Welcome to Community and Leadership Development

Community & Leadership Development

Formed in the College of Agriculture in 2002, the Department of Community & Leadership Development brought faculty from rural sociology, agricultural education, agricultural communication, and program-and-staff development together in one unit. 

Forming a new department out of constituent pieces has meant changes not only for the department but in the history of the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky. For example, both our undergraduate and graduate degree programs have been reorganized to better integrate and utilize the resources of the entire department, the agricultural communications program has been refocused on community communication to highlight the fundamental role of communication in both community and leadership development, and programs which were previously instruction-based (community communication and agricultural education) now contain active and successful research components. 

Our faculty has strong disciplinary training in such fields as communication, education, and rural sociology and takes pride in their disciplinary homes. When it comes to our overall focus, however, we are moving beyond the disciplinary approach of the past. Believing it best represents contemporary approaches to 21st century reality, we are more about the processes of functioning effectively in community and fostering ethical leadership.


As scholars, teachers, and practitioners in a multidisciplinary social sciences department, we create new knowledge through research, Extension and outreach. We develop and empower our students, organizations and communities to envision and achieve sustainable and equitable futures.


The Community and Leadership Development Department is a model for excellence in applying multidisciplinary and innovative approaches to leadership, community processes, and the development of individuals, and their respective communities.


Our values are inspired by the land-grant philosophy and the ethical principles of our professional training. We mobilize the three land grant values – learning, discovery and engagement -- to understand and address contemporary development challenges.

The Community & Leadership Development department invites you to join us in making a difference, locally and globally.

Graphic with text reading: "Degree Programs"

B.S. in CLD

Obtain a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) in Community & Leadership Development

Learn More

B.S. in Ag. Ed.

Obtain a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) in Agricultural Education

Learn More

M.S. in CLD

Explore a Master of Science (M.S.) in Community and Leadership Development

Learn More

Undergraduate Certificiate in Leadership Studies (UCLS)

Learn more about our certification in Leadership Studies

Learn More

Featured Events

Contact Information

Dr. Wes Harrison, Ph.D.
Department Chair

500 W.P. Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215

(859) 562-2788