• Chadwick Higgins, MU's new associate vice chancellor for extension and engagement.
    Chadwick Higgins, MU's new associate vice chancellor for extension and engagement.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Chadwick C. Higgins is the University of Missouri’s new associate vice chancellor for extension and engagement, effective Aug. 17. Higgins continues MU Extension and Engagement’s work to develop innovative, relevant programming and partnerships to solve Missouri’s grand challenges related to the economy, education and health. His appointment follows an extensive national search and interview process.

For the last five years, Higgins has served as senior director of Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach. In that role, he has overseen the leadership, operation and strategic direction of the nine programmatic units and operational areas organized within Agriculture and Natural Resources, Human Sciences, Community Economic Development, and K-12 Youth Outreach and 4-H Youth Development. With a $95 million annual budget, ISU Extension and Outreach serves Iowans through 100 county extension offices, 1,100 professionals and more than 8,000 volunteers.

“We have looked at our land-grant institution to the north as a model in sharing university knowledge, research and resources beyond its campus borders,” said Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement Marshall Stewart. “Throughout a 20-plus-year career in higher education at several public universities, including Iowa State, Dr. Higgins brings the commitment and know-how to build effective on- and off-campus partnerships that meet an innovative vision of university engagement. This leadership direction is vital to our success and impact as the University for Missouri.”

While at Iowa State, Higgins also served as acting director of Human Sciences Extension (Families and Health) and as interim director of K-12 Youth Development, a program that reaches 100,000 Iowans with research-based educational programming.

A published author, presenter and successful procurer of grants, Higgins brings extensive teaching, mentoring, curriculum development, evaluation and reporting experience from past roles at Louisiana State, West Virginia and Idaho State universities and their extension and outreach components.

As a member of the core administrative team at the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute, he helped develop and implement a strategic plan that expedited the translation and application of critical medical research to the people of West Virginia. He worked closely with administrators from the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health on faculty and staff recruitment and resource alignment. He also worked as a statistician for the state of Louisiana and as a high school teacher in Arkansas.

Higgins has a doctorate in higher education administration from the LSU School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, a unit formerly in the College of Agriculture; a master’s in secondary education from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock; and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.

“My family and I are extremely excited about joining the MU family and working alongside extension and engagement professionals who serve all Missourians every day,” Higgins said. “I believe the work of connecting the resources and expertise of the land-grant university to our communities is critical for the well-being of the state. Our work is a labor of love, and I am looking forward to partnering with those who share this passion of serving the entire state with transformative educational programming.”

Extension has been an integral part of his life from an early age. He grew up on a small farm in southeastern Arkansas, where his father regularly consulted with the county ag agent to help with swine, equine and poultry questions, and Higgins became a 4-H’er as soon as he was old enough to join.

“I look forward to exploring strategies that will keep Extension and Engagement relevant and fun for our clients and participants far into the 21st century,” he said.

Higgins serves in the role vacated by Blake Naughton in December 2019.