Search for Purdue Ag Dean Narrows

And then there were three…

Published on: Nov 14, 2008

The search for the next dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture is apparently right on schedule. Former Dean Randy Woodson, who moved into the provost position at Purdue last spring, asked that a new dean be named by January 1, or else very early next year. The committee heading up the search for a new dean has narrowed the field to three. Those three finalists will visit the campus separately and make presentations to various groups during the next few weeks. The interviewing process is slated to wrap up by Dec. 15.

Willie Reed, dean of the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine, heads the search committee. "I'm pleased with the caliber for he candidate, all of whom are leaders in their respective areas," Reed says. "The candidates were picked from a talented field of applicants."

Each candidate will complete a two-day interview process, and each will present a one-hour seminar. Anyone can view the seminar via Internet streaming. Check out this process to see how you can tune in at:  

One of the candidates won't have far to travel- just across campus. He's Jay Akridge, interim dean for the College of Agriculture at Purdue. He moved from Ag Economics into his current temporary role last May, after Woodson moved across the street to become the number two person in charge of the entire university, behind the president. Akridge participated in Master Farmer ceremonies last summer. The College of Agriculture co-sponsors this award program along with Indiana Prairie Farmer.

Akridge will present his seminar at 9 a.m. EST on Dec. 9. Other activities during the two-day process include spending time with the selection committee, headed by Reed of Vet Medicine.

The next candidate is John Floros, currently serving at Penn State University. Besides being a professor there, he is president of the Department of Food Science. He will present a seminar on Thursday, Dec. 11, also at 9 a.m.

Last but not least, Ramesh Kanwar will visit and present his seminar on Monday, Dec. 15 at 9 a.m. He is currently professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering at Iowa State.

Whoever is finally selected as dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture will oversee 13 academic and administrative departments. Student enrollment in the college he will oversee surpassed 2,500 students this fall.

The Dean of Purdue Agriculture is also responsible for Purdue Extension, International Programs in Agriculture and oversees various state services, including the Office of the Indiana State Chemist and the Indiana Seed Lab, both located on campus at West Lafayette. Even when the legislature formed the Indiana State Department of Agriculture four years ago, these functions were left under the auspices of Purdue, and in turn, under the administration of the ag dean.

Stay tuned for more details about these candidates and progress of the selection process.