New dean brings

Andy Skemp

It might seem fitting that the new head administrative and academic officer of University Extension Service is a person who, among other things, has been involved in rural veterinary medical practice for more than 27 years.
With offices in every county in the state, many of the programs offered by the extension service, covering such topics as sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, are directed toward the rural community.
Charles Casey, who became the new interim dean and director of the service on April 1, was raised on a dairy farm in Scott County and graduated from the University with a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1963.
Before taking on his new position, Casey served as chairman of the extension collegiate program leaders and director of veterinary outreach programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Much of the work I was doing in the College of Veterinary Medicine was funded by extension,” Casey said. “I’ve met a lot of people here at the University and in the greater Minnesota community.”
The extension service offers educational programs in the form of workshops, publications, meetings and demonstrations, as well as interactive television, computer networks and other electronic delivery methods.
Fifteen years ago, the name was changed from Agricultural Extension Service to University Extension Service.
“We’ve got offices in urban and rural communities,” Casey said. “The extension service is a two-way track. It not only allows us to reach out to the citizens, but it also gives them the opportunity to tell us about their needs.”
Casey also spent 1979 to 1991 on the Board of Regents, serving as chairman for the final three years. In his many years of service to the University, Casey has earned a long list of awards, including the County Agricultural Extension Agents’ Association Recognition Award in 1991 and the University’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 1993.
Robert Bruininks, executive vice president and provost, said he is confident in Casey’s ability.
“Dr. Casey has distinguished himself as an outstanding leader throughout his career,” he said.
Bruininks added that Casey was chosen for this position because “he has a deep appreciation, respect and a rich portfolio of experiences related to the mission of extension and the opportunities of this important state-wide position.”
For Casey, the appointment reflects lifelong interests that have motivated him, explaining that “after my family, medicine and education are two of the things most important to me.”