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Program Leader - Community Environment (Open to UNL Employees Only)

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, NE
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Job Details

Working Title:

Program Leader - Community Environment (Open to UNL Employees Only)


Cooperative Ext Division-0788

Requisition Number:


Posting Open Date:


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


Open Until Filled:


Description of Work:

Overview:The Community Environment Extension Educator will contribute to the integrated (extension, research, and teaching) land-grant mission of the home unit and the IANR as an effective scholar and citizen, while engaging and educating Nebraskans, from youth and home gardeners to commercial growers, partner organizations, and local leaders and stakeholders to grow safe nutritious food, sustainably manage the landscape and urban environment, and make informed business decisions.

Expected impacts from this position:

  • Nebraskans will adopt environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable best practices to produce and support the production of edible crops in urban and peri-urban areas.
  • Nebraskans will adopt practices and policies that support the development of thriving, sustainable, and equitable local, regional, and national food systems.
  • Nebraskans and organizations serving Nebraskans will increase capacity to systemically support urban agriculture and entomology, food systems, and community landscape spaces through collective impact.

The program leader for Community Environment leads a team of technical area and engagement experts in horticulture, entomology, urban agriculture, fruit and vegetable production, and other disciplines related to landscape systems; builds collaborative relationships with partners and stakeholder groups; and fosters engagement that addresses complex issues in fields related to the work of the Community Environment team. As leader of the Community Environment team, the incumbent guides faculty members to develop cross-disciplinary extension, engagement, and research programs that contribute to the mission of Nebraska Extension, and that effectively expand and disseminate knowledge and tools to inform decision making among clients, communities, and related industries. This position reports to the Dean of Extension.

Nebraska Extension Educators are committed to engaging with community partners, organizations, and all audiences, as well as individuals in ways that reflect an understanding and value for individual differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, abilities, gender, sexual orientation, religion). Nebraska Extension strives to ensure that innovative programming, translational research, and learning opportunities promote equity and inclusion.

RESPONSIBILITIES:Focused Expertise Assignment: Community Environment or closely related expertise (70%):This is a 12-month, non-tenured position. This educator’s home base will be determined based on the successful applicant. This educator’s geographic region will be determined based on the successful applicant. The subject matter focus for this educator will be the same as their current position description and will be updated into this position description when the successful candidate is identified. This educator’s primary responsibility is to develop, deliver, and determine impact educational programs and resources as an active participant in Nebraska Extension. This educator is expected to interact closely with clientele, institutions, and organizations working in communities to deliver programs in their assigned geographic area as well as statewide based on the intentions of the statewide team.

In this position, the extension educator will:
  1. Use innovative strategies and current technologies to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate programs for a robust extension education program in urban or rural setting in the county, accountability region, and state-wide.
  2. Engage in a collaborative learning and leadership environment with professionals, partners, and learners to co-create shared solutions to the problems and barriers impacting urban agriculture and food systems in Nebraska and beyond.
  3. Work in a multi-disciplinary team environment with extension professionals and other partners to translate and teach the latest research-based information. Within their geographic region, the educator will engage with lead educators, extension advisory committees, and local stakeholders to determine needs, provide access to educational opportunities, and create capacity to engage the community in developing sustainable solutions.
  4. Work with various forms of mass and social media to educate and inform the public on urban agriculture, horticulture, urban entomology, food systems, and related topics.
  5. Use entrepreneurial practices to secure grants, program fees and partnerships to leverage the program’s resource base and reach.
  6. Support the youth development program in areas related to focused assignment.
  7. Practice effective extension scholarship by conducting needs assessments, identifying priorities, measuring program impact and reporting results at professional meetings and in professional publications.
  8. Develop a professional development plan to maintain and enhance expertise in focused assignment and education practices.
  9. Support local opportunities to engage with partnering institutions and organizations by serving on the advisory committee, providing technical and educational assistance, and serving as a liaison with UNL, IANR and appropriate academic units or Centers.
Focused Expertise Assignment: Community Environment Program Leader (Approximately 30%):As program leader:
  • Facilitate the development of relevant, innovative, and impactful Extension programs addressing critical issues for Nebraska in the Community Environment disciplines. Seek opportunities for program integration and collaboration.
  • In collaboration with the Unit Administrator and the Associate Dean of Extension for Agriculture and Natural Resources, recruit, hire, onboard, coach, and mentor team members and for the team, design and determine delivery of capacity building opportunities that strengthen the team.
  • Serves as the collaborating supervisor for Community Environment educators and assists in preparing the annual performance evaluations in consultation with Unit Administrator.
  • Contributes to the annual performance evaluation of Extension specialists and department-based Extension educators contributing to the Community Environment team, to ensure their contributions to the team are encouraged and recognized.
  • Communicates with stakeholders the relevance and accomplishment of programs and assist team members in disseminating program impacts.
  • Fosters an inclusive culture that appreciates and recognizes all contributions to the team.
  • Manages financial resources responsibly to maximize the effectiveness of those resources, exhibiting fiscal discipline and utilizing best fiscal management practices.
  • Ensures engagement opportunities are inclusive of all constituencies, including diverse and underserved audiences.
  • Synthesizes a vision for the Community Environment team with input from faculty, staff, and stakeholders that encompasses the mission and vision of Nebraska Extension and deploy personnel resources to address team goals and objectives.
  • Serves as a member of the Extension Leadership Team contributing to the overall growth, development, and effectiveness of Nebraska Extension and IANR.
  • Accepts other duties and responsibilities as needed in support of Nebraska Extension and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

In addition to the above-described duties, the individual will be expected to accept 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.

Recognizing that diversity within a context of inclusivity enhances creativity, innovation, impact, and a sense of belonging, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and Nebraska Extension are committed to creating learning, research, Extension programming, and work environments that are inclusive of all forms of human diversity. We actively encourage applications from and nominations of individuals from underrepresented groups.

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:

  • Master’s degree in Agronomy and Horticulture, School of Natural Resources, Entomology, Human Nutrition and Health Sciences, or similar department. Master’s degree must be completed by start date.
  • Documents evidence of leadership and communication.
  • Demonstrates a clear vision of learning opportunities that lead to impactful engagement.
  • Experience and understands excellence in Extension engagement.
  • Experience developing, delivering, and measuring impact of engagement and co-learning opportunities to meet the needs of clientele.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience mentoring individuals and teams.
  • Evidence of managing financial resources responsibly.
  • Evidence of team programming.

Criminal History Background Check Required:


How to Apply:

Click “Apply to this job” and complete the information form. Attach the following document:

  1. A letter of interest that describes your qualifications for the job and anticipated contributions.
  2. Your curriculum vitae.
  3. Contact information for three professional references.
In addition, within the application, please complete the required supplemental question(s), one specifically about the value you place on diversity and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters (see for guidance in writing this statement).

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:

12 Month (Faculty Only)

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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