Delbert T. Foster Elected Chairman of the Association of Extension Administrators

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SC State University alumnus, Delbert T. Foster has been elected as chairman of the Association of Extension Administrators (AEA) during the annual Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU) meeting in Denver, Colo. APLU is the leading research and advocacy organization for senior public higher education leaders. As chairman, Foster serves as the voice of the AEA, which is comprised of 18, 1890 Land-Grant Universities in 17 states.  He is responsible for providing leadership and support to the National programmatic, fiscal and operational goals of the association. 

Delbert T. FosterFoster is replacing, Dr. Gina E. Eubanks, who served as AEA’s past chairman. “As chairman of AEA, I worked tirelessly to ensure that the universities that I represented were afforded opportunities to leverage resources that would allow them to assist diverse audiences, most especially those who have limited social and economic resources, improve quality of life and enhance the vitality of communities and individuals through engagement and outreach education,” said Eubanks. “Foster’s portfolio of work, speaks for itself, and I am honored to pass the gavel to him, as I am confident that he will continue on the pathway forward for our Association,” she continued. 

Currently, Foster serves as the administrator of 1890 Extension Programs at SC State University. The 1890 Extension Program offers outreach programs and services to the citizens of South Carolina on behalf of SC State. Extension’s programs provide life-long opportunities that help rural and urban limited-resource clients improve their level and quality of life.

He is responsible for the overall leadership planning, direction and management of the 1890 Extension Program. Foster’s management and oversight responsibilities include supervision of all state and county administrative extension staff.  He also provides leadership and guidance to the executive committee. He is responsible for the preparation and submission of 1890 Research and Extension’s federal and state budgets; coordinator for 1890 Facility Grant Program and serves as an advisor to the administrator regarding budgetary, compliance and human resources issues. Foster also serves as the co- chairman of 1890 Plan of Work committee.

Additional responsibilities include serving as the liaison between 1890 and SC State University, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Clemson University and the Budget and Control Board of the state of South Carolina.  He also ensures that all programs and activities are implemented in accordance with the federal approved plan of work and meets all federal and state rules and regulations.

“Foster is one of the most committed Administrators I know,” said Dr. L. Washington Lyons, executive administrator for AEA. “He is an innovative visionary who has been a trend-setter in our field; a highly respected colleague and I am proud to have him serve as chairman of AEA,” he continued.

Serving on numerous governing bodies in his community, church and nationally, Foster is a senior vestry member at New Israel R. E. Church, a charter member of the 100 Black Men of Charleston, S.C., and he currently serves on the 4-H Council National Board of Directors.

"I want to thank my colleagues for entrusting their faith and lending their support to me, as I lead our Association," said Foster. "Those of us who work in Extension do the work that we do because we genuinely care about helping others; and are committed to ensuring that those who desire greatness have the opportunity to be great. After my tenure, if I have been able to assist one child, one family, one farmer, or one administrator increase their abundance, then I will know that my service to our Association has been a success," Foster continued.

Foster completed the Orangeburg County Leadership Development Program (Fall 2005), the South Carolina Executive Leadership Program (Spring 2006), and the Leadership South Carolina Program (Spring 2010). He also served as AEA’s liaison to the Association of the Southern Region Extension Directors (ASRED) from 2006-2008, the secretary to the AEA from 2008-2010 and chair-elect of AEA’s 2010-2012.

Foster has received numerous awards including: the South Carolina State Board of Education, the Chi Sigma Iota International Honor Society (SC State), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Community Service Award (Charleston Branch), the Association of Extension Administrators Service Award, the Outstanding Young Man of America, the Golden Eagle Award and the Senate of the state of South Carolina Community 20-Year Service Award.

Foster received his B.A., M.A., and M.Ed. from SC State University.