DURHAM — The man who has led the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension for the past 16 years will retire at the end of June, the university announced Wednesday.
John Pike has been with the Extension service for 37 years, 16 of those years at the top post of dean and director.
"John is an inspiration to everyone who believes in the state's land-grant mission," said UNH President Mark Huddleston. "As Cooperative Extension celebrates its 100th anniversary, he leaves a successful organization that is well positioned to continue to bring the research, talent and resources of the university directly to people across the Granite State."
In prepared remarks, Pike said the job was a privilege for him.
"I am truly passionate about UNH and the mission of Cooperative Extension in serving the people of the state, and I can't think of a better place to have worked," he said.
Pike is a lifelong resident of New Hampshire. He entered UNH as a freshman in 1971 and earned post-graduate degrees from the university.
He reorganized the Cooperative Extension three years ago to deal with budget deficits, said UNH Provost Lisa MacFarlane. Doing so ensured the service's stability, she said.
Pike will stay on as a part-time adviser while a national search is conducted for a new dean and director. A farewell reception will be held on campus June 11 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.