Assistant Dean, Natural Resources, Environment and Energy - University of Illinois Extension (1...

Job description



College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

University of Illinois Extension


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 Assistant Dean (Program Leader) for Natural Resources, Environment and Energy (NREE) serves as a regular, full time, 12-month academic professional with primary responsibility for leading and developing statewide educational programming in energy and environment, air, land, and water, forestry, wildlife, outdoor economy, and systems that support these critical areas for the Illinois food, agriculture, and outdoor industry. The Assistant Dean for NREE serves as the Associate Director of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and oversees the University of Illinois Arboretum and the Energy Education Council (EEC). The Assistant Dean for NREE supports one of the six core Extension program areas and within the NREE program area may focus on one or more of the following interdisciplinary initiatives: Community; Economy; Environment; Food, and/or Health. The Assistant Dean for NREE provides organizational leadership in building relationships and reporting outcomes to Regional and County Directors, local, state and national legislators, and other stakeholders. The incumbent provides leadership to Extension’s volunteer delivery system and provides summaries of the value of volunteers and NREE program outcomes and impacts.

The Assistant Dean for NREE will be expected to lead and deliver research-based educational programs and to work within team settings that may consist of other Extension Assistant Deans, Extension Regional and County Directors, Extension Educators and Specialists, IISG Specialists at the University of Illinois and Purdue University, and faculty within and outside of the College of ACES. Establishment of a program of work based on community-based needs assessments is essential to provide clear directions, partnerships, and collaborations to successfully solve grand challenges.

The Assistant Dean for NREE is expected to concentrate programmatically on energy and environment, air and water quality, land usage and accessibility, forestry, fishery, wildlife, and the outdoor economy, among other critical areas. The Assistant Dean is responsible for the Master Naturalist program, IISG Extension activities, the Arboretum, and oversight of EEC, and other NREE-oriented services and for developing innovative programs that address NREE needs in Illinois. Close collaboration with other Assistant Deans and the IISG Leadership Team is required. The Assistant Dean for NREE also will be expected to build networks among diverse groups and take a systems approach to leading efforts in NREE. The Assistant Dean for NREE will be located in Urbana-Champaign on the University of Illinois campus, and will report to the Associate Dean and Director of Extension and Outreach, and will be available to all of Illinois Extension and Outreach. As the Associate Director of IISG, the NREE Program Leader also will collaborate closely with the Director of IISG at Purdue University and interact with diverse IISG staff from the University of Illinois and Purdue University.

One full-time position is available.

Location: Urbana-Champaign, IL

(Position will be located on UIUC main campus in Urbana, IL)

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

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 Assistant Dean, Natural Resources, Environment and Energy are as follows:

Program Development, Delivery and Evaluation

  • Develop through participative strategies an innovative statewide program of work in response to local, state, and national needs and issues. Provide clear direction and partnership to encourage adoption of critical needs and high priority program efforts with Extension Regional Directors, County Directors, Educators, and state and campus Specialists.
  • Prepare required plans of work and state annual reports for NREE.
  • Develop collaborations and networks with academic units and other departments on campus and outside agencies to further educational programming in NREE, including but not limited to energy and environment, air and water quality, land and water usage and accessibility, forestry, fishery, wildlife, and the outdoor economy, among other critical areas.
  • Provide leadership for core statewide programs such as the Master Naturalist, Gateway Green Industry, and Smart Meter programs, among others.
  • Provide leadership for the University of Illinois Arboretum by directing outreach programs.
  • Serve as the Illinois Extension representative to the EEC.
  • Effectively collaborate with faculty Extension Specialists to deliver programs and information, including but not limited to nutrient loss reduction, invasive species, sustainable cities, and soil and water quality, etc.
  • Collaborate with the College of ACES Office of Research regarding NREE programs relevant to research farms and demonstration centers to promote Illinois natural resources and energy and environmental systems.
  • Partner with the Directors of Dixon Springs Agricultural Center (DSAC), Orr Agricultural Center, and Monmouth Agricultural Center to promote innovative outreach and economic development of Illinois natural resources, forestry, fishery, wildlife, and the outdoor economy.
  • Address urban and rural needs in NREE by collaborating with food, agriculture, energy, water, and environment initiatives led by the Discovery Partners Institute-Illinois Innovation Network.
  • Ensure that strong publicly informed research-based curriculum supports the educational content and delivery methods of the statewide program plan.
  • Serve as program director, primary investigator, or co-investigator for grants and other funding opportunities to ensure utilization of organizational resources are consistent with critical program priorities. Write grants as needed.
  • Develop, lead, and coordinate innovative revenue-generating opportunities for Illinois Extension related to natural resources, environment, and energy in Illinois.
  • Communicate the need for interdisciplinary collaboration to staff, stakeholders, and constituents.
  • Work closely with County Directors to develop strategies for marketing and positioning of NREE programs in the multi-county Units.
  • Develop statewide strategies for marketing and positioning of NREE programs.
  • Provide leadership in building relationships with state and national agencies/ organizations to communicate Illinois Extension program outcomes and foster appropriate educational collaborations.
  • Collaborate with the administrative team to identify staff in-service education needs to enhance subject competence in content and delivery.
  • Provide leadership in identifying subject content to be delivered by Educators through various methodologies using technology. This may include constantly evolving electronic technologies used in culturally appropriate ways.
  • Participate in professional improvement opportunities when appropriate to the role of Program Leader.
  • Provide leadership with statewide policies and local implementation of a unified Extension Volunteer Delivery System.
  • Develop strategies for recruitment, training, retention, and recognition of volunteers.
  • Participate in meetings with the Extension State Advisory Council (ESAC). Provide leadership to the ESAC in making state and national legislative contacts to advance Extension’s programs and funding.
  • Conduct all activities in accordance with the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, Rehabilitation, Americans with Disabilities Act, and the University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity Plan.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

