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Allen retires

By Charlie Stott

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 22 - March 2, 1995

William A. Allen, director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and associate dean of Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has announced he will retire at the end of June.

"I've devoted 31 years of my life to Cooperative Extension. It's been a very fast and fulfilling 31 years, but I've decided that now I am ready to step down and enjoy my family and other aspects of my life," said Allen.

"The retirement of Bill Allen as director of Virginia Cooperative Extension leaves a leadership void that will be difficult to fill," said Andy Swiger, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"I will be eternally grateful and appreciative of the brilliant leadership he has provided during the most stressful era this fine organization has faced," Swiger said. "His consensus-building style, his thoughtfulness and consideration of each person in the organization, his determination to reshape programs to meet Virginia's needs all have served Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and the commonwealth exceedingly well."

Swiger added, "Over the days and weeks ahead we will move to find a director who can bring the highest level of progressive leadership skills to this position."

Virginia Cooperative Extension delivers educational programs in agricultural and natural resources, home economics, and community resource development as well as 4-H youth programs. It has offices in 107 counties and cities around the state.

Allen has been in the college's and Extension's administration since 1983 after serving 15 years as Extension entomologist at Virginia Tech. Before coming to the university, he was an Extension county agent in his native Florida. He also served as an administrative assistant in Extension entomology at Purdue University while pursuing his masters' degree there.

He has held many leadership positions in regional and national organizations, including serving as president of the Entomological Society of American (ESA) in 1985-86 and chairman of its governing board and as secretary of the Southern Region Agricultural and Natural Resources Program Leaders. He served nine years on the governing board of ESA and was a member of the board's executive committee on three occasions. He has been secretary, vice-chair, and chair of the agriculture science section of the Virginia Academy of Science.

Allen earned his bachelor of science degree from the University of Florida, then earned a master of science degree. in entomology from Purdue University. He earned his Ph.D. in entomology at Virginia Tech.