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Dean & Director Search

If you have questions or comments about the search, please email or

If you have any questions about the search process please contact Mark Gavin, Associate Provost and Chair of the Search Committee at

Search Progression


  • Search announced
  • Search Committee named and charged
  • Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. (G/A&A) selected to support the Search Committee


  • Search Start-up Meeting - Search Committee and G/A&A meet to discuss search process and profile
  • Feedback incorporated into position description


  • Position advertisement and job description drafted and distributed
  • Requests for nominations and recommendations
  • Nominees and prospects are contacted
  • Applications received and reviewed
  • Prospect Review Meeting held - Search Committee discusses all candidates and selects leading candidates


  • Round-One Interviews - Search Committee interviews leading candidates
  • Reference and background checks
  • Search Committee recommends and selects candidates for additional interviews


  • Campus interviews
  • Selection and signing of contract
  • Transition considerations


  • Announce search completion and introduce hired candidate

The Opportunity

West Virginia University (WVU) seeks a dynamic individual to provide leadership to develop and execute an innovative and positive vision that supports and advances the comprehensive land-grant mission of West Virginia University. The Dean and Director will implement ideas that improve the quality of Extension Service programs for both West Virginia citizens and other stakeholders. The Dean and Director will lead the faculty and staff in strategic action to further WVU's mission of teaching, scholarship, and engagement into the future. The Dean and Director will provide leadership that addresses the engagement and opportunities associated with the diverse programs in Extension Service. The Dean and Director is the chief officer of Extension Service and reports to the Provost or her designee.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A Master's degree in a relevant field. Preferred fields could include, but are not limited to, extension education, agriculture, community development, family and consumer sciences, natural resources, education administration or related areas.
  • Documented successful experience working in Extension Service or at a land-grant University.
  • Demonstrated current knowledge of Extension Service issues and trends.
  • A clear ability to use good judgment and make sound decisions.
  • A leadership style that invites collaboration, encourages teamwork, welcomes diverse perspectives, and values transparency.
  • Evidence of an understanding of and commitment to working with diverse populations, including race, gender, economic, sexual orientation, geographic, and abilities.
  • A demonstrated ability to manage change, resolve conflict, and build consensus.
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills, a high level of emotional intelligence and concern for others, and the ability to navigate controversy and treat all people with civility and respect.
  • The ability to advocate Extension Service's needs, plans, and programs effectively.
  • The ability to imagine new possibilities for Extension Service, develop and articulate a vision, and develop and implement effective strategic plans, including the ability to translate institutional strategy into operational goals, and to specify and prioritize short and long-range objectives.
  • A proven ability to provide skilled, enthusiastic, visionary leadership to a variety of groups and individuals as well as a large, geographically dispersed organization.
  • Familiarity with the distinctive features of, and opportunities for a land-grant institution - particularly as it pertains to the state and region.
  • Demonstrated experience managing complex budgets.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience with one or more of the fields in which Extension Service operates: 4-H and Youth Development; Community and Economic Development; STEM Education; Agriculture; Agri-Tourism; Nutrition Outreach; Wellness; Fire Safety; Safety and Health; Labor Studies; Communications; and Technology should be articulated.

    Preferred Qualifications

    • Earned doctorate in a relevant field. Preferred fields could include, but are not limited to, extension education, agriculture, community development, family and consumer sciences, natural resources, education administration, law or related areas.
    • Significant (at least five years) experience in supervision of employees.
    • Supervision of faculty and staff in higher education.
    • Proven dedication to excellence in teaching, research, and service.
    • Experience in acquiring external funding through fundraising, grants acquisition and fee for services.
    • Knowledge of higher education recruitment and retention strategies.
    • A defined history of cultivating and coordinating collaborations to achieve stated goals.
    • The ability to effectively navigate policies and procedures in the state of West Virginia.
    • Experience as an agent of innovation and change achieving excellence across a complex organization.
    • A demonstrable track-record of administrative achievement that gives strong evidence of the capacity to manage a complex unit, including its budget, workforce, and programs.
    • The skills to navigate the organizational, political, and fiscal realities unique to a major public research university, and to make changes to improve current practice, including effective advocacy for the resources required to uphold mandates and achieve aspirations.
    • Demonstrated capability to manage professional and support staff effectively, including hiring, motivating, training, developing and evaluating the job performance of employees.
    • Experience and/or the clear potential to represent Extension Service articulately and compellingly within the larger University and to external constituencies, enhancing the visibility and impact of its work while increasing gifts, grant-related funding, and other mission-aligned revenue.

    How to Apply

    Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. is assisting West Virginia University in the search. Confidential applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled. For best consideration, applications and nominations should be provided by January 18, 2020. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made. A complete application will include a letter addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position’s duties, responsibilities and qualifications; a current resume or curriculum vitae; and a list of names of five references (including titles, institutions and contact information). Submission of materials as PDF attachments is strongly encouraged. Individuals who wish to nominate a candidate should send an email with information about the nominated person to Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc., an executive search firm, which is assisting in this search. Please include the name, position, address, telephone number, and email address of the nominee.

    Confidential inquiries, nominations and application materials should be directed to:

    Jan Greenwood or Lori Harrington
    Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.
    42 Business Center Drive, Suite 206
    Miramar Beach, FL 32550
    Phone: 850-650-2277
    Fax: 850-650-2272

    Nomination Form

    • Mark Gavin, Associate Provost for Academic Budget, Facilities, and Strategic Initiatives; Search Committee Chair
    • Robin Anderson, Administrative Assistant, Marketing and Communications
    • Doug Arbogast, Extension Associate Professor and Specialist, Rural Tourism Development
    • Nila Cobb, Extension Associate Professor and Specialist, 4-H Youth Development/Healthy Living, Cabell and Kanawha Counties
    • Andy Ferrin, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, National 4-H Council
    • Mark Fullen, Extension Professor and Director, Safety and Health
    • Ronnie Helmondollar, Extension Associate Professor and Program Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources
    • Kent Leonhardt, Commissioner, West Virginia Department of Agriculture 
    • Tony Michael, Extension Professor and Program Director, Family and Community Development
    • Robert (Bob) Richardson, Chief Judge, Circuit Court, Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties
    • Mollie Toppe, Extension Agent, County Program Coordinator, 4-H Youth Development, Wetzel County
    • Matt Wilson, Associate Dean for Programs, Davis College
    • Dana Wright, Extension Agent, County Program Coordinator, Families and Health, Logan County

    Dr. Jorge H. Atiles

    Dr. Jorge Atiles.

    Dr. Jorge H. Atiles is the Associate Dean for Extension, Engagement & Continuing Education, College of Education and Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University. He leads teams of educators and programs to address critical issues affecting the people and economy of Oklahoma. Dr. Atiles holds degrees in architecture, urban and regional planning, and housing. His publications and multimillion-dollar grants have supported extension programs in affordable housing, indoor air quality, energy conservation, home safety and water quality protection. He has worked in the private and public sectors managing housing finance and development projects in the U.S. and abroad.

    Curriculum Vitae Candidate Itinerary