Hiring: Program Director – UMass Extension

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Director of the Extension Agriculture Program (the Extension Agriculture Director) is a senior level programmatic leader who provides organizational and cross-disciplinary leadership and vision for the agriculture and commercial horticulture work within UMass Extension, a unit of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE). This position is responsible for strategic, financial, and operational oversight of the Extension Agriculture Program, currently including teams focused on fruit, vegetables, field crops and pasture management, turf, landscape/nursery/urban forestry, and greenhouse production. The position is also responsible for overseeing fee-based soil and plant nutrient and plant diagnostic testing laboratories and a pesticide education program. The Extension Agriculture Director provides comprehensive administrative leadership in: program development, accountability, internal and external partnership development; development of financial resources and budgetary administration, and human resource development and administration.

Essential Functions

The Extension Agriculture Director provides comprehensive administrative leadership in program development, accountability, internal/external partnership development, development of financial resources, budgetary administration and human resource development.

Examples of duties:

  • Organizational/Program Strategy and Decision Making
    • Establish goals and provide strategic planning and management for the Extension Agriculture Program. Provide leadership for development and evaluation of new and existing programming initiatives.
    • Assess existing clientele needs and delivery of programs; identify potential new clientele and program delivery methods.
    • Foster model of shared leadership and transparent decision-making with Program staff, affiliated faculty, and CAFE administration.
    • Establish and maintain commitment to serve previously under-served populations and communities.
    • Maintain active participation in CAFE’s leadership team and contribute to CAFE strategic directions.
    • Actively engage Extension Faculty within academic departments to foster cooperative efforts.
    • Set policies and procedures for Program personnel in alignment with and in support of CAFE, College of Natural Sciences and University policies and procedures.
    • Lead required annual planning and reporting efforts for Extension Agriculture Program in concert with CAFE and Extension expectations.
    • Lead effective marketing and external relations working collaboratively with program staff and CAFE administration.
    • Lead system for program evaluation and impact reporting.
  • Interdisciplinary, Integrative and Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • Plan, initiate, and sustain focused, intentional leadership for multi-disciplinary topics and innovative methods directed toward existing and new forms of extension education, applied research, and integrated-research-and-extension.
    • Create, lead and support efforts to attract external funding and revenue in support of priority projects and program innovation.
    • Encourage and support ongoing and regular professional development of Program staff and affiliated faculty.
  • Partnership Management
    • Represent CAFE and Extension to agriculture and commercial horticulture stakeholders throughout the state and region, including professional groups, regional Extension networks, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
    • Seek out and develop external relationships for collaborative programming, network participation, mutual resource development and management.
    • Create and sustain partnerships between the Extension Agriculture Program and academic departments in relevant disciplines and encourage cooperative working relationships between Program staff and departmental Extension Faculty.
    • Create and support internal relationships with CAFE, College and University leaders to align directions, minimize duplicative efforts and create beneficial synergies.
    • Advocate for resource development with public and private agencies and organizations.
  • Budget Management
    • Manage overall budget for the Extension Agriculture Program in collaboration with the CAFE/Extension director.
    • Collaborate with College Finance staff and CAFE administrative leadership to manage funds, maximize efficiencies, and follow established policies, protocols, and procedures.
    • Work with professional and support staff to align programmatic, operational, and budgetary goals.
  • Staff Management
    • Provide oversight and strategic guidance to leaders of teams within Program.
    • Conduct and oversee process of annual performance evaluation and goal-setting for Program staff.
  • Create, support, and encourage staff to utilize professional development opportunities to support disciplinary knowledge, organizational skill and educational delivery.

Other Functions

  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.
  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.  In the performance of work, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction. Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s degree in a life, physical, or social science discipline related to agriculture, food, or the environment; adult education; public health; or public policy with at least three years of relevant work experience.
  • Experience in educational outreach, or non-formal adult education, or public issues education.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex budgets.
  • Supervisory experience, including hiring and training staff.
  • Ability to effectively interact with people from different cultural backgrounds, including those associated with race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of human diversity.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Doctorate or terminal degree in a life, physical, or social science discipline related to agriculture, food, or the environment; adult education; public health; or public policy.
  • Five or more years of relevant work experience.
  • Five or more years of supervisory experience involving multiple, full-time direct reports.
  • Applied research experience in a relevant field.
  • Familiarity with agriculture and/or commercial horticulture.
  • Working knowledge of Cooperative Extension and Land Grant institutions.
  • Experience planning, leading, and implementing strategic organizational initiatives.
  • Proven ability to attract external funding.
  • Proven ability to create innovative new programming.
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering teamwork and collaborative work environments.
  • Experience in policy development, resource development, and advocacy.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.

Additional Details

The Extension Agriculture Director reports to the Director of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, who also serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Agricultural Research and Engagement. The Director of CAFE also holds the titles of Director of UMass Extension and Director of the Mass. Agricultural Experiment Station.

The Extension Agriculture Program currently has 21 staff members, nine of whom report directly to the Extension Agriculture Director.

Work Schedule

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm

Salary Information

Level 31: PSU Salary Schedule

Submit a letter of application, resume, Statement of Diversity (see below), and contact information for three professional references.  Apply by February 22, 2019 in order to ensure priority consideration.  Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.  Apply here.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. In addition to application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Find It Locally

Search CISA’s online guide to local farms, food, and more!

Find Local Food