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State University System of Florida
UF/IFAS Extension
Website URL:
Posted: 10/14/2020
Dean for Extension and Director, Florida Cooperative Extension Service

You Belong at a University that’s Leading the Way

The University of Florida, ranked No. 6 best public university, is a major research institution that is leading the way by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to solve some of the world’s most formidable challenges. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) embraces that innovation as we utilize AI to deploy solutions in agriculture and natural resources that impact teaching, research, and extension.   

The Opportunity

The Dean and Director leads and administers statewide programs of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, a principal component of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)

The roles and responsibilities of the Dean and Director are to:

  • Provide vision and dynamic leadership appropriate to the mission of a comprehensive land-grant institution to address the challenges and opportunities associated with Florida’s diverse food and agricultural systems, natural resources, and sensitive ecosystems; changing and expanding human population; ongoing urbanization; and globalization of markets for agriculture and other products.
  • Promote inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) initiatives for the recruitment, retention and development of faculty and staff.
  • Work in a multi-disciplinary capacity with UF administrators and faculty; state and local leaders in agriculture, food, life sciences, and natural resources; industry, private organizations, and government agencies; and other institutions of higher education.
  • Maintain close working relationships with federal and state agency partners, and state and county governments, including oversight of MOUs with county governments.
  • Work cooperatively and serve as the primary liaison with Florida Sea Grant and the 1890 Extension Program at Florida A & M University.
  • Lead and manage all aspects of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, including fiscal responsibility, budget and salary management, and the hiring, placement, tenure, promotion, and permanent status of state and county faculty.
  • Work closely with the UF/IFAS Dean for Research, the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), and the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Work collaboratively with other UF Deans.
  • Secure private endowments and increase extramural funding for Extension programs.
  • Participate as an active member of the National Extension Directors and Administrators (NEDA) and the Association of Southern Region Extension Directors (ASRED).

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must have an earned doctorate or equivalent in a field relevant to the position and be qualified for an appointment at the rank of professor in a UF/IFAS department; experience as a faculty member at a land-grant university is highly desired.
  • Evidence of strong commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access.
  • Must be capable of leading Cooperative Extension with a strong vision and strategy for the future as Extension responds to the needs of a diverse clientele in the context of changing environments, needs, demographics, and funding.
  • Must demonstrate a dedication to excellence in teaching, research, and extension.
  • Must be able to communicate the Extension mission to a variety of audiences and understand the changing nature of technology and digital communications and their role in delivering Extension programs.
  • Administrative experience as a Chair, Director, Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, or Dean is highly desired.

The University of Florida

The University of Florida, ranked No. 6 best public university (, is a Land-Grant, Sea Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 students. UF is a member of the Association of American Universities. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences ( includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (, the College of Veterinary Medicine (, the Florida Sea Grant program ( ), and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (RECs) located throughout the state, 5 research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, 3 camps for Florida 4-H activities and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties and the Seminole Tribe. UF/IFAS employs nearly 4,500 people, which includes approximately 990 faculty and 1,400 support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state. UF/IFAS, one of the nation’s largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine. UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

The City of Gainesville

Gainesville ( is home to Florida's largest and oldest university, and so is one of the state's centers of education, medicine, cultural events and athletics. The University of Florida and UF Health Shands Hospital are the leading employers in Gainesville and provide jobs for many residents of surrounding counties. Gainesville is also the largest city in Alachua County and is the county seat, with approximately 269,000 residents county-wide. It serves as the cultural, educational and commercial center for the north central Florida region. The city provides a full range of municipal services, including cultural and nature services and necessary administrative services to support these activities. Additionally, the city owns a regional transit system, a regional airport, and a 72-par championship golf course. Known for its preservation of historic buildings and the beauty of its natural surroundings, Gainesville's numerous parks, museums and lakes provide entertainment to thousands of visitors. Because of its beautiful landscape and urban "forest," Gainesville is one of the most attractive cities in Florida. The city is in a central location to both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, providing easy access within a day’s drive to beaches, nature preserves, and water-based activities.

Explore Gainesville in 60 Seconds.

Nomination and Application Instructions

Nominations and applications are invited for the position of Dean for Extension and Director, Florida Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Florida. The Dean reports directly to the Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources. To find background information about the position and the search, visit

Candidates must apply online at and should provide a letter of application summarizing qualifications, a complete curriculum vitae, and names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of at least five references. The review of applications will begin on December 1, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. Inquiries and nominations can be sent to Audrey Gainey, Director of Talent Acquisition and Onboarding of University of Florida Human Resources at or 352.273.1706.

Our Commitment

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in also aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotion, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits and training.

We welcome nominations of and applications from anyone who would bring additional dimensions to the university’s research, teaching and clinical mission, including women, members of underrepresented groups, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

The “government in the sunshine” laws of Florida require that all documents relating to the search process, including letters of application/nomination and reference, be available for public inspection.