Western SARE Seeks Regional Director
Regional Director: Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Center
This is a 90% Administration, 10% Research or Extension Faculty, 12‐month, academic professional and administrative appointment with full benefits package. Appointment with tenure is dependent on the applicant's scholarly and professional record. Congress has funded the USDA‐NIFA‐SARE program, with several significant yearly increases, for over 24 years.
The Regional Director holds a key leadership position that is responsible for jointly coordinating a mission‐oriented program with an annual budget of approximately $4 million and a staff of approximately 8 people. This position works closely with regional PDP (Professional Development of Extension and allied professionals) Coordinator and the WSARE Administrative Council (AC, SARE’s Board of Directors) which is designated in statute to include representatives from throughout the region. The AC works with the Regional Director and the PDP Coordinator to establish the programs and policies that are implemented by the Regional Director and staff.
The Regional Director is responsible for preparing and presenting a comprehensive annual budget for review and approval by the AC. The Regional Director orchestrates the operating procedures needed to ensure efficient and equitable administration of the region's competitive grants programs and communication and outreach activities. The Regional Director collaborates closely with the regional PDP Coordinator on administrative issues related to the ongoing professional development of Extension and allied professionals. The Regional Director provides administrative leadership for the entire Western SARE research and education program, supervises and evaluates the professional staff, represents and promotes the WSARE program, and serves as the liaison to the national SARE office. The Regional Director oversees an ongoing portfolio of active research and education projects totaling over $16 million.
The core activity of the WSARE program is administration of several competitive grants programs. In concert with the Administrative Council, the Regional Director oversees the competitive process including preparing calls for proposals, recruitment of reviewers, dissemination of proposals for review, collection of reviewers' evaluations and presentation of these reviews to the full AC for funding decisions. The Regional Director has an active role in post‐award grants management including finalizing award agreements, authorizing changes after grants are awarded and collection of project reports. The Regional Director also works with the Communications and Outreach staff to publicize the research based results obtained from funded projects.
The Regional Director interacts regularly with Western Region Agriculture/Natural Resource Deans and Directors of both Agricultural Experiment Stations and Extension organizations in the Land‐grant system of universities and colleges. The ability to work as an academic peer with these administrators is essential. Hence, a professional and administrative record that would allow the applicant to be named an Assistant Director in the Agricultural Experiment Station and/or Cooperative Extension of the Host Institution is a critical requirement.
- A Ph.D. degree in discipline related to sustainable agriculture.
- Significant professional experience (6 years or more) as an educator, researcher or administrator with a demonstrated knowledge of sustainable agriculture principles and practices and an understanding of current agriculture and natural resource issues, technology, practices, agencies and organizations.
- A professional and administrative record that would allow the applicant to be named an Assistant Director in the Agricultural Experiment Station and/or Cooperative Extension of the Host Institution.
- An understanding of Land‐grant system, USDA‐NIFA, APLU, and their historical context.
- Excellent communication, interpersonal, and administrative skills.
- A demonstrated ability to engage with a wide range of stakeholders representing diverse interests and perspectives, including farmers, ranchers, administrators, and scientists.
- Significant experience in managing large multifaceted budgets of grant programs.
- Significant academic, research, and/or extension experience sufficient for a tenurable academic appointment of Professor in one of the departments that receive funding from Cooperative Extension and/or Utah Agricultural Experiment Station.
- A familiarity with the diverse Land‐grant and non‐profit organizations in the 11 contiguous Western States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, and American Samoa.
- A familiarity with USDA‐SARE goals, objectives and operations.
- Agricultural research experience.
- A working knowledge of USDA‐NIFA grants programs.
- A working knowledge of outcome assessment and program evaluation.
- Significant experience in agricultural "systems" research.
- Significant experience in sustainable food production and farming systems.
- Administrative experience in the Land‐grant agriculture troika of: teaching, research, and extension.
Instructions for applying and uploading supporting documents are at the job opportunities link on the USU Human Resources homepage at https://jobs.usu.edu. For specific information regarding applications, contact Dan Drost, Search Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information regarding the current Western SARE operations and programs, contact Phil Rasmussen, Western SARE Center Director, at email@example.com.
WSARE is a well‐established regional program that is part of the national Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA‐NIFA). The WSARE program encourages sustainable farming and ranching practices that are productive, economically successful, environmentally sound and socially rewarding. WSARE consists of two main programs, namely the Research and Education Program (R&E) and the Professional Development Program (PDP). The R&E program offers competitive grants for research and extension activities conducted by scientists, educators, producers and expert organizations. The PDP program provides training for agricultural professionals and maintains an active outreach presence in each state, territory, and island protectorate in the region. For more information, please visit the WSARE website at http://www.westernsare.org/.
The Western SARE Center is housed at Utah State University. Founded in 1888, USU is a land‐grant, Carnegie Research I, doctoral‐extensive institution with 17,000 students on its main campus and another 12,000 + students on regional campuses within the state. Utah State University is strongly committed to achieving the goals of equal opportunity, and endeavors to employ faculty and staff of the highest quality who can reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the nation. USU's main campus is located in Logan, Utah. Logan is located in a picturesque mountain valley with a population of over 100,000, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Ski resorts, lakes, rivers, and mountains in the immediate area make it one of the finest outdoor recreation environments in the nation.