Job Description

The Department of Mining Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines (Mines) is seeking a visionary and inspirational leader to be the first-ever J. Steven Whisler Chair for the Head of Mining Engineering.  This endowed position was recently established as part of a $7.5M gift from Steve and Ardy Whisler that also established the J. Steven Whisler Professor of Practice and the J. Steven Whisler Scholars Program.

We seek a non-conventional leader who can develop and advance a vision that positions our #1 world-ranked Mining Engineering program to be the exemplar for all other mining engineering programs in the future.

The J. Steven Whisler Chair for the Head of Mining Engineering will have both academic and industry experience with a clear vision for training the next generation of engineers in sustainable mining, entrepreneurship, and systems-level thinking. Successful candidates will have demonstrated high ethical standards, are expected to operate in a transparent and collegial way and have a strong commitment to building a program that attracts faculty and students from a wide range of backgrounds.  The J. Steven Whisler Chair for the Head of Mining Engineering will have access to endowed resources that can be used to support the teaching and research mission of the Department but will be expected to be used to rally industry enthusiasm, engagement, and additional support for the program.


The successful candidate will be expected to work effectively in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment within the Department, with other Mines’ leaders, and with external partners to accomplish the following goals:

  • Develop and implement a vision and strategy for increasing the global impact, reach, and reputation of the mining engineering department in the future.
  • Increase the number of Mines’ graduates taking positions in mining and mining-related companies.
  • Increase alumni engagement and the number of external partnerships.
  • Increase external support for the program.
  • Increase external funding for mining-related research and discovery and become the top producer of doctoral degree recipients that go on to faculty positions at other universities.

The successful candidate will also be responsible for the following that are expected of every department chair at Mines:

  • Oversee management of the Department, so that it delivers on its education and research mission and makes best use of its resources.
  • Ensure alignment of the department with the university’s strategic plan (e.g., currently the MINES@150 plan).
  • Encourage, promote and support continued professional growth of faculty and staff.
  • Oversee recruitment and retention of excellent faculty, staff, and students, while contributing to Mines’ diversity, inclusion, and access goals.
  • Administer and lead the renewal of curricular and teaching activities.
  • Represent the Department to the university administration, other university units, industry, and to public and private agencies at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
  • Lead fund-raising for departmental activities, budget preparation, and management.

In addition, Department Heads at Mines are expected to be active in the classroom and may be engaged in research and graduate student mentoring.

For further information about the position or the Department vision, please contact Prof. Jennifer Miskimins (search chair) at

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have a proven record of accomplishment in leadership and strategic visioning in industry and/or academia, as well as evidence of successful personnel and financial management.  Inspiring leadership qualities, enthusiasm, effective interpersonal communication, and organizational skills are essential.

Applicants should meet the requirements for appointment as a tenured faculty member or as a professor of practice.

The successful candidate will be familiar with mining industry needs, have demonstrated high ethical standards, and is expected to operate in a transparent and collegial way.  The successful candidate should be responsive to the needs of the faculty, staff, and students within the Department and have a strong commitment to attract a diverse community of faculty, staff, and students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

There is a preference for candidates with a graduate degree in Mining Engineering or a related field (e.g., mineral processing, extractive metallurgy, etc.). There is also a preference for a candidate having leadership experience in the industry, or with teaching in and working within or with people employed in an academic environment.

For more information click HERE

How to Apply
Interested applicants should apply online HERE as soon as possible. For full consideration, applications should be received by May 1, 2023. Applications will continue to be considered until the position is filled.