Alan Grant, dean of Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has assumed temporary leadership of Virginia Cooperative Extension until a national search for a new associate dean and Extension director is completed.

Rick Rudd, professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, held the Extension leadership position on an interim basis for a one-year term.

Over the past year, Rudd initiated a strategic planning effort for Extension and mapped out a plan for collecting statewide input from stakeholders and citizens throughout Virginia. “I am grateful for the leadership Dr. Rudd has provided to Virginia Cooperative Extension,” said Grant. “He has expertly guided the Extension strategic planning process to its current critical juncture of drafting the plan. I look forward to the finished strategic plan, which will help us shape our future and ensure that we will continue to respond to Virginians’ needs while facing the budget realities.”

Rudd has been charged with providing continued guidance to the strategic planning process for Extension, which is to culminate with a five-year strategic plan later this summer.

Prior to joining the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in October 2009, Grant headed the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University where he was recognized as a University Faculty Scholar for his achievements in teaching and research. He received multiple teaching awards while at Purdue, including the Teaching for Tomorrow Award – an enrichment program that recognizes and fosters teaching skills.

Grant’s research on animal growth has focused on strategies for increasing the efficiency of lean meat production and utilization, and he has studied the relationship between muscle development and meat quality.

Grant is an advocate of regionalization and multi-state activities to support land-grant missions and has provided leadership to the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence.