Steele will return to his native Texas to direct an agency that includes a network of 250 county extension offices, employing 830 extension educators statewide.
MSU President Waded Cruzado said she wished Steele well in his new position leading Texas AgriLife Extension Service, "which is a national leader in the principles of engagement."
"In his more than 30 years in higher education, Doug Steele has served at four land-grant institutions and at MSU has personified the qualities of public service, outreach and engagement that are hallmarks of the land-grant mission," Cruzado said. "We thank Doug for his excellent service while at MSU and wish him well in his new position."
Steele came to MSU in 2004 as vice provost and director of MSU Extension, which has offices in all 56 Montana counties and five Indian reservations in the state. In 2010, Cruzado named Steele vice president for external relations and director of Extension. His duties included serving as MSU's primary liaison for both state and federal legislative matters as well as retaining his role as director of Extension.
Steele will be returning to College Station, Texas, where he both began his career in extension as a 4-H youth development specialist and professor and where he earned a doctorate in educational human resource development from Texas A&M. He also has bachelor's degrees in animal science and agribusiness from Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Okla. He has a master's degree in agriculture from West Texas State University .
Cruzado said MSU will be evaluating its next steps to name a successor and hopes to make that announcement shortly.
Tom Calcagni (406) 994-4571, firstname.lastname@example.org