Ken LaValley Named Director of UNH Cooperative Extension

Ken LaValley Named Director of UNH Cooperative Extension

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Ken LaValley has been named interim dean and director of UNH Cooperative Extension effective June 16, 2014. He brings 10 years of service to the role and has served as Cooperative Extension's assistant director for programs since 2011, having previously held the positions of associate director for NH Sea Grant and the Sea Grant and Water Resources program leader for Cooperative Extension.

In his current role, LaValley oversees a broad range of Extension programs across the state in areas such as community economic development, natural resources, youth and families, and food and agriculture. In addition, he administers the county management team responsible for leading extension's 10 county offices. He also plays a leadership role for Extension and outreach with the newly formed School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering.

LaValley has direct programmatic experience within Extension. From 2004 through 2010, he worked as a state specialist and extension faculty member in the department of biological sciences. As an Extension associate professor he developed and implemented marine fisheries and aquaculture programs, as well as conducted applied research in commercial fishing gear selectivity, and taught several undergraduate courses for the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. He holds a PhD in environmental science from the University of Rhode Island (2005) and a Master's in fisheries, animal and veterinary science, also from the University of Rhode Island (1995). LaValley is an alumnus of the University of New Hampshire, where he completed his undergraduate work in the zoology program in 1993.

"I have every confidence that under Ken's leadership UNH Cooperative Extension will continue to function smoothly and continue to play a significant role as the largest outreach arm of the university. I very much appreciate his willingness to fill this critical role during the transition. Please join me in welcoming him into this important post," Provost Lisa MacFarlane said.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dean and Director Dr. John Pike for his leadership of UNH Cooperative Extension during the past sixteen years. We are deeply grateful for his 37 years of extraordinary service and the many contributions he has made to the University of New Hampshire. We are especially grateful for his leadership of Cooperative Extension's valuable work in extending the University's research to the citizens of New Hampshire. I have been very impressed with the staff and the exceptional leadership team that is in place, and am optimistic about the future."

A 12-member search committee to lead a national search has been formed. Members committee include:
Mike Hickey, Dean, UNH Manchester
Darrel Covell, Cooperative Extension assistant director, finance & human resources
Anna Boudreau, chair, UNH Cooperative Extension State Advisory Council
Erik Chapman, Extension assistant professor/ specialist, fisheries, and member of the Extension Educator Council
Debbie Cheever, field specialist, youth and family
Molly Donovan, Extension specialist, community & economic development
Andy Fast, field specialist, natural resources
Ted Howard, associate dean for faculty and strategic partnerships, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture
Leo Lessard, county commissioner, Strafford County
Daimon Meeh, field specialist, food and agriculture
Amy Ouellette, program team leader, food and agriculture
David Watters, professor, department of English; director, Center for New England Culture; state senator, District 4
John Pike will serve as an "ex officio" member on MacFarlane's behalf in his capacity as a part- time consultant to provide whatever support may be needed.