May 8, 2000

Elisabeth Zinser, chancellor of the University of Kentucky, has announced that Dr. C. Oran Little will retire as Dean of UK's College of Agriculture effective September 30, 2000. Little will be 65 in July and is eager to pave the way for new leadership of the College, spanning services throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A search for his successor will begin immediately.

Little has served the UK College of Agriculture for 37 years, and has been the College's dean since July 1, 1988. He also is Director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and Director of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and is a professor of Animal Sciences. He will retire from those posts as well.

"Being a part of a dedicated faculty and staff, an energetic and inquiring student body, and a clientele with high expectations has provided excitement and great satisfaction," said Little. "The College of Agriculture has a strong tradition of ‘family' in developing opportunities and in responding to challenges. I am confident new leadership will keep us on that track."

Little has given many years of service to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. In addition to twelve years as dean and director, he served on the faculty of the UK College of Agriculture early in his academic career. He began at UK in 1960, and progressed through the ranks to full professor in 1967. For 15 years, 1969 to 1985, Little served as associate dean for research and associate director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1985 he became vice chancellor for research at the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station. He returned to Kentucky to head the College, Agricultural Experiment Station, and Cooperative Extension Service in 1988.

During his tenure, the College's academic, research, and extension programs have provided invaluable services to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and have gained substantially in national and international attention.

Little said some of his most gratifying accomplishments at the College include improved technology, modernization of the way in which the Cooperative Extension Service meets the needs of people across the state, and growth of the faculty and student body.

"I have gained great respect for Dean Little by watching his strong support and inspiration of faculty, staff and students of the College, the sense of community he fosters in the College, and the leadership he provides in the diverse agricultural communities of the Commonwealth," chancellor Zinser said. "While we will miss him on campus and in his many leadership roles, we are glad that he and his wife, Myrtle, will remain in Lexington close to their family and their university."

Little earned his bachelor's degree in 1957 from the University of Houston. He earned his master's degree in 1959 and Ph.D. degree in 1960, both in Animal Nutrition and Biochemistry from Iowa State University.

Dean Little audio comments on retirement.


UK Agricultural Communications Services 859-257-4736