Charles Stoltenow will be the next dean and director of Nebraska Extension.
Stoltenow currently serves as assistant director of extension for agriculture and natural resources at North Dakota State University. He was selected to lead Nebraska Extension via a national search, pending approval of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. Stoltenow was one of two finalists who interviewed on campus earlier this fall. He was named priority candidate and spent 10 days in November touring Nebraska and meeting with university faculty, staff and stakeholders.
“I am so excited about the opportunity to return to and work with the people of Nebraska,” Stoltenow said. “The capacity, reputation and commitment of Nebraska Extension to enhancing the lives of its residents is second to none. I look forward to continuing my journey across the state, to listening to our residents, stakeholders and extension staff to better understand where we are and where our challenges and opportunities lie, and to co-create priority initiatives to guide us as we move ahead.”
Prior to joining NDSU Extension in 1996, Stoltenow worked in private practice as an equine veterinarian; as a veterinary epidemiologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and for the Nebraska Department of Health as the assistant state epidemiologist. He has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from North Dakota State University and received his doctoral degree in veterinary medicine from Iowa State University.
“After watching Dr. Stoltenow visit with community leaders and extension professionals across Nebraska, it is clear that he truly understands the importance of county-based extension and the value it brings to producers and families across our state,” said Mike Boehm, NU Vice President and Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “At the same time, he is a forward-looking and creative leader who I am confident will nurture the success of our amazing team of extension professionals in ways that strengthens the resilience of Nebraska’s 531 communities and enhances the third-largest agricultural economy in the United States.”
Stoltenow will assume his new position on Jan. 1. He succeeds Chuck Hibberd, who retired in June 2020. Dave Varner, associate dean of Nebraska Extension, served as the interim dean and director following Hibberd’s retirement. Varner will return to the associate dean role.
“I am grateful for Dr. Varner’s leadership during the past 18 months,” Boehm said. “He capably and successfully led Nebraska Extension through an incredibly challenging time, and I am forever grateful to Dave for his steady and empathetic leadership.”