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McGilberry named Extension director
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Long-time state program leader and administrative support coordinator Joe McGilberry was named director of the Mississippi State University Extension Service effective July 1 after serving one year as its interim director.
"Dr. McGilberry's unparalleled familiarity with the new organizational structure and the philosophy behind it, coupled with his career-long focus on issues related to economic and community development, make him an obvious and excellent choice to head this major component of Mississippi State on a long-term basis," said Vance Watson, interim vice president of MSU's Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
McGilberry was appointed interim Extension director July 1, 2001, having served since 1978 in various Extension economic development efforts. For the 10 years prior to his appointment as interim director, he headed the Enterprise and Community Resource Development state program area within the Extension Service.
"Dr. McGilberry assumed leadership of the Extension Service during a time of transition, and we have depended on his experience in managing the business of the organization to maintain effective service to the citizens of Mississippi," said Charles Lee, interim president of MSU. "His experience and reputation in stimulating economic development will help to ensure that the agency does its part to assist individuals, businesses and communities in their economic pursuits."
The structure of the Extension Service is undergoing a change to allow it to more efficiently deliver quality educational programs and assistance throughout the state. The plan provides a core staff in every county consisting of a county director, a 4-H agent or 4-H program assistant and support staff. These staff will link every county to MSU's educational resources.
"The Extension Service is committed to delivering high quality programs by the use of modern technology, but we are also very much dedicated to sustaining the county Extension office where people have gone for years for help, advice and educational programs," McGilberry said. "We will continue to be easy to find and ready to serve, but in ways that adapt to today's lifestyle and needs."
McGilberry, who is originally from Montgomery, Ala., holds a Ph.D. from Texas A&M and a master's degree from the University of Tennessee in industrial engineering. He earned a bachelor's degree from Auburn University in industrial management. He is married to the former Betty Sue Reynolds, and they have two sons and a daughter, all graduates of MSU.
McGilberry's appointment as director of the MSU Extension Service is effective July 1 subject to approval by the Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning.