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By Michelle Klampe, OSU
Published: 06 August 2021

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Ivory W. Lyles, who prioritized the needs and challenges of the residents of Nevada as associate dean for engagement and director of extension for the University of Nevada, Reno, has been named Oregon State University’s new vice provost for extension and engagement and director of the OSU Extension Service.

Lyles’ appointment begins Sept. 30. He succeeds Anita Azarenko, who served for more than two years in an interim role following the retirement of Scott Reed in 2019. Azarenko is retiring after nearly 35 years of service to OSU in a variety of roles.

“Dr. Lyles has a long history of outstanding leadership in extension and engagement positions in universities in multiple states, and he is a national leader in this domain as well, through organizations like the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities,” said Edward Feser, OSU’s provost and executive vice president. “Most recently, in Nevada, he renewed strong stakeholder partnerships and implemented innovative programs in workforce development and other areas. I’m delighted he is joining OSU’s leadership team.”

The program's reach

Oregon State University’s Division of Extension and Engagement includes the OSU Extension Service and the Office of Professional and Continuing Education. The division’s educational programming and activities serve all of Oregon’s 36 counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs reservation. Programs center within seven focus areas: 4-H youth development; agriculture and natural resources, including the Small Farms program and the Master Gardener program; family and community health; forestry and natural resources; OSU Open Campus, a community-based education partnership; Outdoor School; and Oregon Sea Grant.

“I am very pleased to join OSU and I look forward to helping support the needs of Oregonians and communities statewide by working with university colleagues, the Oregon Legislature, local counties and community partners throughout the state,” Lyles said.


Working at land-grant universities across the U.S., Lyles has served in many extension leadership roles. At the University of Nevada, Reno, where he has worked since 2017, he has overseen about 300 employees, including academic and administrative faculty and support and clerical staff, as well as a budget of about $40 million.

Previously, he was professor, dean and director of land grant programs at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, and administrator of the cooperative extension program at Tennessee State University in Nashville, both of which are historically Black colleges and universities.

He also served as associate vice president for agriculture and director of the cooperative extension service at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and held extension leadership roles at Ohio State University and the University of Tennessee.

Lyles holds memberships in the National Association of County Agriculture Agents and the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. He is a member of the national 4-H Diversity Design team and serves as chair of the program committee for the national Extension Committee on Organization and Policy.

Lyles earned his bachelor’s degree at Alcorn State, his master’s degree at Mississippi State University and his doctorate in agricultural education, community and rural development at Ohio State University.

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