Kenneth La Valley has been selected to be the next dean and director of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension effective Dec. 1, after a national search.
"We are excited by the prospect of Ken's leadership as we move into the second century of Cooperative Extension," said Provost Lisa MacFarlane. "Ken brings to this role noteworthy leadership experience in both the private and public sectors, and he will continue to build on Cooperative Extension's strong tradition of university outreach education."
La Valley joined UNH Cooperative Extension and NH Sea Grant in 2004. As an extension educator, he received the UNH Presidential Award of Excellence and the National Sea Grant Outstanding Extension Achievement Award for his innovative fisheries programs. He has served as Cooperative Extension's assistant director for programs since 2011.
One of La Valley's top priorities is to form strong relationships with extension advisory councils, county commissioners, key legislators, government officials and other partners in the public and private sector. In addition, he will build relationships with university deans and administrators to better position UNH, and the full range of its expertise, to meet the needs of New Hampshire citizens.
As the university's major outreach arm, UNH Cooperative Extension works with more than 2,000 businesses, 1,000 farms, and 20,000 youth statewide. In 2014, extension delivered more than $4.5 million in value to N.H. citizens through educational programs conducted by 3,359 extension-trained volunteers.