Director - Hilltop Arboretum

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Organization: 

Address:

Baton Rouge, LA
United States

Job Category:

Job

Job Type:

Full-time

Job Description:

The Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture (RRSLA) at Louisiana State University in partnership with the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum (Friends) invites applications for the position of Director of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum, (start date to be determined based on the earliest availability of selected candidate).  The LSU Hilltop Arboretum is located in Baton Rouge, the state’s capital, five miles south of the Louisiana State University main campus on historic Highland Road. LSU has land, sea, and space grant stature, with the RRSLA one of the premier landscape architecture programs nationally. Friends has been highly successful in raising funds for operating the Arboretum, building the award-winning Office Complex (designed by Lake|Flato Architects), implementing phases of the Arboretum’s master plan for the site (designed by Reed Hilderbrand), and the courtyard (designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz).

We seek a flexible and creative leader with demonstrated organizational, interpersonal, communication, planning, programming, marketing, fundraising, and fiscal skills. The Director has overall responsibility for all business functions and works in partnership with the Robert Reich School and the Board of Directors of the Friends, and its small, dedicated staff. Friends is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with LSU to preserve, protect, operate, maintain, and enhance the Arboretum. The Director is the primary representative of the arboretum and its engagement for the University and the greater Baton Rouge community. Strong abilities in strategic planning, fundraising for and implementation of the Arboretum’s master plan, mission-driven programing, and volunteer engagement is essential. The Director shall partner with academic leadership to promote opportunities and participation of students. The Director shall maintain and champion ongoing successes and encourage and develop new initiatives, directions, and innovation. A positive relationship with and ability to work with community volunteers and organizations is essential to continue to maintain and build a robust base of supporters to successfully support the onsite nursery, including involvement by younger people and greater corporate support.

Context and Opportunities
The LSU Hilltop Arboretum was established in 1981 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, just east of the Mississippi River, and five miles south of the LSU main campus on historic Highland Road. The 14-acre site on the Terrace Escarpment of the Mississippi River showcases an extensive collection of Louisiana native trees, shrubs, and a meadow of wildflowers and grasses inspired by the once extensive, but now greatly diminished Cajun Prairie of Southwest Louisiana, now in its third year of a ten year process of development. A William Bartram (b. 1739-d. 1823) historical trail marker commemorates the travels of American Naturalist in Louisiana.

The mission of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum is to provide a sanctuary where students and visitors can learn about natural systems, plants, and landscape design. The Arboretum strives to be a nationally recognized center for the study of native plants and landscape design, holding to the legacy of donor Emory Smith’s love for native Louisiana plants. Hilltop is owned by LSU and is under the collaborative management and shared stewardship of the RRSLA and the Friends. Hilltop has for a long period of time been an integral part of the School, which uses the Arboretum in its research, teaching, and service activities. Established in 1988, Friends provides education programs to engage the broader community, operational support, and fundraising activities. Among the many educational activities, the Arboretum has sponsored recently include basic and advanced plant materials, ecology classes, and design studios in RRSLA's undergraduate and graduate curricula, public lectures, plant workshops, and symposia.

The many recent fundraising activities sponsored by the Friends include plant and gift shop sales, garden tours, garden trips, community lectures, facility rentals, and other special events. Hilltop’s “Hodge Podge” Nursery is operated by volunteer plant enthusiasts, experts, and Master Gardeners, and is located at the entrance of the Arboretum. The nursery currently sells a large selection of native, adapted, and pass-along plants grown by volunteers as fundraisers for the Arboretum throughout the year. Emphasis is on unusual, rare, and hard-to-find plants not easily found in the nursery trade. Local nurseries send shoppers to the Arboretum for our unusual selection of plants.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • In coordination with the Board of Directors, executes, refines, and oversees all activities involved in the implementation of the strategic plan, as well as continue ongoing timely implementation of Hilltop’s master plan for the site.
  • Works with the RRSLA to enhance opportunities that mutually support both entities.
  • Works creatively and effectively in the recruitment, development, and utilization of volunteers, and board members.
  • Fundraising - Identifies, plans, and implements other revenue generating activities and programs in addition to researching, identifying and writing grant applications to generate funding for the Arboretum.
  • Effectively communicates and interacts with other non-profit organizations, public entities, private businesses, and community individuals.
  • Uses a cooperative management style for management functions, including personnel, administrative policies and procedures, financial management, information systems, marketing, website, individual membership program, and site management.
  • Assists in the preparation of the annual budget, as well as long-term fiscal plans for the Arboretum.
  • Directs the development, implementation, and adherence to budgets and systems to achieve operating and financial objectives.
  • Willingness to maintain flexible hours and schedules to meet the needs of the Arboretums activities and programs including weekend and evening activities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Interpersonal skills for the collaborative management necessary in order to maintain effective relationships with volunteers, board members, staff, and representatives of other non-profit organizations, public entities, private businesses and individuals of the community; as well as interpersonal skills necessary to facilitate individual and group meetings dealing with Arboretum activities, and community presentations.
  • Ability to identify and analyze issues and problems and to recommend and implement solutions.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize numerous tasks and complete them under time constraints.
  • Must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with time constraints, interruptions, stressed individuals, and in an open concept office.
  • Ability to demonstrate impeccable integrity in personal and fiduciary matters.
  • Use a cooperative management style to work in partnership with staff and volunteers.
  • Thorough knowledge of administration, finance, data processing, marketing, and human resource management.
  • Experience with teaching, managing or working with plant materials or natural systems in general. Must be passionate about nature, trees, plants, sustainability and educating the public about these issues.