  • Assure program development, delivery, evaluation, and administrative management of the Illinois Sea Grant programs of the IISG.
  • Work in conjunction with the Director of IISG, at Purdue University, and the IISG Leadership Team to implement programmatic, reporting, and fiscal requirements of Illinois activities in the program.
  • Develop and oversee existing and new sponsored activities within the program.
  • Provide guidance on natural resources issues at the state, regional (focused on the Great Lakes region), and federal levels as related to IISG.
  • Develop partnerships in natural resource programs within the University of Illinois, as well as with other universities, agencies, industries, and non-government organizations.
  • Integrate IISG programs, activities, and services into Illinois Extension and Outreach.
  • Address state and regional water issues and ensure that appropriate technology transfer occurs and all required reporting is completed.
  • Manage Illinois Extension personnel of the IISG.


  • Report outcomes/accomplishments in NREE for use in state and national reports.
  • Collect, analyze, and disseminate program outcomes and impact on a local, regional, state, and national level.
  • Provide Educators with appropriate evaluation tools to effectively evaluate outcomes.
  • Assist in marketing educational programs and reports to highlight the work and accomplishments of the NREE program area.
  • Demonstrate to stakeholders the importance of volunteer delivered programs to achieve high program quality, program expansion, and program impact.
  • Support the online reporting system by working with the Director of Program Planning and Assessment to gather critical information to determine program outreach efforts and accomplishments in NREE.


  • Collaborate with the Associate Dean and Director of Extension and Outreach and Extension administrative team to determine statewide Educator position priorities and position descriptions.
  • Supervise appointed statewide NREE Educators and staff and conduct performance reviews as appropriate.
  • Communicate with Extension Regional and County Directors on NREE program priorities and contributions made by NREE Educators serving their Units.
  • Provide input regarding performance of NREE Educators to the Regional Director for the completion of performance evaluations by County Directors.
  • Participate in the recruitment, review of applications, and selection of Educators in natural resources, environment and energy.
  • Encourage Extension Educators’ scholarship in coordination with County Directors.
  • Provide leadership to academic and program support staff on the appropriate policies and procedures with the organization’s volunteer delivery system. Ensure policies and procedures are followed in each Unit.
  • Supervise University of Illinois Arboretum Director and ensure appropriate personnel management of Arboretum employees.
  • Supervise the Executive Director of the EEC.


  • Provide fiscal oversight in NREE program areas.
  • Provide statewide summary reports on number of grants, contracts, and fees initiated through NREE programming.
  • Initiate action and leadership to secure public and private funds.
  • Collaborate with the Associate Dean and Director of Extension and Outreach and administrative team on specific funding allocation to the program area and the alignment of resources with priority programming.
  • Provide statewide summary reports on total costs associated with background checks of volunteers, value of volunteers’ time, and commitment to program outreach in various program areas.

Other Information

  • Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of Extension and Outreach work, assists as requested with data collection for Affirmative Action, Gender, and Targeted reports.
  • The Assistant Dean for NREE will assume additional related responsibilities to enhance the mission of Illinois Extension.
  • Local, regional, and statewide travel required; personal transportation required.
  • 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. Evening/weekend work are an integral part of this position. 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 [email protected].

Administrative and programmatic Relationship

The Assistant Dean, Natural Resources, Environment and Energy is administratively and programmatically responsible to the Associate Dean and Director, Extension and Outreach.


  • Required: Earned doctorate from an accredited institution of higher education. Appropriate fields of study include those related to natural resources, ecology, and/or environmental sciences as related to food, agriculture, and water systems. Ten years of successful and progressive experience in program development in the area of natural resources, environment and energy. Experience organizing and directing statewide programs and leading and managing teams. Demonstrated ability to secure funding from public and/or private sources. Experience working with external constituencies, volunteer delivery systems, and diverse audiences.

  • Preferred: Ability to be eligible for a 0% adjunct appointment in at least one of the eight College of ACES academic units. Experience in educational delivery in subject content of natural resources, environment and energy and with information delivery through various technologies. Experience collaborating with community organizations to develop innovative programs and activities. Experience with Sea Grant operations.

  • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Understanding of and commitment to the land-grant university mission. Knowledge of the organization, objectives, policies, and programs of the Cooperative Extension Service. Understanding rural and urban issues upon which educational programs are determined. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and ability to work within a team environment and with diverse cultural groups. Demonstrated experience with building and maintaining diverse networks. Cultural competency.

Additional Information

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 Log in to your account and upload a cover letter and resume as well the names and contact information of three professional references. Resume dates 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 March 12, 2021.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. 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.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

For further information about the position please contact Search Chair, Ryan Hobson at [email protected]. For technical assistance with the online application process, please email [email protected].

College Name or Administrative Unit:ACES - Extension Category:5-Education and Student Services Title:Assistant Dean, Natural Resources, Environment and Energy - University of Illinois Extension (139509) Open Date:12/04/2020 Close Date:03/12/2021 Organization Name:Campus Admin




Diversity Profile: University



View more

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

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 12/5/2020
Application Due: 3/12/2021
Work Type: Full Time