The Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center (PREEC) director is an administrative appointment within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR). 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, Early Childhood, 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.