Dean, The University of Tennessee Extension

Sep 23, 2020
Executive Administration Jobs
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Dean, The University of Tennessee Extension

Open Date:
Aug 14, 2020

About UTIA & UT Extension

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) is comprised of four units, including AgResearch, College of Veterinary Medicine, Herbert College of Agriculture, and the University of Tennessee Extension (UT Extension). UT Extension provides education and outreach in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties to improve individual’s quality of life and solve problems through the application of research and evidenced-based knowledge about agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and community development.

General Description

The Dean of UT Extension will join UTIA at a time of enormous opportunity and potential impact. The Dean is administratively responsible to the Sr. Vice President/Sr. Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture, The University of Tennessee.  The Dean, in cooperation with the Extension Administrator at Tennessee State University, is responsible for the comprehensive administration of the statewide Extension system in Tennessee.  Information about programs and personnel of UT Extension is available at   

Duties and Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities of the Dean are to carry out visionary leadership, administration, and advocacy; promote excellence and innovation in extension educational programs and initiatives that meet needs of the people of Tennessee; promote the recruiting and professional development of a qualified faculty and staff; manage and control finances and assets; provide leadership in securing funds and other resources from multiple sources; nurture productive relationships with a variety of entities across UTIA and the broader University community as well as with the Tennessee Legislature, County Executives, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services, Tennessee Department of Education, United States Department of Agriculture, extension services in other states, and other constituents external to The University of Tennessee.

The Dean is expected to provide bold leadership in strategic initiatives to enhance the standing of Extension, UTIA, and the University of Tennessee. The Dean will contribute to the enhancement of diversity and interculturalism, resource enhancement and engagement of UTIA with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the wider community. 


Compensation for the position will be competitive. The University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits and much more. Additionally, Tennessee residents do not pay a state income tax. For more information on the University of Tennessee’s benefits, visit

The Knoxville Community

Nestled the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains along the Tennessee River, Knoxville is a thriving Southern city known for its great outdoors, diverse music scene, and wide variety of eateries. It is nationally known for its Urban Wilderness, located less than three miles from downtown, with more than 50 miles of natural trails. A vibrant downtown, located less than a mile from the heart of the UT campus, offers live entertainment, unique shopping and outstanding local dining and brews.

With a population at nearly 185,000, it is both the oldest and the third-largest city in the state of Tennessee; only Memphis and Nashville are larger., Knoxville is a one-hour drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the U.S. National Park Service’s most-visited site. Knoxville also is within a day’s drive or less to many major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the Atlantic coast. UT’s Neyland Stadium is one of the country’s largest sports venues.

Knoxville #8 in "America's Favorite Places" by Travel & Leisure, #2 in “Most Affordable Cities” by Forbes, #5 for “Best Cities for Small Business” by CNN Money, and a Top 10 “Destination on the Rise” by Trip Advisor.



Candidates must have an earned terminal degree and evidence of scholarly, professional, or creative achievement sufficient to qualify for tenure as a full professor in one of the units at the Institute.


Previous professional experience in extension (or equivalent) and a working knowledge of and appreciation for effective extension education programs in agriculture, natural resources, community economic development, family and consumer sciences, and/or 4-H Youth Development are highly desired. Additionally, candidates must have the communication and public relation skills and other personal attributes necessary to motivate and decisively lead UT Extension. Candidates must also have a demonstrated commitment to and knowledge of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Preference will be given to candidates who have at least one higher education degree in a field of agriculture, natural resources, or family and consumer sciences; and have a demonstrated ability to administer budgets and manage personnel in an academic environment.


The Dean will have significant knowledge and understanding of higher education.  Specific skills include:           

  • Bold, visionary leadership skills and the ability to inspire collaboration and innovation.
  • Commitment to quality, excellence and integrity.
  • Possession of a service-oriented approach to leadership.
  • Demonstrated leadership and abilities in the administration of higher education agricultural programs with substantive experience, preferably in a large public and/or land grant institution.
  • Skilled problem-solver.
  • Demonstrated ability to forge successful relationships and partnerships and work as a highly collegial member of the Institute’s leadership team.
  • Exceptional skills in communications and interpersonal relations.
  • Ability and willingness to delegate effectively and to hold direct reports accountable.
  • Skilled decision-maker, with transparency in decision-making and management.
  • Excellent oral, written and presentation skills; exceptional listening skills.
  • Ability to multi-task.


  • Champion a culture of engagement and belonging by providing leadership in an environment that actively promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Possess a deep commitment to these values and demonstrates action and accountability in advancing strategies to support them at all levels of the University.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and appreciation for affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. 
  • Be committed to economic development in the communities UTIA serves.
  • Serve as an ambassador for Extension, UTIA and the University of Tennessee to internal and external audiences.
  • Be able to travel frequently.


The Dean of Extension will exhibit qualities of emotional maturity, genuineness, self-confidence, common sense, judgment, fairness, creativity, discretion, decisiveness, political savvy, diplomacy, tact, resiliency, adaptability, courage of convictions and tolerance for ambiguity.  Demonstrated behavioral expectations include:

  • Ability to foster teamwork and to work effectively with cross-functional teams.
  • Unquestioned integrity and trustworthiness.
  • Commitment to the mission and values of Extension and to the campus and University strategic plans.
  • Ability to make good, consistent and fair decisions based on fact and data.

Application Instructions:

Application and Nomination Process

The position will be available beginning August 1, 2020. Screening of applications will begin September 1, 2020 and continue until a qualified candidate fills the position. For full consideration, candidates should submit materials by October 1, 2020.

To apply, submit a curriculum vita; letter of interest detailing specific talents and experience; and the name, address, and telephone number of five professional references. Nominations of qualified individuals are welcomed.  For questions, please reach out to: 

Ashlie Czyz, Executive Recruiter
The University of Tennessee System
825 Andy Holt Tower
1331 Circle Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996
[email protected]