Hales named director of Penn State Extension

June 04, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Brent Hales, senior associate dean and chief financial officer of the University of Minnesota Extension, has been named director of Penn State Extension and associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences, effective Sept. 3.

Hales will replace Jeffrey Hyde, acting director of extension, who has accepted the position of director of the AgriLife Extension Service at Texas A&M University.

"We are delighted to have Brent Hales assume the direction of Penn State Extension and join the college's leadership team," said Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

"Dr. Hales comes with an outstanding track record of innovation, and his academic and administrative expertise will be assets in guiding the ongoing implementation of new extension program-delivery and business models," he said. "In addition, his scholarship in the areas of community development and entrepreneurship dovetail with the college's and University's land-grant mission and strategic priorities."

Brent Hales

Brent Hales will become director of Penn State Extension and associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences, effective Sept. 3.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Brent Hales

Hales received bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University and Middle Tennessee State University, respectively. After earning his doctorate in rural sociology from Iowa State University in 2000, he spent six years on the faculty at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, during which time he coordinated the master's program in community development and directed the Center for Economic and Community Development and the Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Research.

From 2006 to 2012, he was an associate professor in the University of Southern Mississippi's Department of Economic and Workforce Development, which he chaired for two years. He also directed the department's Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education and coordinated the master's degree program in economic development.

While at Southern Mississippi, Hales created an award-winning entrepreneurship training program aimed at teaching high school students how to start and operate their own small businesses. The program subsequently was implemented in all high schools across Mississippi, and more than 5,000 students have participated. In addition, the program has been adapted for use in several other countries and by university students, displaced workers and others.

In 2012, Hales moved to the University of Minnesota, where he has served as associate dean for the Center for Community Vitality; director of the Economic Development Administration University Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston; a member of the graduate faculty at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs; and senior associate dean and chief financial officer for the University of Minnesota Extension.

Hales has won numerous awards and honors for his work, and he is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals, the International Economic Development Council, the International Association of Community Development and the Rural Sociological Association.

Penn State Extension, with offices in each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties and a robust and growing portfolio of online resources, transfers research-based information to individuals, families, businesses and communities to promote a vibrant food and fiber system, a clean environment and a healthier population.

With support from federal, state and county governments, the organization offers programs in agronomy and natural resources; animal systems; 4-H youth development; food, families and health; food safety and quality; horticulture; and energy, entrepreneurship and community development.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 04, 2019