UW Cooperative Extension — Associate Dean of Operations and Policy

Associate Dean of Operations and Policy
Legal Title: Associate Dean (L) – No Prefix

The Associate Dean of Operations and Policy is a senior level administrator who will provide leadership in collaboration with colleagues and other administrators focused around internal and external policies and operations, while fostering an environment that is inclusive, trusting, respectful, and collegial. This position will serve as a representative of the Dean in any and all divisional matters.

Reporting directly to the Dean of Cooperative Extension, the Associate Dean serves as a member of the Cooperative Extension Leadership team, and will help to direct the division’s strategic, operational, and financial planning processes. This position is responsible for organizing and overseeing the operational and administrative expenditures for the central administrative functions of the division, while also overseeing field operations for geographically based leadership positions. The Associate Dean provides leadership to the central operational areas of the division, to include the Office of Educational Technology Support (ETS), the Office of Communications & External Relations (OCER), the Office of Financial Services (OFS), the Office of Program Support Services (OPSS), and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, who’s goals are aligned in providing exceptional management system services to Cooperative Extension for performance management, strategic planning, hiring practices, budget management, onboarding, recording results, and information technology.

The Associate Dean functions within the broad organizational direction provided by the Dean and Director in the development and implementation of policies, and will advise on the development of program and administrative policy consistent with the University of Wisconsin System and United States Department of Agriculture/National Institute for Food and Agriculture. The position provides leadership for developing, interpreting, and applying policy within the organization and for interpreting and applying federal, state, and local policies affecting the organization.

The Associate Dean will possess a professional demeanor and demonstrate the ability to work with a diverse set of individuals using discretion, judgment, flexibility, and tact. The Associate Dean will demonstrate effective communication skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and will exercise judgement and skill in handling sensitive and confidential matters.


  • Serve as a key leader on the Dean’s Cabinet, providing leadership in policy development and implementation, operations, and overall direction for the division
  • Represent the Dean and Director as requested in internal and external affairs when the Dean and Director cannot be present
  • Manage the support systems and structures within Cooperative Extension to enable leadership in the Departments and Zones to focus on their areas by leveraging resources across Cooperative Extension, UW-Colleges/UW-Extension, UW-Madison, and the UW System
  • In close collaboration with the Dean and Director, supervise and support the work of the Directors of all central Cooperative Extension administrative divisions, to include; Educational Technology Support, Communications & External Relations, Program Support Services, Volunteer Services, Office of Diversity and Inclusion Director, Financial Services as well as the Dean’s Office
  • Manager in achieving organizational objectives and ensuring accountability
  • Provide overall leadership of, and ensure divisional compliance with affirmative action, equal opportunity, and civil rights laws, regulations and policies
  • Provide overall leadership for and ensure appropriate internal and external communications
  • In collaboration with the Director of Financial Services, ensure that Cooperative Extension follows sound budget and fiscal practices
  • Supervise the North Zone Assistant Dean and South Zone Assistant Dean and oversee field operations across the state
  • Ensure educational planning, program evaluation and all reporting and accountability systems operate in alignment with one another, and with the division’s values and strategic directions
  • Enhance Cooperative Extension’s organizational performance through a focus on organizational design, alignment, and accountability; collaboration; and professional development designed to meet organizational and individual needs and objectives.
  • Provide leadership for developing, interpreting and applying policy within the organization, to include all applicable federal, state, and local policies
  • Support the training and development of Area Extension Directors, Center Directors, and others contributing to the administrative operations of Cooperative Extension;
  • Support partnership development between local, state, tribal and federal governments and the university amenable



  • A Master’s degree in business administration, policy, human resources, communications, or similar degree relevant to the position
  • Evidence of at least 10 years progressive experience supervising and providing leadership at a managerial level including at least 3 years in a high-level administrative position, preferably in an academic or governmental institution
  • Demonstrated experience developing, interpreting, and applying policy
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse populations and engage with diverse cultural, ethnic and academic backgrounds of faculty and staff
  • Proven ability to effectively manage and lead staff in a changing environment
  • Ability to provide judgment and innovative approaches in developing solutions to complex problems and skill to implement those resolutions
  • Demonstrated effective written and interpersonal communication and strong presentation skills to diverse and large audiences
  • Proven track-record of forming collaborative and effective working relationships with senior administrative leaders and external partners
  • Evidence of the ability to establish realistic and achievable priorities, to develop project plans and timelines for those priorities, and to lead staff to achieve departmental goals and objectives


  • Experience working in Volunteer Services, Information Technology, External Relations, Communications, Policy Development, or Program/Curriculum development
  • Evidence of effective leadership and organizational skills, including time management and priority setting
  • Demonstrated understanding of the nature and mission of land-grant University
  • Working knowledge of UW Cooperative Extension and its programs
  • Have knowledge of:
    • Managerial principles
    • Records maintenance principles and practices
    • Budgeting principles and practices
    • Program management principles
    • Higher education or government agency principles and practices
    • Have demonstrated skill in:
    • Developing and facilitating information sessions, presentations, and/or workshops
    • Preparing a variety of reports related to departmental activities, including statistical analysis
    • Developing and managing a budget
    • Evaluating assigned programmatic area for compliance with applicable regulations
    • Coordinating the preparation and publication of a variety of reports and/or promotional materials
    • Conducting research to identify solutions, resolve problems, or provide information
    • Utilizing computer technology for communication, data gathering and reporting activities

This position is a full time, Limited appointment in the University of Wisconsin-Extensions division of Cooperative Extension. This appointment is a limited appointment within the meaning of Section 36.17 Wisconsin Statutes, the Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter UWS 15, and the derived policies of the University of Wisconsin System and UW-Extension. This position serves at the pleasure of the Dean. Termination from a limited appointment is not considered a dismissal and is not subject to appeal.

This position description is not intended to be comprehensive in nature given the changes in primary duties/essential job functions and position expectations that can occur over time in response to emerging and assessed community, program and organizational needs. Changes to this position description are subject to the approval of the Office of Human Resources and those to whom the position is accountable.

State of Wisconsin benefits (https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/), including retirement, vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and other insurances.

As an affirmative action employer, University of Wisconsin-Extension provides equal opportunity in programs and employment; and is strongly committed to maintaining a climate supportive of respect for differences and equality of opportunity. University of Wisconsin-Extension does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, disability, sex/gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, religion, marital status, identity as a veteran, disabled veteran, Vietnam veteran or any other military service, arrest record or non-program related conviction record. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

Materials will be made available in alternative format upon request. Please call 711 if you are hearing or speech impaired and need assistance.

A criminal background check will be conducted prior to employment. Completed consent forms will be requested following final interviews. In compliance with the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, convictions and pending charges will be considered only as they relate to this position.

For assured consideration, application materials, including all required documents must be received by Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Complete applications will include the following materials:

Required Application Materials:

  • A current resume (not to exceed 5 pages)
  • A cover letter (not to exceed 2 pages) that addresses the candidate’s qualifications as they relate to all listed required qualifications
  • A list of references to include names, contact information, and organizational affiliation

For questions regarding this position, please contact Karl Martin (karl.martin@ces.uwex.edu). For technical questions or assistance, please contact UW Service Center at (888) 298-4159. For all other questions please contact hrstaff@uwex.uwc.edu.