October 23, 2002

Helene Dillard Appointed New Director of CCE

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Prof. Helene R. Dillard, plant pathology at Cornell’s New York State Agriculture Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., has recently been appointed director of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). This position also entails serving as associate dean for the Extension in both the College of Human Ecology and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

Prof. Ian Bell, animal sciences, chaired a search committee that “was broadly representative of faculty in both Cornell colleges, CCE faculty and stake holders,” Brannon said.

“The interview process was a grueling 3-day ordeal … a real test in stamina,” Dillard said.

The committee reviewed applications and appointed Dillard for a five-year term.

“[Dillard] is exceptionally well qualified, ” Brannon said. “She has a quiet extremely effective leadership style and is a critical thinker. Her attributes will serve her well in her role with CCE.” However, Dillard is not new to Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Over the past few years, she has served on numerous CCE committees. She currently serves on the Land Grant Mission Review panel for Outreach/Extension in CALS, Human Ecology and the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Since she joined the Cornell faculty in 1984, she has had a 50 percent research and 50 percent extension appointment.

Dillard began her new job on Oct. 1.

As the director of CCE, Dillard will provide leadership and direction for growth, development and delivery of educational programming and their integration with research, extension and teaching throughout state and nation. Dillard aims to ensure growth in funding and other resources through system-wide strategic planning, policy development and the timely delivery of relevant and excellent programs.

CCE is a large and complicated system of partnership with over 1,700 employees working at county, state and federal levels. “The organization is highly complex and somewhat decentralized, which makes it a challenging endeavor,” Dillard said.

CCE implements programs in several areas: agriculture and food systems production, sustainability and education, youth development, community and economic vitality, environmental and natural resource enhancement and quality of life for youth, adults and families.

As director, Dillard works with New York State and federal agencies, elected officials and the State University of New York administration. She coordinates with other outreach programs at Cornell and represents the colleges and university in regional and national land-grant system meetings.

“I have many goals but right now I plan to focus my attention on strengthening and further developing CCE’s outreach effort across the state,” Dillard said. “I also plan to reinforce and build industry and organizational partnerships at the county, state and federal levels,”

CCE has been a major part of the University’s land-grant mission since 1869. This organization is responsible for disseminating information to various New York State communities. Through the New York State College of Human Ecology, the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as the College of Veterinary Medicine, the CCE provides education opportunities in five major initiatives: agriculture and food systems; children, you and families; community and economic vitality; environment and natural resources; and nutrition, health and safety.

The 4-H youth development program is another component of CCE.

Dillard said her research “focuses on the biology and control of fungal and bacterial diseases of vegetables. My outreach efforts are aimed at bringing research based information to people involved in the food industry … i.e., farmers, extension educators, food processors, consultants, etc.”

Cornell is both a private and publicly funded institution and the land grant university for the state of New York.

Archived article by Alison Levine