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GLIN==> Margaret A. Bethel Named Acting Director of MSU Extension



Posted on behalf of Barb Lehman <lehman@msue.msu.edu>

---
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11/14/00

BETHEL NAMED ACTING DIRECTOR OF MSU EXTENSION;
LEHOLM TO FOCUS ON INITIATIVES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

EAST LANSING, Mich. --- Margaret A. Bethel has been named acting director of
MSU Extension, Michigan State University's statewide initiative that offers
educational and informational resources to residents in all Michigan
communities, the university announced today.

She replaces Arlen Leholm, who will embark on projects to design
research/Extension linkages in developing countries, effective Jan. 1, 2001.
Leholm has been director of MSU Extension (MSUE) since 1997.

"MSU has been very fortunate to have benefited so greatly from Dr. Leholm's
leadership, vision and energy," MSU Provost Lou Anna K. Simon said.  "MSU
Extension is one of the national exemplars for Extension for the 21st
century.  I am confident that MSUE's reputation
within the state and nationally will continue to grow under Maggie Bethel's
leadership."

Bethel has spent 24 years as an MSU Extension educator, serving as a home
economist, county Extension director, regional supervisor, and regional
director for Extension and outreach.  Bethel currently serves as the
director of MSU West in Grand Rapids, one of the university's six regional
offices.  In that role, she provides oversight to the MSU outreach,
instructional and Extension programs in a 14-county area.

She has been part of MSU Extension's core administrative leadership team for
the past 10 years.  She earned the university's Distinguished Academic Staff
Award in 2000.

"Maggie Bethel is an accomplished, dedicated MSUE administrator who will
continue Dr. Leholm's work in making Extension accessible, important and
meaningful to all segments of Michigan's citizenry," said William Taylor,
acting dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which
oversees Extension.  "Arlen has done a remarkable job as MSUE director,
encouraging and empowering Extension personnel to be creative, progressive
and entrepreneurial.  Under his leadership, Michigan's Extension service has
emerged as one of the finest - if not the finest - in the United States."

Leholm, who was an Extension administrator for 15 years, oversaw an increase
in MSU's impact throughout the state's 83 counties that led to those
counties increasing their local investments in the programs from $12 million
to $30 million over the past three years.  He also oversaw the creation of
County Extension councils and the State Council.  MSU Extension's diversity
efforts were recognized as the nation's best, due in part to the balance
between rural and urban programming and resources.

"No Extension service anywhere has achieved such a high level of engagement
from its local citizens," Leholm said.  "The land-grant spirit is alive in
Michigan."

Jack Laurie, president of the Michigan Farm Bureau, said: "Arlen's
leadership has been instrumental in creating a powerful vision for the
future of Michigan State University.  Through the creation of such
innovative organizational entities as 'Area of Expertise' teams and the
statewide Extension councils, he has restructured MSUE to effectively meet
the needs of Michigan agriculture."

For years, Extension in the state focused on bringing education and support
programs to the state through agents and offices located in each county.
That work now includes resources accessible through the Internet, and field
agents are supported by faculty on campus who bring expertise in such fields
as community and economic development; children, youth and families; and
environmental and natural resources, as well as agriculture.

Michigan's Extension service was founded in 1912, after the Michigan
Legislature authorized county boards of supervisors to appropriate funds and
levy taxes for that purpose. In 1914, Congress passed the Smith-Lever Act,
which created the Cooperative Extension System and mandated that the nation'
s land-grant universities to oversee its work.

"MSU's history of helping people improve their lives by making our knowledge
and resources available to citizens, their families and their communities is
one of which I'm proud to be a part," Bethel said.  "I expect that as the
needs of our society change, MSU Extension will continue to be there to help
in ways that we now can't even imagine."

###


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