Director - Panhandle Research, Extension & Educator Center

The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) invites nominations and applications for the Director of the Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center (PREEC). We are seeking candidates who are collaborative, visionary, innovative, inclusive, and entrepreneurial. The Director coordinates and manages all aspects of the IANR and PREEC missions at the Center and represents the university and IANR to the communities in the western part of the state. To do this, they must possess well-developed talents in translational science, strategic visioning, team building and collaboration, communication, and facilities and personnel management.
Recognizing that diversity within a context of inclusivity enhances creativity, innovation, impact, and a sense of belonging, IANR and Nebraska Extension are committed to creating research, Extension, and teaching and learning environments that are inclusive of all forms of human diversity. We actively encourage applications from and nominations of individuals from underrepresented groups including racial and ethnic minorities, women, sexual and gender minorities, persons living with disabilities, and veterans.
Our three Research, Extension and Education Centers (REEC) are hubs of research, extension, community engagement, and teaching and learning activity. They are strategically positioned throughout the state to ensure that a) IANR faculty members are able to conduct research relevant to the state’s farmers, ranchers, food processors, natural resource managers, and regional economic development leaders and others involved in the agricultural industry; b) Extension programming is community-based and relevant to the needs of Nebraska residents; and c) students have research, learning and community engagement opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to in an urban campus setting. The mission of the network of REECs is to develop solutions that enhance the lives of Nebraskans through improved management of landscapes, production systems, and resources across the state.
Overview of the Position
The Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center director is an administrative appointment within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. This is a five-year renewable term subject to satisfactory annual reviews and a satisfactory formal reappointment review. The director serves as IANR’s “chief translational science officer” in the Panhandle ensuring that IANR’s research and discovery engine – including graduate students and postdocs – is mobilized and extended in compelling and creative ways that advance and support the diversity of agricultural producers, processors and natural resource systems managers in the Panhandle through data-driven solutions and insights that are economically sound and enhance profitability. The PREEC Director is IANR’s lead for engaging with farmers, ranchers, food processors, natural resource managers and regional economic development leaders, to ensure programs, initiatives, and accomplishments are highly responsive to the Panhandle’s surface and groundwater systems and the integrated, precision cropping and livestock systems they underpin. The PREEC Director is a key collaborative and strategic partner with IANR’s academic unit leaders, Nebraska Extension program leaders, center and institute directors, and those leading key State offices and agencies to leverage talent and assets from across IANR and beyond. The PREEC Director also works closely with the coordinators of Nebraska Extension’s Engagement Zones that touch the Panhandle (i.e., Engagement Zones 1, 2, 3, and 4), who serve as IANR’s primary liaisons with local leaders and elected officials and who supervise Extension professionals working in the areas of Community Environment, The Learning Child, Food Nutrition and Health and 4-H Youth Development.

The PREEC director reports to the dean of the Agricultural Research Division (ARD) and freely engages with other members of IANR’s senior leadership team to include the IANR vice chancellor; senior associate vice chancellor; the deans of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), the College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS), and Nebraska Extension; and Engagement Zone Coordinators located in the Panhandle. The PREEC director is responsible for co-creating and carrying out the strategic plan for IANR’s extensive statewide network of research, extension and learning platforms. The PREEC Director is uniquely positioned and expected to serve as a key cultural broker between those based in Lincoln and across Nebraska with the needs and efforts of those in the Panhandle.

The director fosters an inclusive culture in which all contributions are appreciated and recognized, collaboration and innovation are encouraged, and the abilities of all are engaged to fully realize the potential of the team and each contributor. The Director exemplifies the responsible management of resources to maximize the impact and effectiveness of those resources and supports others in the responsible management of resources. The Director ensures opportunities are open to all, programs and initiatives are inclusive of all constituencies, and efforts are made to engage diverse audiences, especially those that are traditionally underrepresented. In collaboration with the directors at the other REECs, the director leads ongoing development and operational execution of an IANR Statewide REEC Strategic Plan that contributes to the mission of IANR and that meets the needs of Nebraska residents, faculty and students. This shared vision will be continuously examined for relevancy and refreshed as needed.

Annual performance evaluations are conducted by the ARD dean with input sought from other leaders across IANR with whom the PREEC Director partners, serves and engages.

Qualifications for the Director of the Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center
To be considered for the position, candidates must have:

  • A record of excellence in university-based community engagement, outreach, or professional-community partnerships.
  • Visionary leadership, including an ability to inspire and motivate.
  • Effectiveness in aligning resources to achieve vision.
  • Experience leading multidisciplinary teams in achieving strategic outcomes.
  • A record of leadership and outcomes that demonstrate an abiding commitment to practices that are inclusive of all forms of human diversity.
  • Exceptional skills in communication and interpersonal relations.
  • A doctoral (or equivalent terminal) degree.


Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate:

  • A record of excellence in Extension.
  • Experience in mentoring or coaching.
  • An ability to collaborate effectively with a broad range of constituencies.
  • A record of success in obtaining external funding.
  • Proven record of documenting outcomes and impact. 

  • The Search Advisory Committee will receive applications until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, nominations and applications should be submitted before August 16, 2021.

    Questions and nominations can be directed in confidence to:
    Dr. Archie Clutter, Search Advisory Committee Chair
    Dean, Agricultural Research Division

    Applicants should go to, requisition F_210086. Click “Apply to this Job,” complete the information form and attach a) a letter of interest that describes your qualifications for the position, anticipated contributions, and personal vision; b) a statement of the value you place on diversity and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters (2 page maximum; see for guidance in writing this statement); c) a detailed curriculum vitae; and d) the names of 3-5 professional references. 


References will be requested only of candidates who make the short list. All candidate information will be held in strict confidence until the final stage of the search at which time the express permission of finalists will be obtained before contacting references and making their candidacy public. Candidates are urged to review all information and documents posted on the search webpage

For questions and assistance with submitting the application, contact Ms. Jodi Mackin, Faculty HR Specialist at or by phone at (402) 756-3014.

UNL offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with the successful candidate’s background and experience.

The University of Nebraska is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive work and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. UNL is dedicated to creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected and included.

As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered 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