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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Posted: 04/3/2019
Extension Specialist, Community and Economic Development


University of Illinois Extension

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

The Extension Specialist, Community and Economic Development (CED), serves as a regular, full time, 12 month academic professional with primary responsibility for the development, delivery, and evaluation of educational programs supporting the mission of the University of Illinois Extension. This position will be responsible for working with Extension Educators statewide to identify topics and design innovative programs, and for developing multi-media delivery mechanisms for Extension programs and information.

Three full time positions are available (one in each region)


Region 1 (Northeast Illinois)

Region 2 (Central and Western Illinois)

Region 3 (Central and Southern Illinois)

(Positions will be housed within one of the units of the region hired for – see below for map)

Additional positions may become available in other locations

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit

This is a security-sensitive position. Comprehensive background checks, including but not limited to a criminal conviction information check, a CANTS check, and a review of the Registered Sex Offender list, will be conducted.

Specific responsibilities of the Extension Specialist, CED are as follows:

Program Planning, Delivery, and Evaluation

· Assess needs of communities and institutions across the region. This may include networking and collaborating with community organizations, local government representatives, Unit and campus based Extension staff, and related groups to conduct surveys and other needs assessments.

· Within subject area expertise, develop innovative curricula and programs to address local community and economic development needs that mesh with the broader state and national interdisciplinary initiatives.

· Deliver high impact programming to diverse audiences using appropriate delivery mechanisms to optimize reach and effectiveness. Partner with Extension educators, specialists, faculty, students, and volunteers.

· Serve as the content expert for informal educational efforts within subject area expertise.

· Evaluate program impact consistent with impact indicators developed by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, which are used across the 12-state region. Evaluation should include short-term impacts and long-term changes in community practices and conditions.

· Develop effective and contemporary approaches to communicate with local government representatives, community and agency partners, and individual stakeholders. This may include electronic technologies such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and e-learning platforms.


· Establish professional relationships and participate in campus-based partnerships to link academic programs and research to Extension programming. Partner with Extension specialists and/or faculty members on research projects as appropriate.

· Be an active member within a professional society(s) to stay current in the discipline. Seek out and participate in professional development to enhance competency relevant to the needs of the communities served.

· Use research and evaluation to create programs that address current and emerging issues; improve existing programs.

· Share principles of evidence-based best practice with peers.

Organizational Leadership and Development

· Serve as an effective team member and volunteer for leadership roles as appropriate within the Community and Economic Development team, University of Illinois Extension, and University of Illinois.

· Solicit additional internal and external resources to support the CED program. Includes strategic use of available funds to increase program quality and impact.

· Help develop and teach University of Illinois Extension programs.

· As needed, accept statewide responsibilities as requested by the Program Leader.

· Perform other duties aligned with the mission of University of Illinois Extension programming, as assigned.

Organizational Requirements

· Comply with all reporting deadlines and requirements (e.g. plans of work, activity and impact reporting, PEARS database entry, etc.).

Other Information

  • Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of Extension work; assists Unit staff with data collection for Affirmative Action, Gender, and Targeted reports.
  • Local, regional and (limited) statewide travel required; personal transportation required.

· To perform the functions of this position, the employee will be required to perform work both within an office and outside in the communities that are served, and must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion. Employee is responsible for securing personal transportation. A valid driver’s license is preferred. Some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends. When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors to include, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground. In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well to include, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, lifting and moving items that may occasionally weigh up to forty (40) pounds and frequently weigh up to twenty (20) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements. More detailed information regarding the functions of this position (including the physical, mental and environmental requirements of the position) may be obtained from Human Resources for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) by contacting

Administrative Relationship

The Extension Specialist, CED is administratively responsible to the Assistant Dean, CED.


· Required: Master’s degree in community development, business administration, economics, public administration, public finance, regional and urban planning or closely related field. Candidates with a Master’s degree in progress may be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date. Evidenced knowledge of and/or experience in participatory planning and best practices in community development.

· Preferred: Earned PhD in community development, business administration, economics, public administration, public finance, regional and urban planning or related field. Informal education curriculum development and delivery. Experience evaluating and reporting impact. Experience in leadership roles and/or evidenced ability to guide the work of others. Experience with specialty field such as planning, business retention/expansion, sustainability, health care, or local food systems.

· Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Strong oral and written communication skills. Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and ability to work within a team environment.

Additional Information

The position is a full-time, benefits-eligible, non-tenure academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Generous vacation and sick leave. State Universities Retirement System. Group health, dental, vision and life insurance.

Application Procedure

To apply, go to Log in to your account and upload a cover letter and resume, as well as the names and contact information of three professional references. Resume dates must be in month/year format and employment history, at a minimum, should include all work dating back to the completion of your undergraduate degree. Positions that were less than full-time/100% must be noted as being part-time. Transcripts may be requested at a later date. To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by the close date of April 30, 2019.

For further information about the position please contact Ryan Hobson at For technical assistance with the online application process, please email