Pending approval by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents later this week, Oklahoma State University today named Dr. Thomas Coon as Vice President, Dean and Director of the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR). Coon was selected after a lengthy national search.

“Thomas Coon brings a 25-year track record of leadership in higher education and expertise in agriculture and natural resources, specifically in the areas of water ecology and management that are becoming increasingly important issues across the state, nation and world,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “We are pleased to have Dr. Coon join the OSU team.”  

Coon is currently Director of Extension and professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. During his time at Michigan State, Coon has directed more than 600 staff and faculty on the campus and in Michigan’s 83 counties, overseeing a budget of more than $70 million.

Coon’s selection must be approved by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, which holds its regularly scheduled meeting at Connors State College in Muskogee on Friday.

Mike Woods, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, has served as interim VP, Dean and Director of DASNR since July of 2012. “I want to thank Mike for serving as interim leader and continuing the division’s high level of excellence in outreach, instruction and research.”

Coon earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Biology from Luther College in 1976, and received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California-Davis. Coon is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

In addition, he has served on the board of trustees for the National 4-H Council and the Michigan 4-H Foundation and in 2013 he received the Gary L. Davis award for leadership in 4-H.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Coon served as Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and as Associate Department Chairperson and Acting Chairperson in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU.

The vice president, dean and director of DASNR has the ultimate responsibility for all activities related to the three functions of the division: academic programs, research and extension. 

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