Job Opportunity: Assistant Extension Professor of Rural Sociology, Auburn University

Assistant Extension Professor of Rural Sociology 

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology

The Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at Auburn University is seeking candidates for the position of Assistant Extension Professor with a primary focus on rural sociology to join a diverse environment of high-quality scholars dedicated to the discovery, education, and application of research-based knowledge. This is a 12-month non-tenure track position (100% Extension). The successful candidate will provide leadership for extension programming at the intersection of agriculture, organizations, and communities in relation to social and economic well-being. Qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to assess evidence-based outcomes that will inform solutions, program direction, and policy. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated expertise and extension interest in one or more of the following areas: processes of domestic social change; inequality; food and agriculture; political economy/ecology; rural communities, including resilience and/or adaptation to climate change; and other environmental and natural resource challenges. Teaching opportunities (e.g., Extension Methods), may be possible upon agreement of the Department Head, the Director of ACES, and the faculty member, but teaching is not required for this position. The expected start date is Fall 2022.

Specific responsibilities include the following:

  • Develop a robust, scholarly, and data-driven extension program in rural development and document its impact,
  • Serve as a member of Extension’s Farm and Agribusiness Management and Community Resource Development Priority Program Teams to develop needs-based plans-of-work,
  • Ensure that program supports activities by Extension teams in Agriculture, Human Sciences, and Forestry and Wildlife,
  • Build capacity among Regional Extension Agents and County Extension Coordinators to implement and multiply educational programming consistent with plans-of-work,
  • Deliver relevant, new, and creative programming through workshops, county/state/regional presentations, short-courses, and digital products,
  • Write Extension and popular press publications, as well as in other media (broadcast radio/TV, social media, podcasts, etc.),
  • Collaborate with other professionals at Auburn University to develop and disseminate high-quality research-informed Extension education programs, which are funded by external grants and contracts,
  • Generate scholarly output including articles in peer-reviewed journals and/or peer-reviewed Extension publications,
  • Provide leadership to the profession through state and regional professional society participation,
  • Interpret U.S. Census and Census of Agriculture data to inform internal and external stakeholders of demographic directions and trends, 
  • Fully participate in Department activities as a faculty member. 

Qualifications include an earned Ph.D. in Sociology, Rural Sociology, Demography, Geography, or closely related applied social science field from an accredited institution.  Additional qualifications include a practical knowledge of challenges and solutions in U.S. rural development, including relevant policy, as it relates to institutions, food and agriculture, and community development; candidates ought to illustrate an ability to increase this knowledge, especially with regards to Alabama. Strong training is necessary in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and evidence of skills in data visualization will be a desired criterion. Excellent interpersonal skills are required.  A clear interest in public service and Alabama demographic trends is also desired. The successful candidate must meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States at the time the appointment begins and continue working legally for the term of employment.  

Application:  Applicants must apply for this position by visiting the link:  https://www.auemployment.com/postings/29377  and attach the following:

  1. Cover letter that addresses the experience and/or potential pertinent to the position’s responsibilities plus a vision for this Extension program
  2. Current curriculum vita,
  3. Unofficial copies of all academic transcripts (official copies are required for hiring)
  4. Diversity statement 
  5. Contact information for three (3) professional references (letters of recommendation will be requested for shortlisted candidates).

The College of Agriculture is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).  Our goal is to equip students and employees to achieve their full potential by supporting a diverse and inclusive culture that is welcoming and respectful.  In your application packet, please include a diversity statement addressing how you have supported DEI in the past or your ideas of future support.  Additional information about the college’s DEI goals and objectives can be found at the following link: Diversity Inclusion Plan / Auburn University College of Agriculture  

When prompted during the on-line process, please provide names, email addresses and phone numbers for three (3) professional references.  Only completed application materials will be considered.  To ensure consideration for the position, applicants are encouraged to apply by end of business July 15, 2022.  The search may continue until the position is filled.  Questions about this position should be directed to Dr. Michelle Worosz, Search Committee Chair, email: mrw0016@auburn.edu.

The University:  The University is an R1 land-grant institution organized into twelve academic colleges and schools. Auburn is ranked 40th among public universities in the U.S. News and World 2021 Report. For 2020, 24,505 undergraduates, 6,232 graduate, and professional students were enrolled. The University is nationally recognized for its academic excellence, commitments to community engagement, positive work environment, flourishing student life programs, and beautiful campus.

Auburn maintains high levels of research activity and high standards for teaching excellence, offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, Educational Specialist, and Doctor’s degrees in agriculture and engineering, the professions, and the arts and sciences. There are 1,450 faculty members who offer more than 200 educational programs.  Auburn University is understanding of and sensitive to the family needs of faculty, including dual-career couples.  To learn more about the University, please visit: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/facultyjobs/.

The Department:  Discovering and transmitting socio-economic knowledge to students, Alabama, and the world is our mission. As a multidisciplinary department, 14 faculty members are agricultural economists and 2 are rural sociologists.  This includes a mix of research, teaching, and extension appointments to achieve the department’s mission in conjunction with other university departments, industry, and organizations.  With retirements, there has been an opportunity to hire 5 new tenure-track faculty in the past 1.5 years.  New faculty are offered competitive start-up packages, have access to state funded graduate students, and internal grant competitions from the Alabama Experiment Station. Faculty and students publish in top journals in their respective disciplines.  The Department has excellent facilities, an experimental economics laboratory, over 150 undergraduate students and about 30 M.S. and Ph.D. students.  The department website can be accessed at: http://aers.auburn.edu/.  A department facilities video can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33zsIh31r40.

Extension: The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is the outreach organization for the land grant mission of Auburn University and Alabama A&M University. Its educational programs grow from these two land grant university campuses to serve the people of Alabama. Science-based educational programs are delivered that enable people to improve their quality of life and economic well-being. Information and programs are available online or in person through all 67 County Extension Offices and at teaching sites throughout Alabama communities. For more information, please see https://www.aces.edu/.

The Community:  Auburn is recognized as one of America’s best small towns with a moderate climate and easy access to major cities, beaches and mountains. The city is situated along the rapidly developing I-85 Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama corridor.  The combined Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Statistical Area boasts a growing population of over 160,000.  The City of Auburn grew 43% in the past decade and is known for an excellent public school system and a local medical center acknowledged as among the best in the region. The City of Auburn website has information on the community and services that can be accessed at: https://www.auburnalabama.org/.

Auburn University is an EEO/Vet/Disability Employer