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North Dakota State University
NDSU Extension
North Dakota
Website URL:
Posted: 06/13/2022
Extension Assistant Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Position Description:

The assistant director serves as the program leader for the agriculture and natural resources (ANR) program area at NDSU Extension. This position provides visionary, statewide leadership that is focused on agriculture and natural resources topics, with demonstrated ability to conceptualize, communicate, address, and evaluate statewide program needs. The program leader provides administrative leadership for ANR program development, evaluation and implementation; external partnership development; development of financial resources and budgetary administration; and supervision of Extension pesticide specialist and farm and ranch safety coordinator.

This is an administrative position with office space provided in Suite 309, Morrill Hall, NDSU. The Assistant Director reports to the Associate Director, NDSU Extension. This position will be either a regular appointment or a tenured appointment. Applicants eligible for tenure should designate in the cover letter the desire to request academic tenure and the desired academic discipline for tenure home. Rank will be commensurate with credentials, experience, and upon review and approval of the respective department.

Assistant director responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Provide statewide leadership in coordinating high-impact Extension ANR programs including subject matter training, program planning, and assessment and evaluation.
  • Foster a positive working relationship with faculty, staff and administration in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources, North Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station, Research Extension Centers, North Dakota State University, and the North Dakota University System.
  • Facilitate professional development for ANR Extension specialists, agents, and new staff to enhance program impacts.
  • Provide leadership for evaluation in the Extension organization, including the use and enhancement of the Program Evaluation and Reporting System (PEARS).
  • Provide leadership to the combined federal report.
  • Provide leadership in the agricultural commodity election process.
  • Provide leadership in developing and maintaining close relationships with North Dakota commodities.
  • Participate in the recruitment and orientation of new Extension professionals.
  • Lead or contribute to efforts to write grants, generate revenue and establish partnerships that leverage public and private funds to support ANR programming.
  • Provide supervision and annual evaluation of Extension pesticide specialist and farm and ranch safety coordinator.
  • Serve on the Extension Leadership Team, and provide input to group issues and suggest visionary opportunities for the organization.
  • Work in cooperation with other Extension program leaders as necessary.
  • Liaise or coordinate representation with North Central Region peers in affiliated program areas.
  • Manage the budget for ANR programs and personnel.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • An earned doctorate in a discipline related to agriculture and natural resources or other related discipline.
  • Five or more years professional experience within Cooperative Extension
  • Understanding of measuring and assessing the impact and effectiveness of Extension/outreach programs.
  • Understanding of the educational process, i.e., developing, managing, and evaluating educational programs with a demonstrated ability to promote creativity and vision in program development.
  • Understanding of the administration and leadership of educational programs, including strategic planning, and the ability to lead, manage, and supervise people.
  • Understanding of the fiscal management process and efforts to secure funding to support new and existing programs.
  • Experience developing and maintaining effective partnerships and serving as a skilled liaison between and among groups with the ability to engage in successful negotiation, collaboration, and relationship building.
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusion and to the promotion of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action.
  • Superior interpersonal skills, the ability to work in a collegial manner to solve problems, and the ability to develop and maintain positive relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively within a highly effective team, which may include multidiscipliary teams.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ten or more years professional experience within Cooperative Extension
  • Experience and success in measuring and assessing the impact and effectiveness of Extension/outreach programs.
  • Demonstrated fiscal management and success in securing funding to support new and existing programs.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading the educational process, i.e., developing, managing, and evaluating educational programs with a demonstrated ability to promote creativity and vision in program development.
  • Demonstrated experience in the administration and leadership of educational programs, including strategic planning.
  • Demonstrated experience leading, managing, and supervising people.
  • Extensive experience developing and maintaining effective partnerships and serving as a skilled liaison between and among groups with the ability to engage in successful negotiation, collaboration, conflict resolution, and relationship building.
  • Demonstrated leadership in working with legislators and the legislative process.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead highly effective teams, which may include multidisciplinary teams.
  • Understanding of the history and mission of the Land Grant University System.

Applicant Materials Required:

Application letter, vitae (20 pages max), one-page leadership statement, and list of five professional references.

Screening will begin July 21, 2022

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with qualifications.

