Jun 14, 2021
Michigan State University names Quentin Tyler to lead Extension

After serving for one month as interim director of Michigan State University Extension, Quentin Tyler was named director on June 1.

His professional background and forward-thinking vision impressed MSU Provost Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Ron Hendrick, Ph.D.

Quentin Tyler

Tyler has served in the role of interim director of Michigan State University (MSU) Extension,  since the beginning of May 2021.

“Dr. Tyler has a deep background in Extension and a strong dedication to community involvement,” Woodruff said in a news release. “Since he joined MSU in 2018, he has strengthened every program with which he has been involved. I am confident Dr. Tyler will bring this same vision as director of MSU Extension.”

Hendrick agreed, and noted that Tyler’s experience in the college has earned him the trust of its faculty and staff.

“Quentin has been a calming voice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hendrick said. “He has the skill set to move MSU Extension into a post-pandemic organization. More importantly, he has gained the respect and trust of MSU Extension faculty and staff, who will help him move MSU Extension forward.”

Tyler began his career in Extension at age 18 when he interned as an agricultural agent in Christian County, Kentucky. He went on to serve Kentucky in both 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences. After gaining some experience in farm financial management and consulting with the Bluegrass Farm Analysis Group, he headed back to Kentucky Cooperative Extension where he was charged with recruitment, retention and human resources problem solving.

As assistant dean at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Tyler led civil rights’ reviews of in all of Kentucky’s 120 counties. In addition, he headed up a structure review of Kentucky Cooperative Extension that led to a new organizational structure that addresses contemporary issues impacting local communities.

Tyler joined the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources team as associate dean and director of diversity, equity and inclusion in 2018 after a holding in a similar role at Kentucky. A year later, he added an interim role as associate dean for faculty affairs and administration. He said that becoming director of MSU Extension is a homecoming of sorts.

“I have always had great affinity for the Cooperative Extension System and its community-based education,” he said. “MSU Extension has a storied history of serving farmers, families, businesses and communities with comprehensive information and compassion. I am honored to become a part of that history while working toward a prosperous future with stakeholders and communities.”

Tyler was recognized in Workforce Magazine for his role in increasing the diversity of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Service, and served on Kentucky’s Urban Extension Task Force. Shortly after joining MSU, he was awarded the Excellence in Diversity ‘Individual-Emerging’ award. He is also the advisory board chair for the national collegiate organization Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences.

Tyler earned bachelor and master’s degrees in agricultural economics and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Kentucky. He holds a diversity and inclusion professional certificates from Cornell and the University of South Florida.

MSU Extension is the university’s largest outreach organization with more than 600 employees working in and for communities in all of Michigan’s 83 counties.

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