Hibberd new leader of Purdue Extension
Charles A. Hibberd has a background in animal science, but as the new director of Purdue Extension, Hibberd says his job is all about people.
“People are the core of Extension,” he says. “Excellence in Extension programming is the result of highly capable Extension professionals, empowered to do their jobs and deeply engaged in their work.”
Hibberd was selected from a nationwide pool of candidates to replace Dave Petritz as director of the statewide Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and associate dean of Purdue Agriculture. Petritz retired in June. Hibberd will assume the duties of director of the $47 million program in November.
“We had some great candidates, and Charles Hibberd emerged as the very best,” says Randy Woodson, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. “We are thrilled to have him accept our offer to help shape the future of Purdue Extension in Indiana. He has a proven track record as a leader and innovator.”
At Purdue, Hibberd will direct nearly 500 Extension specialists and educators based on campus and in each of Indiana’s 92 counties.
“Purdue Extension’s reputation is superb. It’s known as one of the best in the country,” Hibberd said. “I look forward to working with the people associated with the program, many of whom I’ve come to know personally over the years.”
Hibberd also will serve as associate vice provost for engagement, a position that reflects the importance of Purdue Extension to the university’s overall outreach efforts.
Hibberd earned his BS from the University of Nebraska and MS and PhD from Oklahoma State University. He has been director of the University of Nebraska’s Panhandle Research and Extension Center since 1994, providing administrative leadership for four research locations operated by 18 Extension educators, 11 Extension assistants and 45 support staff.
Hibberd’s doctorate is in animal nutrition with emphasis on beef cattle. He was an animal science faculty member at Oklahoma State from 1982 to 1994, where he taught courses in animal nutrition and applications of biotechnology. He also was undergraduate student advisement coordinator and conducted research about cow/calf nutrition and management.
Purdue Extension is part of a national network of colleges, universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, providing science-based research, information and education, and practical solutions to local concerns.
Purdue Extension offers resources and information in areas such as economic development, family nutrition and health, youth, and agriculture. It delivers educational programs and hosts meetings attended by about 1.4 million Hoosiers each year, including more than 300,000 youth involved in hands-on learning through traditional 4-H clubs, plus classroom and after-school programs.