Extension Specialist-Fixed

Job description

Working/Functional Title

Institute Director

Position Summary

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension has, for more than 100 years, equipped Michigan residents with the information that they need to improve their lives, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower children to dream of a successful future. MSU Extension provides a leadership role in responding to the emergent needs of communities, building on relationships and partnerships that have been cultivated for decades.  The Director of the MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute (CYI) is responsible for initiating and coordinating educational programming and applied research programs in the areas of early childhood education and youth development in all 83 Counties in Michigan. The CYI focuses on the needs of children and youth from birth through age 19 and vulnerable adults through the age of 26, including the adults who support them (parents/families, early childhood providers, volunteers, community based and nationally based organizations, and youth development professionals outside of Extension), and is responsible for 4-H, the youth development program of Extension.  The Director provides leadership for the Institute, in collaboration with an Associate Director, other Institute Directors and District Coordinators, is a member of the MSU Extension Administrative Team and participates in the leadership structure of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (and other colleges as appropriate). The successful candidate will be a collaborative and creative thinker, as well as a strong leader with an exceptional record of achievement that demonstrates an understanding of community-based, non-formal education and interdisciplinary activities.

The CYI Director provides leadership to the strategic development of the Institute and the achievement of its objectives, and contributes to the success of MSU Extension, the College and the University. The successful candidate will join a dynamic and energetic Director and leadership team that is transforming MSU Extension into an organization positioned to have greater impacts in the 21st century by building on past success and growing resources through external grant funding, aligned partnerships and philanthropy.  The CYI Director will be responsible for a staff of 150+ fulltime employees and an annual budget of $7M+. This position provides day-to-day leadership for Institute administrative operations, educational programs, and the translation of the Institute’s vision into action. The CYI Director oversees and provides leadership to associated work teams to respond to emerging issues, plan and set priorities, procure resources, provide advice about implementation of programs, and create/strengthen linkages among MSUE Institutes and aligned research and education programs at MSU. The Director may serve as the State Leader for Michigan 4-H Youth Development; represent MSU Extension in regional and national Extension meetings related to the Institute’s programming; supervise all educators and specialists affiliated with the Institute; and is accountable to the Director of Extension.   The review and granting of a faculty affiliation in an academic unit at MSU is anticipated.  

Specific Duties Include:

  • In conjunction with the Director and MSU Extension Administration set a strategic vision for the Institute; conduct short- and long-term strategic planning; set concrete goals and identify resources needed to attain those goals.

  • Contribute to the delivery of educational programming including promoting excellence in the Institute's contribution to Extension research and knowledge exchange, and learning and teaching strategies.

  • Provide leadership in the development of multi-level and multi-disciplinary program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

  • Advise the MSU Extension Director on the development of program and administrative policy consistent with the mission of the Institute and 4-H Youth Development.

  • Administer budgets with decision-making authority related to Institute operating and personnel.

  • In coordination with District Coordinators, build and maintain relationships and liaisons with partner organizations at the local, regional and state levels.

  • Together with MSU Extension colleagues, responsible for career development and performance management of staff within the Institute, and ensuring alignment with Extension's Strategic Plan.

  • Provide input to academic unit leaders for performance reviews of faculty and academic specialists affiliated with the Institute.

  • Lead the performance development process including performance reviews of all Extension educators affiliated with the Institute in coordination with District Coordinators and jointly with academic unit chairs for educators who are affiliated with an academic unit.

  • Coordinate with MSU Extension HR office and District Coordinators on hiring of Extension educator positions.

  • Develop and maintain collaborations across campus, including those with the other Extension institutes.

  • Provide leadership and guidance for CYI faculty, staff and work team leaders.

  • With faculty and staff across the University, partner in the development of collaborative research and education opportunities in areas relevant to child and youth development, including community, state-wide and international program strategies; 4-H youth development; volunteerism and education.

  • Establish new links with external partners, and build upon existing relationships, in order to establish the Institute as a center for practice-relevant, evidence based research in the areas of community-based early childhood education, youth development and volunteerism. 

  • Foster the development of extramural resources to further the Institute’s mission.  

Required Degree




Minimum Requirements

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in programming aligned with CYI.
  • Ph.D. in subject matter relevant to the Institute’s mission and purpose.

  • Leadership/management experience consistent with leading a large and diverse state-wide organization.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate with all levels within the Institute, MSU Extension, the University and the general public.

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity in staffing, partnerships, and in expanding program delivery models.

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to procure and manage funding from multiple sources.

  • Experience in mentoring and evaluating professional staff.

Required Application Materials

In addition to submitting a current Resume/CV and cover letter, application materials must include a statement of interest (no more than three pages) highlighting specific strengths related to this position, including previous administrative experience, accomplishments, research / programmatic interests and initial leadership vision in the context of existing opportunities and challenges.

Special Instructions

Reporting to the Director of Michigan State University Extension, this assignment is a full time, fixed-term academic appointment. The process for review and granting of tenure with Michigan State University will be considered for those applicants currently holding tenure status.

Application review will begin July 28, 2017 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.





Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 9/22/2017
Application Due: 9/22/2018
Work Type: