of Trustees in strategic activities and prepare and deliver regular reports to members.
– Work collaboratively with other units to provide broad types of analysis and internal oversight across the operations.
– Other duties across the organization as assigned.
Advocacy and Outreach (20%)
– Represent the Arboretum to public and private stakeholders to enhance visibility and to grow support for new and existing gardens, facilities, programs and operations.
– Author articles, deliver presentations, and develop courses for internal and external audiences, including the University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Sciences and Arboretum Education Department.
– In collaboration with Arboretum media relations, engage in media inquiries, interviews, and advisory interactions with University leadership.
– Interface with various city, state, and other government agencies and University units.
– In support of the Director of Advancement, cultivate donors through tours, personal interactions, and fundraising events; develop and present project proposals to potential supporters; assist with developing grant proposal submissions.
– Cultivate external partnerships that advance the mission of the Arboretum
Education and Experience
QUALIFICATIONS AND EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS (Must be referenced on application or resume.)
– Education and Experience:
BS/BA degree in horticulture, plant sciences, landscape architecture, or related field plus at least ten (10) years of experience in related disciplines (such as garden development and maintenance, greenhouse management, arboriculture practices, and natural lands stewardship); or
Master’s degree in horticulture, plant sciences, landscape architecture, or related field plus at least eight (8) years of experience in related disciplines (such as garden development and maintenance, greenhouse management, arboriculture practices, and natural lands stewardship); or
PhD in horticulture/plant sciences plus at least six (6) years of experience in related disciplines (such as garden development and maintenance, greenhouse management, arboriculture practices, and natural lands stewardship).
– Five (5) years leading or managing complex horticulture operations.
– Excellent communication and organizational skills.
– Demonstrated commitment to advancing and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the ability to work respectfully and effectively with individuals with diverse identities and underrepresented groups.
– Master’s degree in related field.
– Experience in arboretum and/or botanic garden management.
– Experience in curation practices (such as governance, acquisition, documentation, maintenance, and use).
– Demonstrated commitment to implementing sustainable and energy efficient initiatives.
– Demonstrated interpersonal and public engagement skills.
– Experience representing an organization in community/township hearings, serving on boards, or in other advisory capacities.
Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.
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