Position Summary

Salary and Other Benefits

$70,000-$85,000, commensurate with experience, education and qualifications

Position Description

Founded in 1893, Montana State University is a comprehensive Land Grant University with over 18,000 students system-wide with campuses in Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls and Havre. It has widespread Extension programs and is committed to the land grant mission of providing the services of the university to citizens and youth throughout the state. MSU Extension has a field faculty staff of 90 Extension Agents representing every county in the state and four Indian Reservations with 50 specialized faculty and professional staff located in Bozeman and other locations.

Program offerings include agriculture, energy and natural resources, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences, and community and economic development. MSU Extension Programs focus on bringing university research and services to local communities via county agents with support from statewide specialists. The total state, county and federal, and grant budget is approximently $26 million. For additional information see the web site http://msuextension.org.

We seek approachable individuals who work professionally and effectively with diverse individuals, possess effective interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills and have the ability to contribute positively to the academic success of the students and the mission of Montana State University.

Duties and Responsibilities

Develop and oversee short and long-range communication and marketing strategies for MSU Extension.
Provide leadership and management for the Extension communication and publications unit including supervision of staff, project planning and coordination, assessing need throughout the state, and developing processes, tools and resources for organizational use.
Provide leadership and oversight for publishing, news and media relations, issues and impact communications, marketing and branding, visual design, and web design, development, and accessibility.
Provide leadership and oversight for effective delivery of training in communications, educational publishing, marketing, and related areas for MSU Extension employees.
Develop and support executive communications from the Director and Associate Director’s office including internal and external messages, talking points, scripts, and briefing documents.
Provide accountability for budgeting, accounting, and personnel activities to make effective and efficient use of resources.
Ensure the day to day operations of the publications and communications teams meet the needs of the organization.
Actively engage as a member of the Extension Administrative Leadership Team and other teams to lead communication strategies and advance initiatives across the organization.
Follow Montana State University’s overall branding structure. Partner and collaborate with University Communications on branding, media relations and other relevant communications topics.

Required Qualifications

Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills Bachelor’s degree in communication or related field. Proven experience building and leading collaborative teams to work across all aspects of communications. Proven ability to plan and implement communications strategies across multiple communication channels. Expertise in creating, developing, and implementing long and short-term strategic communications plans. Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communications skills and political acumen.

Preferred Qualifications

Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills Master’s degree in communication or related field. Expertise to advise administration on all aspects of communications, ranging from strategy to branding to management of sensitive and complex issues. Demonstrated leadership and managerial experience with a unit including supervision, staff development, and budget management. Understanding of Extension, including its mission, vision, goals, policies, and infrastructure.

Other Requirements

The Successful Candidate Will Have excellence in written, oral and interpersonal communication skills. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with constituencies at the university campus, county, state and national levels. Demonstrated success in collaboration and cooperation with faculty and staff. Have the ability to act independently and be thoughtful. Have a balanced understanding of the need to act in both a leadership and management role. A broad understanding of the philosophy, accomplishments and challenges of the Extension System and the Land Grant University. Appreciation of ethnically diverse constituencies. Equally value all program areas of Extension and respect the MSU Extension model and structure focused on meeting locally-identified and statewide needs.

Travel Requirements

Occasional travel throughout the state

Driver’s license or alternate transportation required?


Contact Name

Carrie Ashe

Contact Email


Contact Phone


Application Instructions

Apply online at http://msuextension.org, click on "Careers"

Equal Employer Statement(s)

Equal Opportunity Employer, Veterans/Disabled

About Montana State University Extension

Extension work at MSU is defined as, the creation of partnerships, programs, and plans through Extension, or other community-based research, that leverage the knowledge and resources of the university and the public/private sector to enhance learning, discovery, and engagement; educate and engage citizens; strengthen communities; address locally identified issues and problems; apply and disseminate knowledge; and contribute to the public good.