Auburn University College of Agriculture names Barlow interim associate dean for extension

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Becky Barlow, extension specialist and professor of forestry and wildlife sciences at Auburn University, has been named the Auburn College of Agriculture’s interim associate dean for extension and interim assistant director for agriculture, forestry and natural resource extension programs. Her interim posts will be effective May 15.

“Dr. Barlow’s extensive experience with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, along with her proven skill as a leader and educator, position her well for success in this role,” said Paul Patterson, dean of the College of Agriculture. “Her teaching and outreach efforts have taken a variety of forms and have been highly effective for communities throughout our state. I look forward to working with Dr. Barlow as she steps into this leadership role.”

As interim associate dean and assistant director, Barlow will serve as a liaison between the College of Agriculture and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and will coordinate and lead programs that Alabama Extension carries out in collaboration with the college as well as the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and Alabama A&M University.

“Dr. Barlow is an outstanding leader as well as a highly respected professional in educational outreach,” said Mike Phillips, director of Alabama Extension. “Her expertise in forestry, wildlife and natural resources and the vast engagement with industry clientele will serve our teams well. I greatly appreciate Dr. Barlow’s willingness to serve in this key administrative position in advancing the extension mission of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.”

Phillips served as associate dean for extension and assistant director for agriculture, forestry and natural resource extension programs until March, when he stepped into his current role as director of Alabama Extension.

“I am honored to have been selected for this position,” Barlow said. “As an extension professional, my goal is to inspire and empower all Alabama citizens so they can have a better life. This is an exciting opportunity because it allows me to not only learn more about the important work that is done by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, but also to interact with more of the people doing that work.”

Barlow came to Auburn as an assistant professor in 2007 and was named an associate professor in 2012 and full professor in 2018. She was honored with Auburn’s Harry Murphy Endowed Professorship in 2020.

As Barlow begins her interim posts, the College of Agriculture is starting a national search for its next associate dean and assistant director.

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.