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Extension Program Leader - Rural Prosperity Nebraska - Assoc/Full Rank

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Extension Program Leader - Rural Prosperity Nebraska - Assoc/Full Rank


Cooperative Ext Division-0788

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Application Review Date: (To ensure consideration, please submit all application materials before review date):


Open Until Filled:


Description of Work:

The Program Leader of Rural Prosperity Nebraska provides leadership for Nebraska Extension and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) in coordinating efforts to aggressively move scholarship into practice by partnering with community leaders in ways that enhance rural and economic vitality statewide. The prosperity of rural Nebraska is a priority for Nebraska Extension, IANR, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Nebraska. The Program Leader contributes to developing and sustaining positive relationships with rural community leaders and partnering organizations including those in and/or working with underserved communities. The Program Leader maintains productive ongoing relationships with the faculty, staff and administrators of Nebraska Extension, the Agricultural Research Division (ARD), the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), the College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS), and the office of the NU Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor to ensure that engagement efforts are coordinated. The Program Leader serves on the Extension leadership team. The Program Leader is responsible for partnering with the Director of Rural Prosperity Nebraska to ensure that the strategy for Rural Prosperity Nebraska is accountable and viewed as a critical asset by local leaders. In this way, the Program Leader of Rural Prosperity Nebraska is the Director’s key strategic partner in advancing Rural Prosperity Nebraska. The quality of the working relationship with the Director is critical to the success of the Program Leader.

The Program Leader fosters an inclusive culture in which all contributions to Rural Prosperity Nebraska are appreciated and recognized, collaboration and innovation are encouraged, and the abilities of all are engaged to fully realize the potential of the team and each contributor. The Program Leader supports those contributing to Rural Prosperity Nebraska in the responsible management of resources to maximize the impact and effectiveness of those resources. They seek for and responsibly deploy and manage resources that will facilitate achievement of strategic goals. The Program Leader ensures opportunities are open to all, programs and initiatives are inclusive of all constituencies, and efforts are made to engage diverse audiences, especially those that are traditionally underrepresented. The Program Leader creates a shared vision for Rural Prosperity Nebraska in partnership with the Director of Rural Prosperity Nebraska and with input from faculty, staff, partnering stakeholders and community leaders. This shared vision will be continuously examined for relevancy and refreshed as needed.

The Program Leader is the programmatic lead within Nebraska Extension for catalyzing relationships with community leaders and mobilizing university assets to move scholarship into practice. The Program Leader supervises and nurtures the success of county- and academic unit-based Extension Educators whose programming is focused on the following dimensions of rural community prosperity and vitality: people attraction; community leadership development; community economic development; facilitating connections between people and the places they share (place making); and regional food systems. The Program Leader engages in relevant high impact evidence-based programming that is a model for others working in the area of rural community prosperity and vitality. The Program Leader will be successful in bringing programming to scale and increasing its impact through financial support obtained through grants, contracts, and/or other appropriate sources.

Expected community-level outcomes include: 1) identification of actionable development needs and opportunities; 2) development of relevant and effective community engagement strategies based on enduring relationships with community leaders and within communities, and 3) demonstrable increases in locally driven strategies and solutions contributing to community and economic prosperity in rural communities that are attributable to the efforts of faculty within the Rural Prosperity Nebraska team. Identifies Rural Prosperity Nebraska needs and facilitates access to educational opportunities within the assigned geographic accountability region of Lincoln, Logan and McPherson counties, working with lead educators, extension advisory committees, and local stakeholders (e.g., community leaders, businesses, and local economic development groups).

Specific duties and responsibilities that may not be evident above include the following:
•Promote excellence in all facets of Rural Prosperity Nebraska.
•Identify needs and facilitate access to educational opportunities within the assigned geographic accountability region.
•Establish strategic linkages with community, industry, and government leaders, and other key constituencies to identify critical emerging issues and opportunities.
•Coordinate broad-based interdisciplinary teams operating in a culture of collaboration, creativity, inclusion, innovation and entrepreneurship, to demonstrate a robust commitment to deliver outcomes and impacts addressing critical issues facing rural Nebraska communities.
•Engage and coordinate with external partners and collaborate with state and federal agencies to inform and leverage UNL resources.
•Supervise county-based Extension Educators contributing to Rural Prosperity Nebraska goals and objectives. Core to this responsibility is the ability to coach Educators in outreach and engagement with community leaders and residents.
•Assist faculty members contributing to Rural Prosperity Nebraska by identifying and/or facilitating the identification of funding opportunities and other resources that can be leveraged to bring programming and initiatives to scale to increase impact of faculty efforts.
•Implement strategies to strengthen resources deployed across the state to accomplish Rural Prosperity Nebraska goals, this includes helping faculty members maximize existing resources through partnerships, collaborations, and sound resource management practices.
•Contribute, as appropriate and as identified in guidance documents, to the evaluation of faculty members contributing to Rural Prosperity Nebraska.
•Communicate with transparency, integrity, and clarity to faculty, staff, partners and the citizens of Nebraska.