Qualification Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree required in landscape architecture, horticulture, forestry, urban forestry, botany, plant ecology, conservation, ecological restoration, or other related field, with a Master’s degree preferred.
  • Three years of experience in administration/management, program development, budget administration, staff and volunteer supervision of a public or private garden or other non-profit environmental or natural resource group.
  • Proven background experience with landscape design and plant materials.
  • Equivalent education/experience can substitute for all essential qualifications.

 

Submittal Requirements(Applicants should provide the following through the university’s online application portal):

  • Letter of interest addressing the above requirements.
  • A complete resume including education, relevant work experiences, digital program skills (word, excel, ppt), publications, and other relevant skills such as fundraising, public speaking, etc.
  • The names and contact information of three professional references.
  • In addition, candidates should provide via email a link or electronic version of examples of work with other similar organizations to the search committee chair. Alternatively, a candidate can submit a printed copy of examples of prior work.

Submittal Deadline:

  • The start date of the position will to be determined based on the selected candidates’ earliest availability. Evaluation of candidates will begin upon arrival of material. Salary is dependent on qualifications and experience. All submissions will remain confidential until selection for on-campus interviews. For more information, contact Mark Boyer, FASLA, FCELA, Director of RRSLA (225-578-1434 or markboyer@lsu.edu) or Kathleen Bogaski, Professional in Residence RRSLA (225-578-1478 or kbogas1@lsu.edu), chair of the search committee. For more information about the LSU Hilltop Arboretum, see www.lsu.edu/hilltop: for information about the Robert Reich School, see www.landscape.lsu.edu.

Start Date:
The position will begin on a date to be determined based on the selected candidates’ earliest availability.

   

Additional Job Description:

Special Instructions:

The Director has overall responsibility for all business functions of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum and works in partnership with the Robert Reich School and the Board of Directors of the Friends, and its small, dedicated staff. Friends is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with LSU to preserve, protect, operate, maintain, and enhance the arboretum. The Director is the primary representative of the arboretum and its engagement for the University and the greater Baton Rouge community. Strong abilities in strategic planning, fundraising for and implementation of the arboretum’s master plan, mission-driven programing, and volunteer engagement is essential. The Director shall partner with academic leadership to promote opportunities and participation of students. The Director shall maintain and champion ongoing successes and encourage and develop new initiatives, directions, and innovation. A positive relationship with and ability to work with community volunteers and organizations is essential to continue to maintain and build a robust base of supporters to successfully support the onsite nursery, including involvement by younger people and greater corporate support. The Director must be passionate about nature, trees, plants, sustainability, and educating the public about these issues.

   

Additional Position Information:

Background Check - An offer of employment is contingent on a satisfactory pre-employment background check.

Benefits - LSU offers outstanding benefits to eligible employees and their dependents including health, life, dental, and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; retirement options; various leave options; paid holidays; wellness benefits; tuition exemption for qualified positions; training and development opportunities; employee discounts; and more!

   

LSU is an Equal Opportunity Employer:

LSU believes diversity, equity, and inclusion enrich the educational experience of our students, faculty, and staff, and are necessary to prepare all people to thrive personally and professionally in a global society. We celebrate diversity and are committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion. We actively seek and encourage qualified applications from persons with diverse backgrounds, cultures and experiences. To learn more about how LSU is committed to diversity and inclusivity, please see LSU’s Diversity Statement and Roadmap. Persons needing accommodations or assistance with the accessibility of materials related to this search are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resource Management (hr@lsu.edu).

   

HCM Contact Information:

Questions or concerns can be directed to the LSU Human Resources Management Office at 225-578-8200 or emailed HR@lsu.edu