Chuck Hibberd, former district director of the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, is the new dean and director of University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. The Lexington, Neb. native and UNL graduate will assume the position Oct. 1. Hibberd has been director of Extension and associate dean of agriculture at Purdue University since 2007. Previously, he was director of the Panhandle center at Scottsbluff for 13 years. Hibberd assumes leadership of UNL Extension at a critical time, said Ronnie Green, Harlan vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “There are a number of opportunities ahead for UNL Extension to be a major part of new initiatives at the University of Nebraska, such as the Daugherty Water for Food Institute, the Buffett Early Childhood Education Institute, and the about-to-be-launched Rural Futures Institute,” said Green, who also is University of Nebraska vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “The issues and needs are changing rapidly and new challenges and opportunities are developing,” Green added. “It will be exciting to have Dr. Hibberd bring some of his new ideas and perspectives from his experience at Purdue, coupled with the deep understanding he has of Nebraska and Nebraska Extension.”
When Hibberd spoke to faculty and staff earlier this month during the interview process, he said, “We can’t sit on our laurels. We can’t continue to do things the way we’ve always done them.” He praised the “big, bold projects” under way at UNL and said UNL Extension is viewed as a national leader. “It’s an honor to be part of an organization that is viewed in such high esteem,” Hibberd said.
Hibberd received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture, with an animal science major and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Oklahoma State University in animal science and animal nutrition, respectively. He was a faculty member at OSU from 1982-94. Hibberd replaces Elbert Dickey, who retired this summer. Alan Moeller, assistant IANR vice chancellor, is serving as interim dean and director of UNL Extension until Hibberd arrives.
UNL Extension, with a network of 83 offices serving Nebraska’s 93 counties, is part of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It also administers the 4-H program.