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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Multiple Locations
Posted: 10/16/2023

County Extension Director – 1020943

University of Illinois Extension

College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)



Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels of understanding and influence.

Be a part of our story. Through learning partnerships that extend knowledge and change lives, University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs aimed at making life better, healthier, safer, and more profitable for individuals and their communities. Illinois Extension has operated continuously for more than 100 years connecting the citizens of Illinois to their land-grant university by providing educational programming around the state. University of Illinois Extension is based in the College of ACES and works with all colleges and units of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The County Extension Director serves as a regular, full time, 12 month academic professional staff member with primary responsibility for providing leadership to and communicating the educational mission of the local multi-county unit and University of Illinois Extension. The primary responsibilities of the County Extension Director are local program management, personnel management, interpersonal effectiveness, organizational leadership and development, fiscal management and facilities management. The County Extension Director is the local representative of University of Illinois Extension and is responsible for facilitating and establishing relationships with diverse audiences, and collaborating and partnering with people to improve the lives of individuals and the communities in which they live.  The County Extension Director is also responsible for marketing and promoting University of Illinois Extension and its educational programs. The County Extension Director fosters sensitivity to the needs of diverse audiences while working with the local leadership in program planning. This position will demonstrate behaviors that reflect high levels of performance, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to continuing education and the letter and intent of University of Illinois Extension’s mission.


One full time position is available.

Location: Unit 22 – Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair Counties

(Work location will be at all offices in the unit and is based upon the operational needs.)

Additional positions may become available in other locations.


The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

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 County Extension Director are as follows:

Personnel Management:

  • Provide administrative supervision of all unit staff including educators and civil service employees which includes Unit’s Illinois Nutrition Education Program Administrator.
  • Ensure that job descriptions are developed and that annual performance appraisals of academic and non-academic staff in the unit are held and documented. Input regarding academic staff performance will be provided by Program Leaders.
  • Participate in the County Director professional development program offerings and seek additional opportunities to maintain professional competence.
  • Facilitate the professional development of all staff in the unit.
  • Assist and collaborate with unit staff to develop a plan for recruitment, training, support, and recognition of volunteers.
  • Implement and comply with University of Illinois and Extension policies and rules, federal and state personnel regulations, and labor contracts.
  • Ensure compliance with University of Illinois Extension Civil Rights, Affirmative Action Plan and Equal Employment Opportunity Program.
  • Ensure onboarding of all new staff in the unit.
  • Conduct staff and unit team meetings as appropriate to enhance team performance.

Fiscal Management:

  • Prepare budget, operate within budget guidelines, assure funds are distributed in accordance with fiscal policies and requirements and oversee all grants to the unit.
  • Maintain official records and documents and ensure compliance with University of Illinois and Extension policies and reporting requirements.
  • Work with the Extension Council, other volunteers, and local entities to educate stakeholders of the value of University of Illinois Extension’s programs in order to secure financial resources for the unit.
  • Ensure that adequate funds are available to meet the financial and human resource goals of the unit.


Facilities Management:

  • Provide leadership in securing adequate field office facilities, including off-site facilities as necessary.
  • Ensure Extension offices and program delivery sites meet ADA requirements and other related guidelines.
  • Manage the unit office facilities, including relations with the lessor and lease negotiation.
  • Procure and maintain equipment inventory and supplies.


Interpersonal Effectiveness:

  • Determine appropriate networks and legislative contacts to build effective communications about Extension’s mission with key individuals and groups within the unit.
  • Communicate and identify in-service needs for all employee groups in the unit and make recommendations to the Regional Assistant Director for appropriate training.
  • Effectively communicate program initiative concerns to Program Leaders and Regional Assistant Directors.
  • Communicate to the Regional Assistant Director the success of unit leadership and the challenges within the unit.
  • Effectively work to resolve conflicts constructively and implement positive solutions to challenges.
  • Maintain effective communication about the unit regarding program, fiscal and personnel management with the Regional Assistant Director.
  • Respond to all forms of communication in a timely manner.


Program Management:

  • Work with staff and stakeholders to assess local needs and identify program priorities within the unit using data.
  • Ensure inclusion of new and diverse audiences to achieve parity while strengthening relationships with existing clientele.
  • Demonstrate support of statewide initiatives by working with Program Leaders and unit staff in needs assessment, program planning, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Work with Regional Assistant Directors, Program Leaders, and unit staff to develop new unit level programs and improve existing programs.
  • Provide initiatives and opportunities to further interdisciplinary program planning and development in the unit.
  • Provide program impact results to local groups, decision makers and administration in an Annual Report.
  • Market and promote University of Illinois Extension and its educational programs.
  • Assist and orientate staff and Extension Councils to their respective roles in the program development process.

Organizational Leadership and Development:

  • Participate on regional, state, or national committees and initiatives.
  • Engage in teamwork with other unit or regional staff.
  • Ensure completion of documents and reporting deadlines as required in the organization.
  • Communicate administrative policies and procedures to the Extension staff and Extension Council leadership and assist with their implementation.
  • Establish and maintain effective collaborations to enhance program partnerships.
  • Engage local community groups, informing them of University of Illinois Extension’s positive impact.
  • Provide leadership to unit staff through clear communication and articulation of unit direction and vision.
  • Initiate and take leadership on projects that move Extension forward.

Other Information:

  • Local, regional, and (limited) statewide travel required; personal transportation required.
  • 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.
  • Assume additional related responsibilities to enhance the mission of the unit.
  • 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 hr@aces.illinois.edu.

Administrative Relationship

County Extension Directors are administratively responsible to the Assistant Director of their Region.



  • Required: Master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education. Appropriate fields of study include Adult and Continuing Education, Public Administration, Educational Leadership, Business Administration, Community Development, Communications, Extension Education, or other fields related to the subject matter emphasis. Master’s degrees in other fields will be considered with work experience that demonstrates similar competencies.  Candidates with a Master’s degree in progress may be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date. At least 3-5 years of supervisory experience within a complex organization with a high volume/time sensitive workload. Experience in shared decision making and working collaboratively in a team environment. Experiences with human resource/personnel related activities. Experience with the use of standard office technology/software and similar management tools. Experience in the management of fiscal and budgetary matters.


  • Preferred: Experience in needs assessment, program development/delivery, teaching, marketing, and/or program evaluation. Experience in the area of grant management and developing external funding opportunities. Experience with facilities management.


  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Knowledge of skills needed to work and supervise in communities with different cultural and social backgrounds.


Additional Information

Immigration sponsorship is not available for this position. 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 https://go.illinois.edu/1020943. Please upload a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information for three professional references. Resume dates submitted 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 November 9, 2023.


The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.


For further information about the position please contact search chair Christina Edgington at chrisedg@illinois.edu. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.