Job Listings

Associate Vice President of Economic Development and Executive Director of Atwood Innovation Plaza

Dixie State University
Job Location:
St. George, Utah
Economic and Business Development
Salary: $110,000.00 - $120,000.00 Annually

Location: St. George 84770, UT

Job Type: Full-Time Executive

Division: Academic Affairs

Job Number: 23EXE955-1

Position Announcement

Based on Utah System of Higher Education policy R312, Regional Universities are directed to contribute to economic development at the local and state levels. Utah Tech University (formerly Dixie State University) seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader to advance regional economic development and competitiveness by designing academic and university strategies while setting policies and practices. This individual will also lead the development of an Innovation District at the University's newly acquired Desert Color campus and corresponding relationships; and promote student, faculty, staff, and community innovation and entrepreneurship by managing the activities of the Atwood Innovation Plaza. The position reports to the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs through a university-wide Innovation and Economic Development Council. Additional information can be found online at


Contribute to regional economic development strategies and enhance external relationships (60%)
  • Lead development of an Innovation District at the newly acquired Desert Color campus.
  • Coordinate with Utah Tech's Sponsored Programs Office to manage and provide regular reporting for existing federal and state grants which currently include EDA Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant, EDA University Center Grant, and BRC Operating Budget Grant.
  • Coordinate with Southern Utah University Business Resource Center (BRC) staff on the University Center Grant Program.
  • Collaborate with academic and University leaders in the creation and implementation of an industry-influenced ecosystem supporting exceptional student learning in innovation and entrepreneurship. 
  • Support business expansion and retention throughout southwest Utah by connecting university resources with private enterprise.
  • Conduct workforce research and development in key industry clusters in-line with the University mission such as SaaS, aviation/aeronautics, materials, healthcare, energy, and biotechnology.
  • Create and manage memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with prospective Innovation Plaza and/or District participants. 
  • Work closely with the University's Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships to identify prospective relationships at the state, regionals, and national levels for experiential learning. 
  • Partner with other state, federal, and out-of-state organizations to develop economic opportunities for Utah Tech students, faculty and staff, and the regional community.
  • Develop and oversee Innovation District governing principles and policies.
  • In concert with the University Development team, identify resources and raise funds for the Atwood Innovation Plaza and Innovation District.
  • Write and apply for federal funding in the form of legislative appropriations and grants.
Direct the activities and programs of Atwood Innovation Plaza (AIP) (40%)
  • Supervise and coordinate staff who are responsible for the management of AIP operations and programs.
  • Coordinate and oversee revenue and expenses budgets for several programs including Innovation Scholar interns, incubator tenants, makerspace, events, and other internal departments.
  • Collaborate with BRC core partners including: PTAC, SCORE, Small Business Development Center (offsite location) and ancillary partners, including: World Trade Center (WTC) Utah, Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), Dixie Technical College, St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, St. George Economic Development, and others. 
  • Ensure that all university policies are followed including but not limited to safety and security, business services, and employment law. 
  • Master's degree in a related field required; degree in a business-related field (MBA, MPA, MACC, etc.) preferred.
  • Demonstrated expertise in university-focused innovation and economic development-driven programs and policies through a minimum of five years of leadership experience.
  • Experience in developing and leveraging partnerships and success leading diverse, complex teams and/or organizations. 
  • Significant leadership experience in developing and executing a strategic vision and building organizations. 
  • Persuasive and sophisticated communicator, both oral and written, who can advance the University's growing reputation as a premier open-polytechnic university. 
  • Working knowledge of the interpretation and management of complex agreements and authorship of successful initiatives.
  • Ability to manage and motivate senior-level people, both inside and outside the University.
  • Proven track record in developing quality relationships with community, corporate, and governmental entities.
  • Experience in University technology transfer preferred.
  • Proven grant writing and grant management experience required.
Supplemental Information

POSITION DETAILS, COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: Full-time professional staff (overtime-exempt) position. Annual salary of $110,000 - $120,000 depending on qualifications & experience. Desired start date of July 1, 2022. Excellent benefits package included that begins on start date; includes medical, dental, vision, employee assistance and wellness programs, life, disability, retirement, undergraduate tuition waivers for employees and eligible dependents, as well as paid holidays in addition to sick and vacation leave accruals. See under "Benefits Summary" for more details.

ELECTRONIC APPLICATION PROCEDURES: Application review begins May 23, 2022; position open until filledSubmit application materials (including resume contents and contact information for three professional references) and upload cover letter electronically. If, because of a disability, you need special services or facilities in order to apply for this opening, please call the Human Resources Office at (435) 652-7520.  

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY:  Utah Tech University is an open, inclusive, comprehensive, polytechnic institution, committed to exceptional student learning and success that has adopted an instructional approach of "active learning. active life" and a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. We seek faculty and staff committed to creating an active, applied and career-oriented learning environment that is student-centered. Established in 1911 as a community college and in 2013 as a state university, our university is located in picturesque southwestern Utah with its red rocks, desert climate, over 300 days of sunshine annually, and featuring easy access to world-class outdoor recreational opportunities. The nearest metropolitan area is Las Vegas, NV (120 miles), with amenities such as an international airport and professional sporting teams. Click here to learn more about the University.

Utah Tech University is a fast-growing Utah public institution of higher education, with more than 12,000 students. We offer over 230 programs, including masters, bachelors, associates, certificates, endorsements, minors, and/or emphases. We seek to recruit and retain diverse and ambitious faculty and staff who bring new ideas, possess values and career aspirations aligned with the mission and vision, and are inspired to build a premier open, inclusive, comprehensive, polytechnic university. Utah Tech University is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer; the President and employees of the University are fully committed to Affirmative Action and within its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment. Utah Tech does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state or local law.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or the University's non-discrimination policies:
  • Director of Equity Compliance / Title IX Coordinator: Hazel Sainsbury -, HCC 579, 435-652-7747.
  • Deputy Title IX Coordinator: Abby DeFeo -, 435-652-7731.
For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit or contact:
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights,, 800-421-3481.
  • U.S. Department of Education, Denver Regional Office,, 303-844-5695.
In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification.


Click here to visit to learn more about the wonderful benefits available to you as a Utah Tech employee!

Highlights from Utah Tech's benefits package include:
  • 14.2% retirement contribution, paid 100% by the employer (no match required), vested on day 1 of full-time employment;
  • Regular undergraduate tuition waiver (paid at 100%) for employee, spouse, and unmarried dependent children to take courses at Utah Tech;
  • Full medical, dental, and vision plans, with low employee-paid premiums, that begins on day 1 of full-time employment;
  • Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts available;
  • Employer-paid basic life insurance & disability insurance coverage from day 1 of full-time employment;
  • Generous staff leave accruals, plus 12 paid holidays per calendar year.
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