Current Job Opportunities

J. Steven Whisler Chair for the Head of Mining Engineering

Apply now Job no: 495880
Work type: Non-Tenure Track Faculty Full Time, Tenure/Tenure Track Faculty
Location: Golden, CO
Categories: Faculty (Academic/Research/Teaching), Mining Engineering


Position Title
J. Steven Whisler Chair for the Head of Mining Engineering
The Opportunity

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 preference for a candidate having leadership experience in industry, or with teaching in and working within or with people employed in an academic environment.

Department Description

Colorado School of Mines is located in picturesque Golden, at the foothills of the Rockies, 15 miles west of Denver and 20 miles south of Boulder. Mines was ranked the No. 4 best engineering college in the United States by Money Magazine in 2020. Mines’ location in the Denver/Boulder metropolitan area provides opportunities for collaborations with colleagues at other universities, in industry and at multiple government labs such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Golden, or the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder. Annual external research funding is approximately $95 million. The school's small size makes it easy for mining engineering faculty to form collaborations with faculty in complementary disciplines on campus.

The Mining Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines is the #1 world-ranked mining and metallurgy program. It has distinguished itself by developing education and research programs geared toward responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources and leadership in the mining industry.  The department has an extensive portfolio of research and teaching in mineral processing, metallurgical and civil engineering, geology, and anthropology disciplines.  The Department offers an ABET-accredited B.S. in Mining Engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mining Engineering, Earth Resources Development and Engineering, and Underground Construction and Tunnel Engineering, as well as a new online Professional Master’s degree in Mining Engineering and Management. The Department also has unique instruction and research facilities, including the Edgar Experimental Mine and the Explosives Research Laboratory at the Idaho Springs campus of the Colorado School of Mines, and the Earth Mechanics Institute on the Golden campus.  The Energy, Mining and Construction Industry Safety (EMCIS) training and outreach program also resides in the department.  Other resources include state-of-the-art laboratories for mineral processing and extractive metallurgy, equipment for field studies and summer field camp, the Mintec Computer Laboratory for modeling, and a new laboratory for virtual Reality and Visualization. For more information about the Department of Mining Engineering, visit

Mines produces industry-ready scientists and engineers known for their work ethic, problem-solving ability and teamwork focus.  Mines graduates are in great demand by industry and government entities around the world and are involved in solving major technical and societal challenges of our times.  We have several initiatives aimed at enhancing teaching and the student experience, including our exceptional Trefny Innovative Instruction Center, which supports best practices for teaching and learning on campus  Our Center for Entrepreneurship and Education supports students and faculty to change the world through innovative thinking and entrepreneurial pursuits (  The Mines community has a Strategic Plan for Diversity, Inclusion, and Access, which supports a wide range of activities, including inclusive hiring, inclusivity in the classroom, cultivating a respectful and compassionate campus culture, family-friendly policies, expanding pathways for success, and ensuring shared responsibility (  

Colorado School of Mines is known globally for the quality of its distinctive graduates, the success of its alumni and its unique expertise in topics related to earth, energy and the environment.  Our core values include Inquiry and Innovation, Inspiration, Challenge, Openness, Respect, Diversity, Compassion, and Collaboration.  Each of the values above facilitates our shared success, and the advancement of Mines and its mission; by our examples and by our encouragement we seek to foster these values throughout our community, and especially among our students, so as to inspire them to pursue excellence in our shared lives of inquiry and innovation. For more information visit  

About Mines & Golden, CO
Mines is consistently ranked among the top engineering colleges in the United States and ranks number one as the best public school in the state for best value colleges. Mines is located in the heart of Golden, Colorado, a western suburb of Denver.  The campus location offers a small-town ambiance with close proximity to all that the Denver metropolitan area has to offer with an abundance of cultural events, museums, theaters and sporting venues. An arid climate and an average 300 days of sunshine per year make the area an ideal place to live, work and play. We seek individuals who value a diverse and inclusive community – offering different perspectives, experiences, and cultures that enrich the educational and work experience.
Equal Opportunity

Colorado School of Mines is committed to equal opportunity for all persons.  Mines does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), ancestry, creed, marital status, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status or current military service. Further, Mines does not retaliate against community members for filing complaints regarding or implicating any of these protected statuses.

Mines’ commitment to nondiscrimination, affirmative action, equal opportunity and equal access is reflected in the administration of its policies, procedures, programs and activities and in its efforts to achieve a diverse student body and workforce.

Through its policies, procedures and resources, Mines complies with federal law, Colorado state law, administrative regulations, executive orders and other legal requirements to prevent discrimination (including harassment or retaliation) within the Mines campus community and to address potential allegations of inequity or concerns for safety.

Pay Range

Chair for the Department of Mining Engineering: $225,000 - $275,000 total annual compensation. 

The compensation for this position is based on current base salary benchmarking for the position, additional Department Head pay and additional supplemental pay for summer work.  The benefits packet will continue to reflect the offering for Academic Faculty.

Total Rewards
Mines is proud to provide exceptional benefits that include pay, health & wellness and work/life balance offerings.  Our portfolio of benefits includes medical, dental, vision, disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, life insurance, and retirement savings plans. Additionally, Mines employees are eligible for tuition benefits (for employees and dependents), generous paid holidays and leaves and discount programs.  Additionally, Mines’ leadership and innovation brings proximity and access to several research centers, consortia, agencies, labs and leading edge technology.  For more information, visit Mines benefits.
How to Apply

Interested applicants should apply online 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.

The application must include: 

  1. a cover letter expressing interest in the position.
  2. a curriculum vitae,
  3. a vision statement (2- 5 pgs) specifically focused on mining engineering’s education and research mission at Colorado School of Mines
  4. a research and/or teaching statement (1 – 5 pgs) describing the applicants experience relevant to mining engineering’s education and research mission and their individual plans for participating in them.
  5. a statement of contributions to diversity and inclusion, describing past experiences and proposed activities to advance access, inclusion, and diversity at Mines (2 pgs; for more information on Mines’ goals and activities, visit
Background Investigation Required

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