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Program Director, Extension Agriculture

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 https://www.umass.edu/humres/sites/default/files/2015%20PSU%20Salary%20Schedule.pdf

Special Instructions to Applicants

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 at: https://secure.dc4.pageuppeople.com/apply/822/gateway/Default.aspx?c=apply&sJobIDs=497652&SourceTypeID=801&sLanguage=en-us

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. http://www.cns.umass.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion.

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.


Online Strategic Communications and Web Designer

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

Advance the mission of the University of Massachusetts Amherst by conceptualizing, planning, and creating online communication and learning systems for the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE), its units and associated faculty. Create educational and informational tools to support the research and educational outreach programs of faculty and staff, develop mechanisms to build public awareness of the University’s academic outreach mission through the work of CAFE and its component units (UMass Extension, UMass Cranberry Station, Mass. Agricultural Experiment Station, Mass. Water Resources Research Center, four UMass research and education farms). Maintain knowledge of new and emerging resources, techniques, and trends for online communication and web presence and work with other senior CAFE leaders and other university staff and faculty to create effective online resources and communication tools that reinforce the positive reputation and public perception of UMass Amherst and provide robust educational resources and tools for the unit's public participants. Provide oversight for content management, strategic web development, and technical maintenance of cluster of web sites that have recently garnered over 2M hits per year.

Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Plan and execute web sites to support robust functionality, maximize search engine recognition and optimize user experience. Design and build all aspects of new or redesigned websites including designing/theming, site structure, permissions and roles, module configuration, content types, blocks and views. Utilize appropriate web technologies including Drupal CMS, CSS, GIT version control, and Sass. Monitor CAFE websites for timely and appropriate content and functionality.
  • Direct and conduct search engine optimization, competitive analysis and user testing in order to measure and analyze site performance and user experience and behavior.
  • Research the most effective online channels through which to interact with our target audiences and recommend opportunities for growth in existing and new channels and to maximize impact of unit assets. Develop communications strategies for faculty- and staff-led outreach and research programs to promote effective relationships, through partnerships and collaborations with professional audiences and other programmatic stakeholders. Oversee the development of a successful content strategy, user experience and design for websites.  Plan for future web development with associated priorities and needs.
  • Direct and manage effective development teams for online communication solutions, utilizing faculty and staff resources, on- and off-campus consultant services and information technology vendors to meet targeted educational goals of faculty and staff. Manage all projects to develop new and revised web sites and other online products. Write RFPs as needed. Analyze bids and project proposals and develop contracts. Develop budgets, timelines, creative briefs and milestone reports. Direct work of vendors and contractors to provide supplemental web design and production services as needed.

Other Functions

  • Educate Extension and CAFE faculty and staff in Drupal website maintenance and troubleshoot and resolve unexpected issues related to site performance.
  • Maintain current working knowledge of compliance with federal accessibility standards and best practices, disseminate to faculty and staff and ensure websites remain in compliance.
  • Maintain University web and brand standards for all sites within CAFE and its units. Work with faculty and staff to mitigate violations of standards and educate faculty and staff on university-level best practices.
  • 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 College of Natural Sciences community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in web design, communications, computer science, information technology or related field.
  • 2-3 years’ experience designing and implementing websites. Ability to design, produce, test and launch complex, multi-faceted, and multi-featured new and redesigned websites using the Drupal Content Management System.
  • Demonstrated expertise with CSS, JavaScript, Sass and other client-side scripting tools (with fluency in hand coding).
  • Excellent design skills, including skills and experience in graphic design, with specific experience with design and illustration software including the Adobe Creative Suite and other graphic design tools, and strong skills in information architecture and usability.
  • Experience working in cross-platform environments including Mac, PC and Unix and familiarity with typography and cross platform website style standards.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with others to formulate plans and objectives in accordance with overall Center goals.

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

  • Master’s degree in web design, communications, computer science, information technology or related field.
  • Five or more years’ experience designing and implementing websites.
  • Experience in coordinating vendor and contractor web services.
  • Experience in or familiarity with higher education environment.
  • Strong analytical and strategic skills and ability to solve complex digital problems; exceptional attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently to organize multiple simultaneous projects and set priorities for action, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction in a fast-paced office environment while maintaining high standards of accuracy and quality.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills and ability to interact effectively and productively in establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of faculty, staff and students who possess varying levels of technical proficiency.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize goals; ability to collaborate well to formulate plans and objectives in accordance with overall Center and college goals; ability to identify and implement process improvements.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.

Work Schedule

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm

Salary Information

Level 28

PSU Salary Schedule https://www.umass.edu/humres/sites/default/files/2015%20PSU%20Salary%20Schedule.pdf

Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a letter of application, resume, Statement of Diversity (see below) and contact information for three professional references.  Apply by March 13, 2019 in order to ensure priority consideration.  Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.  Please apply on-line at: https://secure.dc4.pageuppeople.com/apply/822/gateway/Default.aspx?c=apply&sJobIDs=498004&SourceTypeID=801&sLanguage=en-us

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. http://www.cns.umass.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion.

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.