Richard M. Klemme has been named the dean and director of UW-Extension's Division of Cooperative Extension, effective May 1. The announcement was made by David Wilson, chancellor, UW Colleges and UW-Extension. Klemme has served as the interim dean and director for the past two and one-half years.
In making the selection, Chancellor Wilson said Klemme "has the leadership qualities and set of skills to help Cooperative Extension become one of the most effective cooperative extension organizations in the nation."
Klemme is responsible for employees located in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties and on eight UW System campuses. Last year, Cooperative Extension reached more than one million people through educational programs that address the learning needs of individuals, families and communities. Klemme has been involved in extension, research and teaching for more than 27 years as a faculty member and administrator at UW-Madison and UW-Extension.
"The UW-Extension and UW Colleges share an exciting vision of maximizing access to the resources and research of the university," Klemme said. "I look forward to strengthening our partnerships around the state, region and nation to achieve that vision."
Klemme grew up on a farm in east central Illinois. He earned his bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics from Illinois State University, and his master's and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University.
Klemme was named interim dean and director in 2007. Prior to that, he was the associate dean for extension and outreach of UW-Madison's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the state program leader of Cooperative Extension's Agricultural and Natural Resources program area.