John Owens, vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will step down June 30, 2010.
Owens has been vice chancellor since January 2001. He also serves as the University of Nebraska's vice president for agriculture and natural resources.
Owens, 65, says that two recently diagnosed heart arrhythmias contributed to his decision. He noted, too, that by the time he steps down, he will have been a dean, vice president or vice chancellor in the land-grant university system for 25 years, longer than anyone else currently serving as an administrative head of agriculture.
After a period of faculty development leave, Owens plans to remain with UNL as a UNL Extension professor of entomology.
"John has made many significant contributions to the institute and to agriculture in Nebraska. More than that he has been a personal friend and colleague," says Harvey Perlman, UNL chancellor. "I am pleased he is staying at the university so I can continue to draw on his knowledge and experience. We will quickly initiate a search for his successor as vice chancellor and vice president."
"I'm really proud of the strides IANR has made in the last 8-1/2 years and, just as important, very excited about what the future holds for the institute," Owens says.
Owens says stakeholder support also has been key. The Ag Builders of Nebraska, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the Nebraska Cattleman and others contribute great ideas and energy, according to Owens.
Owens made increasing enrollments in CASNR and at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) at Curtis a priority when he arrived in January 2001. From fall of 2004 through fall of 2009, CASNR saw a 44% increase in enrollment, to 1,758.
Enrollment also is up this year at NCTA to the highest number ever in its history as a college, to about 425 under the leadership of NCTA Dean Weldon Sleight.
Owens, a Texas native, spent 23 years at New Mexico State University before his arrival at UNL.