ORVALLIS - Sabah Randhawa, interim provost and executive vice president of Oregon State University, today announced new plans for a leadership transition within the OSU Extension Service. Lyla Houglum will step down from her role as dean and director effective immediately.

Randhawa's first priority will be the appointment of an interim dean and director, which will be announced in the next several days. Houglum will assume other responsibilities at OSU.

Houglum has served as dean and director since 1995, and has been on the Extension faculty since 1985, when she came to OSU as a 4-H youth development specialist. Five years later, she was named Extension's associate director for counties.

Randhawa praised Houglum for her contributions to Extension and the relationships she has built around Oregon.

"Dr. Houglum has positioned Extension well around the state, and she has guided the program through some difficult times," Randhawa said. "She helped steer Extension in a new direction, bringing its services and outreach to different communities and populations."

Randhawa said he would begin a search for a permanent dean and director in the coming months.

The OSU Extension Service has about 500 faculty and staff members who conduct informal and formal educational programs for Oregonians around the state in support of the land-grant mission of OSU. Extension's five core program areas include 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture, Family and Community Development, Forestry, and the Marine Science/Sea Grant Program.

Among some of its new programs are the Wildlife Stewards Program, through which volunteers and school children create sustainable wildlife habitat sites on school grounds; and 4-H Tech Wizards, a collaborative program with Intel designed to introduce computer technology to Latino youths.

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Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111