Extension Instructor or Open Rank Extension Educator

University of Nebraska-Lincoln   Pierce, NE   Full-time     Education
Posted on February 8, 2024
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NE Ext Engagement Zone 5-12354

Posting Open Date         


Application Review Date:

(To ensure consideration, please submit all application materials before review date)    


Open Until Filled            



Description of Work      


Based in Pierce, NE, the incumbent serves Cedar, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Madison, Pierce, Stanton, Thurston, and Wayne Counties. Communities across Nebraska can create opportunities to thrive with effective leadership and people. Nebraska Extension’s role is to catalyze these opportunities with communities that demonstrate readiness and willingness. Core to this role is the ability to conduct community outreach, visitation and engagement with community leaders and residents. Expected outcomes include: 1) a community engagement strategy based on lasting and trusted relationships implemented with communities and leaders, 2) identification and training of community leaders and organizations prepared to facilitate locally driven strategies and solutions, and 3) identifying development needs and opportunities.

Recognizing that diversity enhances creativity, innovation, impact, and a sense of belonging, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) and Nebraska Extension are committed to creating learning, research, Extension programming, and work environments that are inclusive of all forms of diversity. Consistent with the University’s N2025 Strategic Plan, we see every person and every interaction as important to our collective well-being and our ability to deliver on our mission.

This Rural Prosperity Nebraska extension professional will contribute to the integrated (extension, research, and teaching) land-grant mission of IANR as an effective scholar and citizen. Nebraska Extension is an organization that values excellence. As a member of the Nebraska Extension team, you are expected to create and deliver world-class learning experiences focused on critical issues that empower Nebraskans to improve their lives.

This 12-month, non-tenure track position carries the title of open rank extension educator or extension instructor, depending on the candidate’s level of education. Those possessing a graduate level degree in the requested area of instruction will be considered for an open rank educator position, a full-time, promotable, non-tenure track appointment. Those in possession of an undergraduate degree in the requested area of instruction will be considered for an instructor position, a full-time, non-promotable, non-tenure track appointment that will be renewed annually for a maximum of five years in the appointment. If hired as an instructor, the incumbent will be expected to make satisfactory progress toward and complete a master’s degree within the initial five-year appointment period. As part of the UNL benefit package, the University offers tuition remission for full-time employees, up to 15 credit hours per year. Once the master’s degree is earned within that period, the position will advance to an assistant extension educator appointment.

The successful candidate will have interest, experience, and expertise in one or more of the following mission areas:

People Attraction, Development, and Retention – The retention of current and attraction of new community members, when strategically coupled with quality-of-life placemaking, foster prosperity and quality of life in Nebraska’s rural communities.

Entrepreneur-Focused Development – Economic diversification (both within and beyond agriculture) is foundational to community prosperity across Nebraska, particularly in farm- and ranch-dependent communities. Our central pathway to a more diverse economy is community-centered, entrepreneur-led economic development.

Leadership and Organizational Development – Community (particularly non-metro community) capacity building (e.g., leadership and organizational development, visioning, strategic planning, etc.).

Regional Food Systems – Fostering and strengthening local food systems. Work with communities across the State to embark on building a food system that meets the needs of everyone.

Nebraska Extension Educators are committed to engaging with community partners, organizations, and all audiences, as well as individuals, in ways that reflect an understanding and value for individual differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, abilities, gender, sexual orientation, religion). Nebraska Extension strives to ensure that innovative programming, translational research, and learning opportunities promote equity and inclusion.



Develops a close and defined working relationship with the RPN program leader and Engagement Zone Coordinator(s). Develop a plan to leverage your stakeholder reach and engagement within and beyond your RPN Accountability Region.

Completes mapping of all your communities within your region and the major community economic development players.

Uses your networks to identify transactional assistance opportunities to connect them to resources both within our Team and externally (e.g., Extension, University, and outside the University).

A priority responsibility is serving Nebraska communities in a community coaching capacity. Community coaching is a form of community engagement to help communities identify their development priorities and network communities to assistance and resources relevant to their development efforts.

Uses innovative strategies and cutting-edge technologies to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate programs for a robust statewide Extension education program in rural prosperity.

Works in a multi-disciplinary team environment with extension professionals and other partners to translate and teach the latest research-based information.

Works with both University and non-University resources to help rural communities network to achieve optimal assistance in their quest for greater prosperity.

Uses entrepreneurial practices to secure grants, program fees and partnerships to leverage the Extension educational program’s resource base and reach.

