Lincoln University of Missouri Appoints New Agriculture Dean

By: Lincoln University of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Lincoln University of Missouri (LU) has hired Dr. Douglas LaVergne as dean of the College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences. LaVergne comes to Lincoln from Texas A&M University – Commerce where he is currently serving as associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He begins his new duties at Lincoln on April 1.

In his new role, LaVergne will lead the College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences (CAEHS) and the Cooperative Research & Extension Service. He will serve as chief academic officer of the college, manage its resources, and play a lead role in development and fundraising efforts as well as recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students.

“We are excited to add Dr. LaVergne to our leadership team,” says LU president John B. Moseley, Ed.D. “As a land-grant institution with a particular interest in empowering underserved populations, Lincoln possesses great potential and responsibility for ag education, innovation and research. Dr. LaVergne is filling a key position as CAEHS dean, and his education and experience will well serve our students and overall mission.”

“It is a tremendous honor to be named dean of the College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences,” LaVergne says. “I am humbled by the opportunity to serve in this role and, in turn, to contribute further to the legacy that Lincoln University has embodied since 1866.”

LaVergne grew up in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana and recalls spending his summers working in his father’s rice fields. He holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education (agricultural education) from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a master’s degree in agricultural & extension education from the University of Arkansas. In 2008 he received his Ph.D. in agricultural education from Texas A&M University in College Station. Prior to his time at TAMUC, LaVergne taught courses in agricultural and extension education at West Virginia University. As a high school agriculture teacher in Morgan City, Louisiana, he established the school’s first agricultural education/FFA program. He also served as an extension specialist for Louisiana State University. He is the recipient of numerous teaching and research awards and in 2003 was a George Washington Carver Fellow at the University of Arkansas.

LaVergne’s research interests focus on the importance of diversity and underrepresented groups in agricultural and extension education. Other areas of study include analyzing the needs of agricultural teachers and assessing the impact of demographic and societal changes on the profession. He enjoys the farm power and machinery aspects of agriculture, especially welding, and relishes the opportunity to pass on his knowledge to students.

“The College of Agriculture, Environmental and Human Sciences has unmatched potential to prepare students to become decision makers in solving the critical issues of the 21st century,” he says. “I look forward to the opportunity to bring my experience to help LU’s CAEHS become one of the most innovative colleges of agriculture in the country.”