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University of Arkansas 
Division of Agriculture
Little Rock
Posted: 06/14/2023
Director of the Cooperative Extension Service

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (UADA) seeks a visionary leader to serve as our next Senior Associate Vice President for Extension (SAVP Extension). The SAVP Extension will serve as the Director of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service with responsibilities for operations, management, programs, stakeholder relations and services involving about 600 appointed full-time and 200 part-time personnel. This includes management of federal, state, and county appropriated funds along with grant and gift resources, and an annual budget of $61 M. The position is headquartered in Little Rock and directly supervises an executive team including Associate Directors, Assistant Directors, District Directors, and other administrative staff.  The Cooperative Extension Service has outlying Centers in Lonoke and Newport, with county agents and staff in all 75 Arkansas counties, and faculty and staff on seven Experiment Station Centers and two University campuses.

The UADA includes the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service and the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station along with strong linkages to the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Our employees are diverse and work in an equally diverse set of disciplines and focuses. We serve with a zeal to help others, embrace a collaborative spirit, and share common values of integrity, collaboration, accountability, relevance, and excellence. More information on the UADA and Arkansas Cooperative Extension can be found at www.uada.edu and www.uaex.uada.edu

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide visionary leadership for the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in alignment with UADA overall strategic goals
  • Oversee the development, implementation, and evaluation of Extension programs that address the needs of Arkansas stakeholders and ensure that Extension programs are evidence-based, research-driven, and responsive to emerging issues and challenges
  • Cultivate strong multidisciplinary teams that connect Land-Grant mission areas and promote a culture of collaboration, dynamic innovation, and continuous improvement
  • Build partnerships with relevant stakeholder groups, external organizations, agencies, and industry leaders to enhance program effectiveness and leverage resources
  • Advocate for Extension at the county, state, national and international level, with enthusiasm for interacting with a wide range of constituencies
  • Recruit, mentor, and retain a diverse workforce while fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state and local law as well as policies of the USDA and other governmental or official bodies, the Division of Agriculture, and the UA System
  • Responsible for all financial activities of the organization including the management of federal, state and county appropriations as well as numerous grants and gifts

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Doctorate in agricultural sciences, family and consumer sciences, human environmental sciences, public policy, leadership, extension education, or related fields.
  • Experience in administration, financial management, and leadership in Cooperative Extension
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to effectively interact with diverse stakeholder groups
  • Ability to effectively perform all responsibilities including irregular hours and extensive travel

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Broad experience in extension, research, teaching and the Land Grant University mission is strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of the history and philosophy of Cooperative Extension with an appreciation for traditional local, state, and national extension work along with efficiency of operations and communication of impact preferred.
  • Demonstrated understanding of county, state, regional and national extension programs and practices is strongly preferred. Broad knowledge and experience of agriculture, family science, youth education, environmental education and community/economic development preferred.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the essential linkages with research and teaching missions and ability to create and nurture new partnerships including non-traditional ones preferred.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of different administrative structures within land-grant university systems that enhance and preserve local and state relevance of research and extension missions preferred.
  • Knowledge and experience in emerging technology and social media and appreciation for the value of information technology at an organizational level are preferred

Applicants should submit the following 1) Letter of application including a summary of relevant experiences and accomplishments; 2) A detailed vitae, and 3) a list of three references with e-mail addresses and phone numbers.  The full job description/advertisement can be found here.  Applications should be submitted electronically through the job advertisement, or by searching for R0040649 on the UADA jobs site at https://uada.edu/jobs/. Questions regarding the position can be directed to Dr. Jeff Edwards, Search Committee Chair, jedwards@uada.edu, 479-575-5715 or Christina Breckenridge, Chief of Staff, clmiller@uasys.edu, 501-686-2541.

Deadline: Screening of applicants will begin August 1, 2023 and will continue until a qualified candidate is identified.