Chad Higgins named chief engagement officer and vice chancellor for extension and engagement

Higgins, who brings deep experience to the role, has served as the interim leader since January 2023.

Chad Higgins

Feb. 22, 2024
Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced today that Chad Higgins has been named chief engagement officer for the UM System and vice chancellor for extension and engagement for MU, effective March 1, 2024. Higgins has been serving as interim in this capacity since January 2023. Higgins’ appointment comes following a national search.

"Chad Higgins has been an integral part of extension and engagement for the University of Missouri System since joining us in 2020 and has served admirably in his role as interim this last year," UM Board of Curators Chair Robin Wenneker said. "Over the course of our national search, it became clear Chad was the right person for the role. We continue to be impressed by his leadership and look forward to his success as chief engagement officer and vice chancellor.”

Higgins previously served as associate vice chancellor since 2020 and, in that role, was the academic and operations officer overseeing the day-to-day programmatic and administrative components of the educational programs and initiatives for the Office of Extension and Engagement. He has worked to develop innovative, relevant programming and partnerships to solve Missouri’s grand challenges related to the economy, education and health.

Before coming to the University of Missouri, Higgins served as senior director of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. He also brings extensive teaching, mentoring, curriculum development, evaluation and reporting experience from past roles at Louisiana State University, West Virginia and Idaho State universities and their education, extension and outreach components. He has a doctorate in higher education administration from Louisiana State University.

“Chad knows the incredible importance of extension and engagement to those we serve throughout Missouri,” University of Missouri President Mun Choi said. “He is a proven and dedicated leader who will work with elected officials, industry leaders and all Missourians to improve agriculture, health, education and economic development.”

As chief engagement officer and vice chancellor for extension and engagement, Higgins will provide leadership for continuing education programs across the state and university-wide engagement in coordination with leaders at all four system universities. He also will play a key role in evolving the land-grant mission of the university to meet Missouri’s 21st-century grand challenges and the changing needs of Missourians.

“I am deeply appreciative and extremely excited about the opportunity to lead extension and engagement and improve the lives of more Missourians,” Higgins said. “I came here four years ago because I embraced the vision of opening this land-grant university to the people of Missouri by addressing statewide challenges. When people utilize our programs, their lives are improved. We are in a fantastic position to scale up the great work we do every day for all Missourians, and I look forward to serving the state with relevant, research-based educational programs that transform lives.”

The university, along with the state, continues to invest in agriculture innovation and education for Missouri’s rural communities and all those extension and engagement serves across the state. Recent examples include $58 million for the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab, $28.2 million for the East Campus Plant Growth Facility, $25 million for a new Meat Science Facility, $700,000 to our statewide broadband initiative and more than $500,000 at Extension and Education Centers across the state that provide a renewed focus on demonstration-oriented programming for local farmers in precision farming techniques.

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