Utah State University President Noelle E. Cockett
Noelle E. Cockett was appointed as Utah State University’s 16th president in October 2016, beginning her official tenure in January 2017.
At the time of the announcement, Cockett was serving as executive vice president and provost at USU and has held that position since 2013. Prior to that, she served USU as vice president for Extension from 2006 to 2013; dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences from 2002 to 2013; and director of the Utah Agriculture Experiment Station from 2009 to 2013.
Cockett has built a distinguished career in sheep genomics research, maintaining an active research program even while serving in various leadership positions at USU. Her research program has centered on the identification of genetic markers associated with economically important traits in sheep, as well as the development of resources that advance research on the sheep genome. Cockett and her colleagues published an article describing the sheep genome sequence in Science in 2014. Her current project focuses on the identification of genetic regions associated with entropion in newborn lambs. Cockett has served as the United States coordinator for sheep genome mapping since 1993 and is an active member of the International Sheep Genomics Consortium.
As an active researcher, Cockett has received many awards and accolades throughout her career including a Young Scientist Award from the Western Section of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), the Utah Governor's Medal for Science and Technology (2004 and 2015) and one of USU’s top honors, the D. Wynne Thorne Research Award.
After receiving her master’s and doctorate in animal breeding and genetics from Oregon State University, Cockett spent five years as a research geneticist at the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska. She joined USU in 1990 as a researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences.
Cockett grew up on a beef cattle ranch in eastern Montana and is married to John Cockett, director of technology in USU’s Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Noelle and John have two children, Dylan and Chantelle.
Utah State University Interim Vice President and Provost Laurens Smith
Until completion of a national search for an Executive Vice President and Provost, Laurens H. Smith will serve as Interim Provost of Utah State University. Larry has worked at Utah State in administrative roles since 2003, including Interim Dean of the School of Graduate Studies from 2004 to 2006 and Executive Senior Vice Provost for the past several years.
Larry’s academic background is in physiology and cell science. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Eastern Connecticut State College, a master’s degree in physiology at the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in physiology at the University of Maryland. After several years of postdoctoral work at medical schools and research institutes in the east, Larry began his faculty career at Idaho State University in 1989. While there, he led efforts to improve the teaching and research environment in cell and molecular science and was Founding Director of the Molecular Research Core Facility. During his 14 years at ISU, Larry took on a growing number of administrative roles and eventually chose to enter administration full time with his move to Utah State.
In recent years Larry has attended many workshops on academic leadership development including two at Harvard University, the Institute of Educational Management in 2013 and most recently, Crisis Leadership in Higher Education. He has extensive expertise in curriculum development, enrollment management, and faculty policy, and is an institutional liaison with the Office of the Utah Commissioner of Higher Education.
Larry enjoys the outstanding regional opportunities for outdoor recreation including fly-fishing, hiking and skiing. He and his wife Carol have several horses, dogs, and cats. Larry also maintains a small vineyard of wine grapes and is a hobby vintner.
Kenneth L. White
Dean, College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
Vice President, Extension
Joseph P. Ward
Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Beth E. Foley
Dean, Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services
Dean, S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources
Vice President and Director, Athletics
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