Partners with research faculty to engage in action research that can be applied to educational programming.

Practices effective Extension scholarship by conducting needs assessments, identifying priorities, measuring program impact, and reporting results at professional meetings and in professional publications.

Develops a professional development plan to enhance and maintain professional expertise specific to community vitality and Extension pedagogy.



Serves in, contributes to, or supports the specific Lead Educator roles as described in the Roles and Responsibilities of the Lead Educator document found at https://myextension.unl.edu/lead-educator-position-description as determined in partnership with the supervisor(s).

Coordinates with Engagement Zone Coordinator(s) and other Extension professionals locally and in the accountability region to develop a robust Nebraska Extension presence by:

Cooperating with local faculty and staff in a team environment to promote Extension’s educational opportunities and impact in the host county.

Cultivating a culture of collaboration with local leaders and community members that builds positive relationships between the University and the community.

Supporting engagement of advisory or policy groups such as the Extension Board, Ag Society, or County Commissioners/Board of Supervisors.

Understands and adheres to Equal Employment Opportunities; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Civil Rights compliance efforts.

Accepts committee assignments, reporting responsibilities, and other special ad hoc assignments as requested at the administrative unit, college/division, institute, and/or university level.


Some travel is required. Must meet driver standards according to UNL policy and have a valid driver’s license.


This position is not eligible for employment-based permanent residency sponsorship. UNL may be able to sponsor temporary work authorization (e.g., H-1B) for the successful candidate.

As an EO/AA employer, the University of Nebraska considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See https://www.unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination.

Minimum Required Qualifications         

Bachelor’s degree in Organizational or Community Development; Economics; Leadership Studies; Community or Regional Planning; Education; Rural Sociology; Entrepreneurship; Business Administration; Landscape Architecture; Planning with a focus on community-based, regional, urban, environmental, and/or infrastructure; or a closely related field (extension instructor) OR Master’s degree in Organizational or Community Development; Economics; Leadership Studies; Community or Regional Planning; Education; Rural Sociology; Entrepreneurship; Business Administration; Landscape Architecture; Planning with a focus on community-based, regional, urban, environmental and/or infrastructure; or a closely related field (extension educator).

Successful experience teaching adults in a formal or non-formal setting.

Demonstrated ability to communicate (i.e., publications, writing, presentations, web, and social media).

Preferred Qualifications             

Experience working with individuals, coworkers, and teams to accomplish individual and/or group goals, as evidenced by college, career, and/or community activities.

Outstanding leadership skills as demonstrated by roles in college, career, and/or community activities.

Understanding of different ethnic and socioeconomic audiences and a commitment to developing and delivering both inclusive and targeted programming to assist underserved audiences.

Demonstrated ability to network effectively with businesses and/or community leaders.

Familiarity with rural communities in Nebraska.

Understanding of, or experience with, developing and delivering educational programs focused on Rural Prosperity Nebraska priority issues.

Work Location (City, State)        

Pierce, NE

Pre-Placement Driving Record Review


Criminal History Background Check Required   


How to Apply   

Click “Apply for this Job” and complete the information form. Attach the following documents:

A letter of interest that describes your qualifications for the job and anticipated contributions.

Your curriculum vitae or resume (attach as “Curriculum Vitae”).

Contact information for three professional references.

In addition, within the application, please complete the required supplemental question(s), one specifically describing your experience working in diverse teams or groups and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters. See https://ianr.unl.edu/tips-writing-about-commitment-to-deib for guidance in writing this statement.

For questions or accommodations related to this position contact          

Marci Sturek


Job Category     

Faculty Non-Tenure Leading

Job Category (old)          

Faculty Non-Tenure Leading

Job Type             

12 Month (Faculty Only)

Position funded by grant or other form of temporary funding?



Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  • Provide a statement describing your experience working in diverse teams or groups and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters. (Open Ended Question)
  • Describe any approaches to teaching that you have practiced, including traditional classroom, webinars, YouTube videos, podcasts, or other uses of media. (Open Ended Question)
  • How have you demonstrated that you are an effective team player? (Open Ended Question)
  • Describe how you would develop, deliver, and evaluate an extension program for a rural prosperity issue of your choice. (Open Ended Question)
  • Describe your experiences working with organizations, businesses, agencies, or individuals in rural prosperity related activities within the past five years. (Open Ended Question)


Required Documents

Letter of Interest

Curriculum Vitae

List of References