Interim director named for MSU Extension

Margaret (Maggie) Bethel has been named interim director of Michigan State University (MSU) Extension. The announcement was made recently by Fred Poston, dean of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).

Ray Hammerschmidt, professor of plant pathology and associate chair in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, has been named interim associate director of MSU Extension. 

Bethel will replace Thomas Coon, MSU Extension director for the past decade, who was recently named vice president, dean and director for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University.

Hammerschmidt will replace Stephen Lovejoy, associate director of MSU Extension. Lovejoy will be leaving his role and will retain his faculty appointments in the departments of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; and Sociology. He is interested in pursuing other responsibilities within the university.

“I would like to thank Tom Coon for his many years of leadership here at MSU,” Poston said. “He helped MSU Extension navigate some extremely difficult financial times and served an important leadership role in the college.”

“I would also like to thank Steve Lovejoy for his service. His expertise helped us find our way through challenges facing MSU Extension. His passion for the mission of Extension is unparalleled.”

Bethel, who served as MSU Extension director from 2001 to 2005, was invited out of retirement to lead MSU Extension on a temporary basis, Poston said.

“Having worked with both Maggie and Ray very successfully in the past, I am confident that they will help us build upon the solid foundation set by Tom and Steve,” Poston said.

Bethel and Hammerschmidt begin working in their new roles on July 1.

Originally posted Friday, May. 23, 2014