Jorge Horacio Atiles, Ph.D.
Dean of West Virginia University Extension & Engagement
Dr. Jorge Atiles is dean of WVU Extension and Engagement and director of WVU Extension, where he is responsible for WVU Extension across West Virginia’s 55 counties. Program areas include 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family & Community Development and the WVU Center for Community Engagement. Under his leadership WVU Extension provides traditional Cooperative Extension programs such as agriculture, natural resources and 4-H programs. The organization also provides unique programs for West Virginians, including Fire Service Extension, Safety and Health Extension, Family and Community Development, Family Nutrition Program, Energy Express, and the WVU Center for Community Engagement.
Dean Atiles, who joined WVU in 2020, led a strategic transformation effort of WVU Extension programming focusing on seven of the most critical outcomes provided by stakeholders across West Virginia. Additionally, he supported the transformation of the infrastructure of community engaged scholarship at WVU through new faculty, staff, student, and community support forums, the Academic Community Engagement (ACE) series, and Purpose2Action programs, among others. He successfully guided a rebranding effort and refocus of WVU Extension to manage higher education budgetary reductions while keeping the mission and vision strong.
WVU University is known for its strong commitment to health care, research, education and service. Dean Atiles has bridged the gap between Extension and WVU Health Sciences and is an active member and partner on the Internal Advisory Committee of the West Virginia Clinical Translational Science Institute. This has enabled WVU Extension to be actively engaged in community forums and other aspects of the outreach needed for clinical trial implementation.
At the national and regional level, Dean Atiles has a long history of active involvement in various councils and commissions within the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU). Most recently, he co-led a WVU team to achieve the 2023 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Designation, as well as the successful selection as an Exemplary Project for the 2022 W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award. He co-leads the National Forum for Chief Engagement and Outreach Administrators. This Forum brings together the top engagement and outreach officers from higher education institutions across the nation.
As a former executive member of the APLU Board on Human Sciences, Dean Atiles served as a representative on the Extension Committee on Organization Policy (ECOP) for nearly 10 years. ECOP, a unit under the Board on Agricultural Assembly, is the representative leadership and governing body of the Cooperative Extension Section and provides guidance on issues affecting Cooperative Extension. In that national role, he participated on various committees, such as the Budget and Legislative Committee, among others. He also served on the ECOP eXtension Finance Task Force and Strategic Priorities Task Force. In 2017, he represented family and consumer sciences interests on ECOP’s Private Resource Mobilization Committee.
In 2023, Dean Atiles received the Epsilon Sigma Phi’s prestigious Visionary Leadership Award in recognition of his forward-thinking leadership to envision a 21st century land-grant organization that provides opportunities for all West Virginians. Epsilon Sigma Phi is a national professional organization open to faculty and staff in all Extension program areas.
In 2024, WVU announced that Dean Atiles has been named associate vice president for the new WVU Division for Land Grant Engagement, effective July 1, 2024. In this elevated role, he will lead the new division while also serving as dean of WVU Extension and the newly named Davis College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Before coming to WVU, he served as associate dean for Extension and Engagement and as a professor in the Design, Housing, and Merchandising department at Oklahoma State University. Dean Atiles also served in several leadership roles, which included serving as associate dean for Extension and Outreach and professor of Housing and Consumer Economics at the University of Georgia. His research interests include workforce housing, water, energy, waste, indoor air quality and housing policy. Dr. Atiles worked in local government managing federally funded housing programs for the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. He also worked in the banking industry with the Dominican Republic’s National Housing Bank.
Dr. Atiles also serves as a professor at the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. His scholarship focuses on housing, community engagement, and Cooperative Extension. He holds a doctorate in housing, interior design and resource management, and a master's degree in urban and regional planning, both from Virginia Tech. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña, Dominican Republic.