Director of Statewide Operations

Saint Paul, Minnesota
Apr 15, 2019
May 06, 2019
Employment Status
Full Time

About Extension:

University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota, a land grant institution with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. The mission of the University of Minnesota is: Making a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota.

Director Role:

The Director provides leadership and direction to the 11 regional directors and their offices, throughout the state of Minnesota.  This position plays a significant organizational role in developing and strengthening linkages, and identifying critical issues around which program staff can work to connect University resources and communities across the state. This individual will work closely with Extension’s operational leaders to enhance an efficient and effective statewide operations system that supports Extension’s mission.  To be successful, the Director must provide strong leadership and management skills consistent with University of Minnesota Extension mission, vision, and core values. This individual must interact effectively with diverse stakeholders and staff, and be committed to promoting diversity and inclusion.  This position requires frequent statewide travel.  

Responsibilities and Duties:

Strategic Planning, Coordination, Implementation and Evaluation

  • Serve on the Dean’s Leadership Council, and be a liaison with Extension leaders
  • Participate and contribute to the strategic planning of Extension’s goals and objectives
  • Develop and execute plans which streamline operations, and flex to align with the ebbs and flows of Extension Centers’ program needs
  • Listen to stakeholders’ perspectives to determine local needs and emerging issues, and communicate these to appropriate audiences
  • Assess and evaluate regional operations
  • Plan and coordinate operational support that is inclusive of underserved communities
  • Serve in a variety of leadership capacities such as EDEN and Farm Fes
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures for regional operations

Internal/External Relations & Communications:

  • Serve as a leader and steward for government (state, county, local) relations in concert with program center leaders
  • Build and nurture relationships among county partners, University leaders, Extension faculty and staff
  • Advocate for sustaining and increasing county investments and Extension partnerships
  • Ensure proper organizational marketing, branding, and public relations in coordination with Extension Communications
  • Build and maintain an open line of communication for information to flow to and from Regional Directors
  • Work with and provide development opportunities for Extension advisory committees
  • Work with Extension’s development office, program leaders, and extension educators to build and coordinate with the UM foundation

Human Resources:

  • Recruit, hire, onboard, develop, and retain Regional Directors (RD)
  • Develop, execute, and assess staffing plans that welcome and support an engaged, diverse, and inclusive work environment
  • Provide strategic oversight to RDs, and manage statewide operations plan for regional support staff
  • Develop, manage, and facilitate problem solving processes for responding to and bringing resolution to complex personnel issues
  • Manage RDs performance and serve as a liaison with Extension Human Resources
  • Work with RDs to align talent with organizational needs while maintaining a unified statewide team
  • Lead and serve on search committees as requested

Budget and Operations:

  • Develop and manage annual budget of statewide operations
  • Consult/advise/advocate with RDs on budget development and management
  • Serve as a liaison with Extension Finance and Planning
  • Provide oversight of lease agreements
  • Handle complex negotiations and oversee memorandum of agreements
  • Develop, manage, and facilitate bringing complex space, budget, or technology issues to resolution
  • Support revenue generation efforts


Required qualifications/competencies:

  • A Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of related experience
  • Experience with Extension
  • Experience in leadership, time management, personnel development and management, strategic decision making and problem solving, and building collaborations
  • Experience with engaging stakeholders, partners, and colleagues, and maintaining productive partnerships
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain positive relationships and productive partnerships
  • Demonstrated ability and commitment to work with new, diverse and historically underserved audiences, as well as with diverse staff, volunteers, community leaders, and elected officials
  • Excellent oral and written communication, and presentation skills
  • Experience working with boards/advisory committees, including abilities in group facilitation and/or strategic planning
  • Budget management experience
  • Demonstrated skills in conflict management and organizational problem-solving
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle with required liability insurance to be utilized for frequent travel
  • A personal cell phone that can be used, as needed, for work purposes

Preferred qualifications/competencies:

  • A Master’s degree is strongly preferred
  • At least five years’ experience in Extension, higher education and/or county government
  • Highly motivated with the ability to work both independently and as a part of a productive work team

Travel and Cell phone:

Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy.  (Must provide own means for traveling throughout the state and legally required vehicle insurance.)  Must provide and use personal cell phone for Extension work.  The phone number is published in the Extension directory.

To Apply:

Please apply at:, Job Opening ID 329669.

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click on the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position. Please include the following attachments with your online application:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume or Vitae

Three professional references and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) will be required during the interview process.

Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents there.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please email or call 612-624-UOHR (8647).

For questions about applying online, contact:

Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources,

For questions about this position, contact:

Kent Olson, Associate Dean, Center for Community Vitality,

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

The University of Minnesota Extension shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

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