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Requisition ID:  10384

IN State Chemist/Seed Commissioner

Job Summary

Purdue University seeks a highly accomplished, visionary, and innovative, leader to become the Indiana State Chemist and Seed Commissioner.  The Indiana State Chemist is a clinical faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and is assigned with administering several agricultural laws involving animal feeds and pet foods, fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and hemp.  The Indiana State Chemist serves under the Governor of Indiana and the Dean of Agriculture at Purdue University.  The goals of these laws are to ensure truth-in-labeling, food safety, user safety and the protection of our environment.  Responsibilities include the management and advancement of staff, monitoring compliance and implementing enforcement of state and federal statutes, monitoring of product quality, oversight of 8 analytical laboratory sections that support the regulatory program, budget development and implementation, and fiscal oversight.  The Office of Indiana State Chemist & Seed Commissioner employs approximately eighty-four professional staff and support personnel with an annual operating budget of approximately $8M.   

The College

Established in 1881, the State Chemist Office is an integral part of the Purdue University College of Agriculture, one of the world's leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences and ranked seventh in the US in the 2020 QS World University Rankings.  The College is deeply committed to the three land-grant missions (teaching, research, and extension), and to excellence in international activities and perspectives that span all mission areas.  The State Chemist Office is one of several regulatory functions that are housed within the College of Agriculture and works regularly with faculty within the College.  The Office of Indiana State Chemist is physically housed within the Biochemistry building.  The College has 11 academic departments and includes 300 faculty, 2,841 undergraduate students, and 740 graduate students.


Ph.D., DVM, or JD in an agricultural science field and eligibility for the rank of Associate or Full Professor in Biochemistry.  A demonstrated ability to serve as an administrator and leader is required.  Experience with public relations, policy formation and personnel management is desired.  The individual should be willing to adopt and adapt recent technical and basic science advances in chemical and biological regulation of feeds, fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and emerging areas such as water quality and regulation of hemp, thus experience in applied research is desirable.  We seek a visionary leader who anticipates trends and directions in regulatory science for future program development.  Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential for this position.

Application Procedure

Qualified persons must submit a CV and letter of application that includes a vision for the Office of the Indiana State Chemist and includes how the individual plans to implement a work environment that values diversity and inclusion.  Potential candidates must also submit the names and contact information for five references.  References will be contacted only upon approval of the applicant.


The Purdue College of Agriculture and Office of Indiana State Chemist are committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement. Candidates should address at least one of these areas in a separate Diversity and Inclusion Statement, indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities, and/or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion. Purdue is an ADVANCE institution - https://www.purdue.edu/advance-purdue/


Applications, nominations, and inquiries should be addressed to Dr. Karen Plaut, Chair, Indiana State Chemist Search Committee, Purdue University.  All application materials must be submitted electronically as a single pdf.  Application reviews will begin June 30 and continue until a suitable candidate is found.  Questions regarding the position may be addressed to Dr. Karen Plaut at (765) 494-8391 or kplaut@purdue.edu.  A background check is required for employment in this position.


Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer.  All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.