The University of Vermont (UVM) seeks an accomplished, inspiring leader to serve as Director of Extension and Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). This is an exceptional opportunity to lead an organization of more than 160 people working across the state to deliver education, applied research, and service that improves the lives of Vermonters. UVM Extension is a unit in CALS, which serves as the hub of UVM’s land-grant and outreach missions.
Since its founding in 1913, UVM Extension has developed strong relationships with a wide variety of constituents, assessing their needs and developing programs to address critical issues they face. Extension’s specific program efforts have continuously evolved to address the changing needs and composition of Vermont’s communities.
Today, UVM Extension has eight program areas: 4-H, Youth and Families; Clean Water; Consumer and Community Horticulture; Engaged Communities; Nutrition, Food and Health; Sustainable Agriculture; Sustainable Forests; and Thriving Economies. Extension also has many unique programmatic collaborations, including: Across the Fence television program, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Cereal Grains Lab, Lake Champlain Sea Grant Institute, Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, Proctor Maple Research Center, and the Vermont Tourism Research Center.
UVM Extension’s structure, operations, and funding have evolved in response to changes in higher education, state and federal budgets, and partnerships with other organizations. Once base-funded with a county focus, today Extension secures external funding to support much of its work, which is regional or statewide in scope. Its annual budget is ~$26M with over $15M from grants, gifts, and contracts. To thrive into the future, Extension will continue to identify and address emerging issues, strengthening its capacity to secure external funding.
The Director will develop a deep understanding of the work of Extension personnel, including their administrative and programmatic challenges and opportunities. This individual will provide internal guidance and inspiration, facilitating the communication and planning needed for success in the short- and long-term. They will nurture the interdisciplinary relationships necessary to develop innovative, high-impact programs. Using a clear narrative about Extension’s evolving work, they will promote the organization externally to its current and potential partners, funders, and the public.
The Director will advance Extension’s interests at the state and federal level, securing resources to support applied research, education, and outreach activities. This individual will be expected to recruit, engage and build enduring relationships with philanthropic supporters of Extension programs. The Director will play a key role in recruitment and retention of diverse, high-performing faculty and staff. This individual will enhance the visibility of UVM Extension and its work to the people of Vermont. They will strengthen communication and partnerships with state and community leaders, UVM departments and colleges, and Extension leaders in other states. The Director will foster an environment conducive to academic quality, collegiality, innovation, and open discussion, and an appreciation for ethnic, cultural, and social diversity.
Specific duties of the position include:
- Develop and implement regular communications to inspire and synergize the work of a highly talented group of faculty, staff and other professionals during a period of dynamic change. Promote internal and external communications that exemplify integrity, accountability and transparency.
- Facilitate, lead and/or participate in, as appropriate, planning and evaluation efforts intended to strengthen current programs, identify emerging program areas, and optimize the deployment of Extension resources.
- Lead the effort to boost the visibility of UVM Extension to external stakeholders, including the development of specific communication goals, methods, and metrics.
- Meet regularly with Extension, CALS, other UVM departments and colleges, state and federal partners, local community leaders, businesses, and non-profit organizations, etc., to strengthen relationships and identify collaborative opportunities to secure external funding for applied research, outreach and service in support of the land-grant mission.
- Develop and implement a strategy to achieve long-term financial well-being for the organization that includes diversifying revenue streams to support Extension programming, with an emphasis on significantly increasing grant funding and philanthropic donations.
- Work toward enhancing the diversity of UVM Extension faculty, staff, and students and support UVM’s affirmative action and equal employment opportunity efforts.
- Represent UVM Extension on internal and external committees, task forces, advisory boards, and to agencies and professional organizations including the Association of Extension Administrators.
- Conduct performance evaluations of direct reports. Make recommendations about personnel actions in consultation with the Dean of CALS.
- PhD, EdD, other terminal degree (e.g., MBA) related to the position, or a combination of Master’s degree with significant leadership and teaching experience.
- Experience leading a complex organization with multiple programs.
- Experience with grants, contracts, and philanthropy to raise funds to support programs.
- Experience with organizational budgeting and financial planning.
- Experience with personnel management, conflict resolution, and team building.
- Experience with evaluation and planning.
- Understanding of Extension, the land-grant system, and their federal partners.
- Understanding of digital technologies associated with education and outreach.
- Excellent leadership skills including: ability to plan and lead effective meetings and administrative processes, ability to identify clear goals and measures of success, understanding of how and when to delegate tasks, accountability for actions and outcomes, respect for divergent viewpoints, ability to problem-solve.
- A management style that is inclusive and empowers others to succeed, fosters respect, builds pride in the accomplishment of shared goals, and feeds upon two-way communication.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in the management of programs and resources and a proven ability to relate to a wide variety of people.
- Superior verbal and written communication skills. Ability to listen to and integrate feedback from diverse constituencies.
This is a full-time, non-tenure track faculty position at the rank of Associate or Full Professor, depending on experience, based in Burlington, VT. Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with the successful candidate’s background and experience. A full benefits package is included.
The University of Vermont is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and inclusive excellence of the academic community through their teaching, service, and research, scholarship, or creative arts. We are an educationally purposeful community seeking to prepare students to be accountable leaders in a diverse and changing world. Members of the University of Vermont community embrace and advance the values of Our Common Ground: Openness, Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Innovation, and Justice. The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong commitment to the ideals of accessibility, inclusiveness, and academic excellence as reflected in the tenets of Our Common Ground.
For more than 100 years, University of Vermont Extension has delivered education tailored to local needs. Our faculty and staff, located in 12 offices around the state, help improve the quality of life of Vermonters through research-based educational programs and practical information Our purpose is to cultivate healthy communities. Our mission is to provide and facilitate research, education and outreach with our partners for the people of Vermont.
Please direct all inquiries, nominations, and referrals, in confidence, to Dr. Vern Grubinger via email at:
[log in to unmask] To apply, complete an application by 11/1/20 at
https://www.uvmjobs.com/postings/41897 and upload a single pdf document titled “yourlastname_ExtensionDirectorApplication” that contains: 1) a cover letter explaining your interest in the position
and your commitment to diversity and excellence, 2) a summary of your approach to organizational leadership in an Extension-oriented environment, and, 3) your vision for philanthropy and development that would support Extension programming. Please also upload
The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other category legally protected by federal or state law. The University encourages applications from all individuals who will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the institution.
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