Position Summary

Descriptive Title

Continuing Academic Specialist-Outreach

Remote Position


Start Date

May 01, 2024

Position Description

The School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) at Michigan State University invites applications for a full‐time, 12-month Continuing Academic Specialist with a 85% outreach and 15% teaching assignment.  The position start date is anticipated to be May 1, 2024.

This position will focus on adaptive strategies to enhance the sustainability and resilience of communities with an emphasis on climate change and development regulation.  Activities will include creating educational programs and technical assistance to the multi-dimensional challenges of climate resilience and adaptation, renewable energy, sustainable urban design, green infrastructure, and diversity of community engagement in the urban planning process.

Collaborative applied research, teaching, and Extension outreach will be conducted in conjunction with the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) and Urban and Regional Planning (URP) program in alignment with the Community, Food and Environment Institute (CFEI) within Michigan State University Extension (MSUE).  Impactful and inclusive engagement will take place with the various institutes, centers and programs within MSU and MSUE including the CFEI Land Use Team and Center for Local Government and Finance. In addition, this position will teach one course per year in the School of Planning, Design and Construction, with potential topics including community development, sustainable design, and/or climate adaptation.

Required Qualifications

A Master’s degree (in Urban & Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture, or a closely related field), earned by the position start date. Substantive knowledge in land use and environmental law and regulations.

Preferred Qualifications

A PhD (in Urban & Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture, or a closely related field) or a Juris Doctorate (JD) in land use law is preferred. Desired qualifications include previous experience developing and delivering community training programs and facilitation of community planning activities. A strong track record of accessing external funding for research and outreach projects is desired.

Contact Name

Marie Ruemenapp

Contact Email


Contact Phone


Application Instructions

For consideration, submit your application online at http://careers.msu.edu (posting #928199). Upload the following required documents: a) letter of interest that includes qualifications for the position and statement of Extension/Outreach philosophy highlighting how your experiences align with the position; b) current curriculum vitae; c) a description of how you will contribute to our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals; and d) contact information for three professional references. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Equal Employer Statement(s)

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life, and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.

About Michigan State University

The School of Planning, Design, and Construction unites four academic programs related to the built environment: Construction Management, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning, with 43 faculty and academic specialists, and 8 staff members. The School offers 8 degree pathways from Bachelors to Ph.D. – including 5 professionally accredited degrees with over 500 undergraduate and 75 graduate students. The School is jointly administered by the Colleges of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Social Science.

The mission of the School is to advance the knowledge, prepare innovative leaders, and support the practice of planning, design, and construction. Our academic activities address sustainability, health, transportation, economic development and communities. Please refer to the School’s homepage available at: https://www.canr.msu.edu/spdc/.

The MSU Extension Community, Food, and Environment Institute (CFEI) is comprised of approximately 80 community-based educators across Michigan’s 83 counties. Major program efforts focus on leveraging human and natural assets to enhance government and community vitality, strengthen community food systems, improve Michigan’s natural resources, and strengthen household finances and homeownership education.

Programming, outreach, and educational offerings to enhance government and community vitality through CFEI also center on empowering communities, local and state leaders, and residents alike to create and enhance sustainable built and natural environments. By implementing responsible, innovative, and research-based best practices in land use, zoning, placemaking, and community development efforts, CFEI professionals ensure communities of all sizes have the tools, resources, and real-world solutions necessary to thrive and grow in the 21st century.