The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) invites applications for a nationally recognized leader to serve as the Director of ACES at Auburn University. ACES is the primary outreach and engagement organization for two land grant universities, Alabama A&M University and Auburn University. The strengths of two universities come together in one public agency under the joint leadership of the Director at Auburn University and the 1890 Administrator at Alabama A&M University. These universities are dedicated to delivering research-based educational programs that transform lives and communities throughout the state of Alabama and beyond. The Director reports jointly to the Presidents at Alabama A&M University and Auburn University and will be responsible for providing innovative, joint leadership to more than 700 faculty and staff located on two university campuses and in 67 counties across the state. The Director will oversee an annual budget of approximately $65 million. ACES is recognized as a national leader in Extension. It consistently earns top honors from its peers for its learning materials and programs. ACES programs in agriculture and natural resources, community development, 4-H and youth development, or human sciences reach one in three Alabamians. These extension programs serve as a statewide platform for a strong Director to make a difference. Active conversations are underway to identify new opportunities for collaboration around important issues to Alabama and to the nation. This environment is rich with possibilities for further innovative leadership.
Auburn University is one of the nation’s premier public land-grant institutions and in 2019, it was ranked 44th among public universities by U.S. News and World Report. Auburn maintains high levels of research activity and high standards for teaching excellence, offering bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist, and doctor’s degrees in agriculture and engineering, the professions, and the arts and sciences. Its 2019 enrollment of 30,460 students includes 24,594 undergraduates and 5,866 graduate and professional students. Organized into 12 academic colleges and schools, Auburn’s 1,330 faculty members offer more than 200 educational programs. The university is nationally recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, its positive work environment, its student engagement and its 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 or to beach and mountain recreational facilities. Situated along the rapidly developing I-85 corridor between Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama, the combined Auburn-Opelika, Alabama-Columbus, Georgia statistical area has a population of over 500,000, with excellent public-school systems, outstanding recreation areas and an exceptional regional medical center.
The ideal candidate will bring strategic focus, exceptional collaborative and interpersonal skills, and a record of successful senior leadership in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders to this critical role at Auburn University. The next Director will require substantial experience in crafting a strategic vision, as well as tactical and efficient use of budgetary management, along with a strong sense of mission. The successful candidate will be an extraordinary and transformational leader who desires to use his or her talents to make a real difference as Director. The Director will pursue collaborative leadership with the 1890 Extension Administrator and members of the administrative team. Strong candidates must not only have significant leadership experience with forming new partnerships and collaborations, but also an established track record of managing through moments of significant change. The successful candidate will be a skilled relationship-builder, consultant, and advisor with outstanding interpersonal skills and a strong focus on teamwork and collaboration.
Minimum educational requirements are an earned terminal degree in a discipline or combination of disciplines that provides adequate background in developing, implementing, and evaluating formal and non-formal educational programs. The successful candidate is eligible for tenure. Credentials appropriate for rank of professor are preferred.
Application and Nomination Process
The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applicants must submit a current curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience. Submission of materials via e-mail is strongly encouraged. Nomination letters should include the name, position, and contact information for the nominee. All nominations and applications will be handled in confidence. Applications will remain confidential until the selection of the finalists, whose names and application materials will be made public.
Applications and letters of nomination should be submitted to: