Nancy M. Cox



Nancy CoxDr. Nancy M. Cox became Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Kentucky on Jan. 1, 2014. Prior to that, she served as Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Experiment Station at UK. She received a bachelor’s degree from Furman University in 1975, M.S. from the University of Georgia in 1977, and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1982. She had a teaching and research career at Mississippi State University in animal science prior to moving to UK in 2001.

As Associate Dean for Research from 2001 to 2014, she oversaw college research programs, which grew from approximately $8 million to approximately $30 million in external awards from 2001 to 2013. She was the founding administrator for the UK Equine Initiative, now UK Ag Equine Programs. This program began in 2005 and initiated an undergraduate program that officially started in 2009. That program is now the second-largest enrollment in the college and has students from more than 35 states and several countries. She was a leader in the large effort to renovate and expand the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (then called the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center). This laboratory has the largest equine case load in the world. Dean Cox coordinated funding for successful research on Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome after massive foal losses occurred in Kentucky in May 2001. These studies resulted in the eastern tent caterpillar being identified as the causative agent.

She is a member of the Gluck Equine Research Foundation and known for her commitment to growth of university programs that serve Kentucky’s signature industry. She has been a member of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation since 2016 and joined USA Equestrian Trust as a Director in 2017. She is also a member of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation Board and serves on the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board and the Kentucky State Fair Board.

Dean Cox enjoyed barrel racing and saddle horses as a child in upstate South Carolina. She became a horse owner again in 2010, and she enjoys riding with the Iroquois Hunt Club in central Kentucky.