In addition to the Director of Rural Prosperity Nebraska, key partners for the Program Leader within IANR include: the administrative leaders of the departments of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, Child, Youth and Family Studies, and Nutrition and Health Sciences (NHS), respectively; the Engagement Zone Coordinators; their peer Extension Focus Area Program Leaders; and the Directors of IANR’s Research, Extension and Education Centers.

The Program Leader accepts committee assignments, reporting responsibilities, and other special ad hoc assignments as requested at the administrative unit, college/division, institute and/or university level.

Some travel is required. Must meet driver standards according to UNL policy and have a valid driver’s license. Criminal history background check will be conducted.

As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See

Minimum Required Qualifications:

•A record of excellence in university-based community engagement, outreach, or professional-community partnerships.
•Visionary leadership, including an ability to inspire and motivate.
•Effectiveness in aligning resources to achieve vision.
•Experience leading multidisciplinary teams in achieving strategic outcomes.
•A record of leadership and outcomes that demonstrate an abiding commitment to practices that are inclusive of all forms of human diversity.
•Exceptional skills in communication and interpersonal relations.
•A master’s degree.

Preferred Qualifications:

•A record of excellence in Extension.
•Experience in mentoring or coaching.
•An ability to collaborate effectively with a broad range of constituencies.
•A record of success in obtaining external funding.
•Proven record of documenting program outcomes and impact.

Criminal History Background Check Required:


How to Apply:

Click “Apply to this Job,” complete the information form and attach a) a letter of interest that describes your qualifications for the position, anticipated contributions, personal vision, and the value that you place on diversity and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters; b) a detailed curriculum vitae; and c) the names and contact information of 3-5 professional references. Only the references of candidates who make the short list will be contacted.

For questions or accommodations related to this position contact:

Jodi Mackin, 402-469-0273, [email protected]

Job Category:

Faculty Non-Tenure Leading

Job Category (old):

Faculty Non-Tenure Leading

Job Type:


Position funded by grant or other form of temporary funding?:



Working at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

For 150 Years, A Leader in Higher Education 
Always a place of high ambition, University of Nebraska was one of the first institutions west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees - the first was granted in 1896. The University of Nebraska established the world's first undergraduate psychology laboratory. The discipline of ecology was born here, and the campuses reflect that tradition, being recognized as botanical gardens and arboreta. An early institutional interest in literature and the arts provided the foundations for today's Prairie Schooner literary magazine, for the University of Nebraska Press, and for the Sheldon Museum of Art, which houses one of the world's most significant collections of 20th century American art.

Today, Nebraska is one of the nation's leading teaching institutions, and a research leader with a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities. Nebraska is also a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University of Nebraska offers an extensive benefits package that includes health, life, disability and long term care insurance; retirement accounts; tuition reimbursement for employees and their spouses and dependent children; and reimbursement accounts for health care and dependent day care. Leave policies are designed to help employees deal with personal or family events or crises.

Diversity and Inclusion
In the spirit of the phrase "Every Interaction Matters", UNL has an enacted commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence for our faculty, staff, and students. On our campus, diversity and inclusion are important priorities. Examples include: Husker Dialogues, which is an event that helps first-year students focus on diversity and inclusion and practice handling difficult conversations around difference; three Chancellor's Diversity Commissions that are charged with informing and advising the Chancellor and addressing issues of constituent campus communities; and the establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion whose leader operates at the Vice Chancellor level. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we strive for excellence in all that we do. True excellence requires that each individual be able to work and learn in an atmosphere of respect, dignity, and belonging. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion requires each of us to continuously ensure our interactions are respectful, protect free speech, and inspire academic freedom.

About Lincoln
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is located in an up-and-coming and safe city of 300,000 people that has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. The Pinnacle Bank Arena, opened in 2013, routinely hosts major touring acts. A buzzing entertainment district, the Railyard, connects the arena area to the Historic Haymarket. Cuisines from all continents provide the entree to dynamic urban nightlife and a wide variety of ways to enjoy time with friends. Nebraska's City Campus is one with Lincoln's city center, as it has been since the university was founded.Lincoln has more parkland per capita than Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and all but a handful of U.S. cities. The well-manicured Pioneers Park, the native woods of Wilderness Park and the open grassland of Nine-Mile Prairie are each within a 10-minute trip from campus. Connecting many of these parks is an extensive trails network.

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