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Job ID: 233206

Associate Director - Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University
Auburn University

Date Posted Mar. 20, 2024
Title Associate Director - Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University
University Auburn University
Auburn, AL, United States
Department ACES Administration
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Associate/Assistant Director
  • Agricultural Extension

Job Description Summary

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) serves to extend science-based knowledge to the people of Alabama with the goal of improving lives in agriculture, the environment, communities, youths, and families. We are seeking an outstanding leader for the position of Associate Director. This is a full-time administrative position based in Auburn, Alabama.  

University: Auburn University is one of the nation’s premier, public land-grant institutions, and in 2023, it was ranked #93 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Auburn, an R1 research university, maintains high levels of research activity and high standards for teaching excellence, offer, offering bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees in the arts and sciences, agriculture, engineering, and the professions. It’s 2023–24 enrollment of 33,015 students includes 26,874 undergraduates and 6141 graduate and professional students. The university is nationally recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, positive work environment, student engagement, and beautiful campus.
Auburn residents enjoy a thriving community, recognized as one of the “best small towns in America,” with a moderate climate and easy access to major cities, beaches, and recreational mountain facilities. The Auburn/Opelika area is a page right out of Southern Living magazine with an idyllic small-town feel, perfecting a unique balance between a close-knit community and driving consistent growth and development. Paralleling the exponential growth of Auburn University, the Auburn/Opelika area boasts services and amenities that cater to any interest. We’re proud of our top school systems, city services, award-winning restaurants, and the infectious spirit of life in a college town. You can find us nestled halfway between the beach and the mountains in a lower-cost-of-living area, two hours outside of Atlanta or Birmingham. If you’re new to Auburn, we’d love to introduce you. If you’re already acquainted with Auburn, we’ll keep it simple: it’s time to come home!

Learn more about Auburn’s impact, generous employee benefits, and thriving community by visiting

The University is understanding of and sensitive to the family needs of faculty, including dual-career couples. Please see for more details.

The incumbent will provide statewide leadership, in collaboration with the Associate Director of Alabama A&M University, to county Extension offices in Alabama to facilitate coordinated operations among seven Extension Districts, personnel development, enhanced extramural support, and strategic partnerships. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) is comprised of approximately 700 employees who deliver educational programming in areas of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources (AFNR), Human Sciences (HS), 4-H Youth Development, Community Engagement and Planning, and Urban programs to meet the needs of Alabamians.

Responsibilities: The Associate Director reports to the Director of ACES on the Auburn University campus. The Director is organizationally responsible for all facets of the system, while the Associate Director is responsible programmatically for day-to-day operational functions of county operations. Responsibilities include:

a) Conducting routine meetings with the Assistant Directors for Field Operations (ADFO) and appropriate personnel to ensure consistent and efficient county activities;
b) Coordinate with the Assistant Directors for Field Operations and Assistant Directors for Programs such that the annual Plan of Work is coordinated and implemented;
c) Coordinate with the Assistant Directors for Field Operations to enhance county-based funding through strategic partnerships at the county level;
d) Collaborate with the following units: Human Resources, Business Office, Informational Technology, and Communications, Strategic Marketing and Client Relations to support all educational initiatives at the county and state level;
e) Work with faculty and staff at the district level with the Assistant Directors for Field Operations to resource county offices, support program implementation, and ensure impact reporting statewide and in all program areas;
f) Provide leadership for recruitment and retention, in collaboration with Assistant Directors for Field Operations, of County Extension Coordinators (CEC);
g) Provide leadership to the statewide Extension student internship program for all program areas;
h) Work with the Assistant Directors for Programs as well as other colleges, schools, and administrators to facilitate local support of programs and communication of local needs assessments;
i) Coordinate county-based Civil Rights audits in collaboration with appropriate personnel;
j) Supervise the Assistant Directors for Field Operations;
k) Provide leadership to budget management and personnel matters for county operations in collaboration with the appropriate Assistant Director for Field Operations and ACES support units, as applicable; and
l) Participate in regional and national leadership roles to represent the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.


Minimum Qualifications:
The position requires an earned doctorate or equivalent and a distinguished scholarship record sufficient to merit appointment with tenure at the rank of Associate Professor or Full Professor at Auburn University upon hire.  
  • Experience and demonstrated effectiveness in leadership, including supervision of professional staff;
  • Experience and demonstrated effectiveness in development, delivery, and evaluation of Extension and/or outreach programs that meet the needs of a target audience and create measurable impacts;
  • Demonstrated expertise in the development and implementation of Extension programs at the county and state level;
  • Demonstrated expertise with budget management and a proven record in generation of revenue streams to support applied-research, Extension programming, and/or outreach;
  • A proactive vision of the future of Extension, a demonstrated commitment to the Extension philosophy and mission, and the ability to effectively communicate with stakeholders on these matters;
  • An outstanding performance record in previous employment;
  • Demonstrated skills in verbal and written communication and a proven ability to interact extremely effectively with faculty, staff, administrators, and external stakeholders;
  • Proven record of extension and/or outreach leadership and scholarship to be eligible for tenure at the associate professor rank in his/her appropriate academic department, if applicable;
  • Commitment to both ACES and Auburn University’s core values;
  • Knowledge of the county educational delivery system in Extension;
  • Ability and willingness to travel throughout state;
  • Demonstrated experiences and skills in innovation and strategic planning.


The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment.

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience

Desired Qualifications
Special Instructions to Applicants

To apply for this position, please complete the employment application. The following items are required for full consideration:

1) Resume/Curriculum Vitae
2) Letter of Application/Cover Letter
3) Contact Information for three references including name, contact information, nature of relationship and number of years known. References will not be contacted without permission.
4) Statement that addresses “Strategies for Enhancing Operational Support of County Extension Programs” (maximum one page)
5) Statement that addresses “Vision for County-Based Program Development and Delivery” (maximum one page)

Questions should be directed to Dr. Becky Barlow, Search Committee Chair, Associate Dean and Assistant Director for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources. Email

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

Please see the job description for contact details
pertaining to this university job announcement.


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