Dr. Nancy Cox named first female UK ag dean

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer congratulated Nancy Cox on her appointment as the 11th dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Tuesday.

"I am thrilled that my friend Nancy Cox has been named the first female dean of the UK College of Agriculture," Commissioner Comer said. "As associate dean of research, Nancy has firmly established UK as one of the leading agricultural research institutions in the nation. For the past 12 years, she has helped the UK College of Ag to better meet the needs of farmers, businesses, and consumers in the 21st century. Nancy is a good friend to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and I look forward to working with her in her new role."

Cox is scheduled to take office Jan. 1, pending approval of the UK Board Trustees, UK said in a news release.

Cox replaces Scott Smith, who has served as dean since 2001. Smith will return to the faculty, where he has served for 35 years, the UK news release said.

"Kentucky agriculture has undergone dramatic change on Dean Smith's watch," Commissioner Comer said. "Under his leadership, UK has been a stalwart partner of the KDA in helping Kentucky farmers and businesses adapt to the changing agricultural environment and weather the many storms that they have had to endure. I'm pleased to see that Scott will continue to guide new generations of students into fulfilling careers in Kentucky agriculture."

Nancy Cox has been the director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky (UK). She holds a B.A. (1975) in English from Furman University and advanced degrees in animal physiology from the University of Georgia (M.S., 1977) and North Carolina State University (Ph.D., 1982). From 1982 through 1996 she was a researcher in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University. From 1997 to 2001 she was Assistant and Associate Director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.  

Dr. Cox’s research area is reproductive physiology of farm animals and she has been involved in consulting with producers and animal health companies. She developed strategies to improve reproductive performance in swine and did research on environmental estrogens. In 1998-1999 she co-chaired, with Senator Robert Dearing, the Task Force on the Environment for the Mississippi Legislature; this task force conducted a year-long study on the scientific issues related to environmental regulations on large swine farms. At Mississippi State University she led efforts to establish two university-wide centers, the Remote Sensing Technologies Center and the Life Sciences and Biotechnology Institute. 

She joined UK in 2001, and her duties have included oversight of Experiment Station state and federal budgets. She is responsible for the college grants office that managed over $31 million in external awards in fiscal year 2007. She represents the College of Agriculture in developing and implementing a partnership with a newly established federal laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service Forage-Animal Production Research Unit.  

The Experiment Station manages research and education facilities at the Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton, the Robinson Station in Quicksand, and the Eden Shale Unit in Owenton, Kentucky.  

Dr. Cox already represents the College on most Kentucky agricultural commodity boards and is on the executive board of the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition. She is responsible for current planning efforts for an Equine Institute and a Food Systems Innovation Center at UK, and she is serving as interim executive director of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation.  

Dr. Cox recently finished terms as chair of the Science and Technology Committee for the Experiment Station Committee on Policy (National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges; NASULGC) and Director of the American Society of Animal Science. In 2005 she became a member of the Board of Policy Directors for the Board on Agriculture Assembly NASULGC. In 2007 she was named to the National Advisory Board for Research, Extension and Economics; this board advises the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture on research priorities.


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