NDSU offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes single or family health insurance coverage with premiums paid for by the university – with an effective date for new employees the first of the month following the date of hire. Other benefits include wellness benefits, basic life insurance, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual leave, Employee Assistance Program, sick leave and holiday pay. Optional benefits include supplemental life, dental, vision and long-term care insurance, flexible spending account and supplemental retirement plans. Information about employment benefits is available at

About Us:

NDSU Extension

NDSU Extension provides science-based education that improves the economic, health and community conditions for North Dakotans. Our emphasis is on strengthening agriculture, stimulating communities, developing youths’ potential, building strong families and protecting the environment.

Striving to provide North Dakotans with the held they need, we believe:

  • In lifelong learning through transformational education
  • That all people belong and deserve respect
  • In stakeholder input to guide program development
  • In science-based, locally relevant information
  • In the value of partners and collaborations.

We are also committed to creating an inclusive and multicultural organization.

We are the link between the public and our land-grant university, North Dakota State University. You will find NDSU Extension at work in every North Dakota county, at Research Extension Centers and at the main NDSU campus. Our team of more than 250 dedicated professionals is committed to serving North Dakota’s citizens.

Our goal is to be the premier lifelong education network that helps North Dakotans improve their quality of life. As the issues facing North Dakotans become increasingly complex, NDSU Extension will continue to meet people’s needs as they adapt to this changing environment. Extension is committed to being innovative, adaptable and willing to listen to people’s needs and concerns to create new ways of thinking, learning and addressing issues today and in the future. To learn more visit

The University

North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student-focused, land-grant, research university. Our main campus is in Fargo, N.D., with Extension Service and Research Experiment Station locations across the entire state. NDSU has been listed in the Top 100 public research universities in the U.S. for research and development in agricultural sciences, psychology and social sciences, based on reported research expenditures.

NDSU is an exciting place to work, offering a stimulating and diverse environment richly populated with people pursuing lifelong learning and personal growth. Employees often attend on-campus cultural events, lectures and athletic events and enjoy walks through our beautiful campus.

NDSU employs more than 6,000 full-time and part-time employees across the state, making it the second largest employer in the community. NDSU is the best college in North Dakota, according to Money Magazine (September 2018). NDSU was named a 2019 Best Value College by Forbes. Fargo made’s top 10 list of cities to find a job and was ranked at No. 11 for best places to live overall.

NDSU offers a wide array of professional opportunities, including faculty, executive, managerial, professional, technical, paraprofessional, office support, servers and crafts/trades. Like a small city, NDSU operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Full-time employees are offered a superb benefit package to include 100% company paid health insurance premiums and tuition assistance for employees and immediate family members. All of us at NDSU play an important role in serving our students and public constituencies. We encourage motivated and talented team members who thrive in a higher ed environment to join our university.

The Community

Mission - We provide transformational education, create knowledge through innovative research and share knowledge through community engagement that meets the needs of North Dakota and the world.

The home of NDSU, Fargo is a bustling metropolitan area that often is listed as one of the best places to live in the country. Fargo-Moorhead is the largest community between Minneapolis and Seattle. Nearly 250,000 people make their home in Cass and Clay counties, which are in the rich farmlands of the Red River Valley. Often cited as a leader in economic development and job creation, the area is noted for its entertainment options, wealth of activities, excellent schools and parks, and outstanding shopping. Safe and clean, the community is receiving national acclaim. In a ranked listing for, Bloomberg Rankings said Cass County is the “best affordable” place in the country. To learn more about the Fargo-Moorhead area, visit

The State

North Dakota enjoys one of the best economies in the nation. That economy is built on historically strong and increasing agricultural productivity that leads the nation in 12 commodities. That economy is bolstered by an energy industry that recently has become the third most productive in the nation and made North Dakota the second largest oil-producing state. The viability of this industry is anticipated to extend several decades into the future. North Dakota’s economic strength is providing a springboard for steadily increasing opportunities to apply the university’s research and discoveries. As a result, North Dakota is experiencing unprecedented economic diversification. To learn more, visit

No Smoking Notice:

As an employer, the State of North Dakota prohibits smoking in all places of state employment in accordance with N.D.C.C. § 23-12-10.

EO/AA Statement:

North Dakota State University is an Equal Opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable.

Veteran’s Preference Notice:

This position is subject to North Dakota Veteran’s Preference requirements.

Reasonable Accommodation Information

North Dakota State University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, please contact Human Resources at 701-231-8961 or