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Career Progression for Urban Extension Professionals

Career Progression for Urban Extension Professionals

Extension faculty and staff working in urban areas need the same set of core competencies as Extension professionals in other geographic settings. However, they must also have additional skills and attributes to effectively address the needs of urban constituents. At the same time, Extension faculty and staff must manage their careers within traditionally structured academic systems that often lack the flexibility to incorporate new ways to accomplish the land grant mission. This creates a dilemma for Extension professionals who want to work in urban areas and advance in their careers as well.

To be successful in achieving Extension impact and community change in this environment, Extension professionals need flexibility from the academic system. Thus, new and innovative career tracks balanced with academic rigor – including promotion and tenure requirements – will help propel urban Extension professionals to both greater academic advancement and overall impact.

As the Extension in the Urban West document states, “New urban extension educators will increasingly need to be multicultural, multilingual, suburban/urban-savvy and able to relate cross-generationally.” Their career tracks in extension and academia will have to match this charge.

Fellowship Products


Norze, J. and E. Killian. 2023. Career progression for urban Extension professionals. Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research. Available at

Applied Research Fellow: Jeantyl Norze, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeantyl Norze is an Associate Professor for Organizational Accountability & Evaluation for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Research & Extension (UA). He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Agrarian University of Havana in Cuba, and his Master of Science in Human Resource Development and Leadership and his Agricultural Extension from Louisiana State University. He joined University of Nevada, Reno Extension in Clark County in 2019 as the coordinator for program evaluation where he began the fellowship with the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research. He then worked as a Program Development and Evaluation Specialist for the University of Connecticut before arriving at UA for his current appointment. Dr. Norze has served as a reviewer for federal grants and multiple journals including American Evaluation Association (AEA) and Academy of Management (AOM) where he was recognized as the 2022 best reviewer for Strategizing Activities and Practices.

Applied Research Fellow: Eric Killian

Eric Killian is the University of Nevada Reno Extension Southern Area Director. He oversees the daily activities for Clark, Lincoln and southern Nye Counties. In this role, he provides leadership to over 160 faculty and staff in three counties, 10 offices and a multi-million dollar budget. Over his 25 year multi-faceted extension career, Killian has demonstrated outstanding leadership in a wide variety of extension topics and programming. Nationally, he is well known and widely respected among Extension professionals for his varied and numerous national taskforce and committee involvement. Killian has held leadership positions and key roles with most of the national Children, Youth, and Family Extension initiatives of the past 25 years, including Youth-at-Risk programming, CYFAR, 4-H Afterschool, Extension Cares, and Military Partnerships. His contributions to extension programming and his involvement in several national initiatives have helped shape the direction, focus, and sustainability of these programs nationwide.