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Purdue Agriculture in Focus Purdue Agriculture in Focus

August 2008

From the Dean




Welcome back to those of you who have been away from campus over the summer!  I hope everyone found at least a little time to have some fun while away from campus.  (It is cliché, but I am guessing your summer, like mine, went too fast!)

I told you last spring that our strategic planning process would continue with the start of the fall semester, and the steering committee met last week to kick off the effort.  We have working groups in four areas:  Student Access and Success; Discovery; International Agriculture; and Engagement/Extension

Like the Purdue University strategic planning process, ours too is a very inclusive, bottom-up effort. One of the most important tasks of these working groups is to gather thoughts and ideas from you—the faculty, staff, and students in Purdue Agriculture.  Your input is critical as we look at the challenges and opportunities facing us in the years to come.  Please help us by completing a series of brief online surveys.  Go to the “Strategic Planning Project” link on the Agriculture home page and click on each of the working groups to take the surveys.  The surveys will be available until September 30, so make sure your voice is heard!

The working groups will also be contacting people to participate in focus groups and other smaller input-gathering sessions.  I encourage you to participate in as many of these activities as you can to help us think through key issues, challenges and opportunities for Purdue Agriculture.  The working groups will use the information they gather to formulate “white papers” that will be presented to the College in early 2009.  The white papers will then form the basis for development of the next strategic plan, which will be finalized in late Spring 2009 (hopefully under the direction of a permanent dean).  

The great American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, when you get there, you’ll be lost.” Strategic planning is a critical process of developing a road map for where we as a College want to go in the years ahead.  I encourage you to help us chart the course!


All the best,

Jay Akridge



News around Purdue Agriculture

College-wide input sessions for Ag Dean search set

Dr. Willie Reed, chair of the Dean of Agriculture search committee, announces two brainstorming sessions about the future of Purdue Agriculture and how it relates to what characteristics we should look for in our next dean. The sessions will be open to all Purdue Agriculture faculty, staff and students, both on and off campus. More information.


New faculty join Purdue Agriculture

The College of Agriculture is pleased to welcome 13 new faculty members:

  • Shannon Amberg, Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Tameshia Ballard, Food Science
  • Jeff Dukes, Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Ben Gramig, Agricultural Economics
  • Ann Hildner, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
  • Tomas Höök, Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Mike Jenkins, Forestry and Natural Resources
  • T. Joseph Kappock, Biochemistry
  • Torbert Rocheford, Agronomy
  • Fernanda San-Martin-Gonzalez, Food Science
  • David Umulis, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Kiersten Wise, Botany and Plant Pathology
  • Steven Wu, Agricultural Economics


Click here for profiles: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2008/August/newfacultystory.htm


Purdue Agriculture--the next steps

This year we have begun the process of developing the next strategic plan for Purdue Agriculture.  The input of our faculty, staff and students is key as we look at the challenges and opportunities facing us in the years to come. 

We have working groups in four areas:  Student Access and Success; Discovery; International Agriculture; and Engagement/Extension.   As part of their information gathering process, the working groups are looking for feedback from people in the College.  Please help us by completing a brief online survey.  Go to the “Strategic Planning Project” link on the Agriculture home page and let us know what you think! Surveys will be available until September 30.

Hoosier consumers challenged to 'Go Local' one week

Going LocalThe Purdue New Ventures team and other organizations are encouraging Indiana consumers to eat at least one locally grown food product at each meal during Going Local Week, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6. "There are many reasons for wanting to eat local foods," said Maria Marshall, Purdue Extension agriculture economics specialist and chair of the New Ventures Team. "It doesn't take a tremendous effort. It's the small changes that can make a big difference."

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080806MarshallGoinglocal.html

Agriculture to help Purdue celebrate Green Week

GreenWeekPurdue University will sponsor Green Week on Sept. 15-19 to raise environmental awareness on campus and in the Greater Lafayette community. Each day will focus on one aspect of preserving the environment and practicing conservation. There will be opportunities for students, faculty and staff, and community members to participate throughout the week. Purdue Agriculture will present a series of lunchtime lectures at Noon each day in the Deans Auditorium of Pfendler Hall on these topics:

  • Monday, Sept 15: “Carbon Economics”—Jerry Shively and Otto Doering, Agricultural Economics
  • Tuesday, Sept. 16: “Designing Sustainable Communities”—Kim Wilson, Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
  • Wednesday, Sept. 17: “A New Green Revolution in Africa”—Gebisa Ejeta, Agronomy
  • Thursday, Sept. 18: “Contaminants and their effects on fish and wildlife”—Dr. Maria Sepulveda, Forestry and Natural Resources
Junior faculty encouraged to participate in Faculty Mentoring Network

The Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN) program is sponsored by the Purdue Teaching Academy. The FMN provides new, junior faculty with mentors who accomplished teachers and committed to helping junior faculty become stronger instructors. By working with these mentors, junior faculty members can gain new perspectives and insights into teaching strategies and the Purdue culture. For more information on the program, contact Frank Dooley (dooleyf@purdue.edu), or check the web site: http://www.teachingacademy.purdue.edu/programs/mentoring.asp

Sigma Xi's distinguished lecture series focuses on climate change

Peter Raven, director of Missouri Botanical Garden and the George Englemann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis, will be the first speaker in the Purdue chapter of Sigma Xi's series of distinguished lectures on climate change and global sustainability. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2 in Loeb Playhouse in Stewart Center.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080820JanleSigma.htm

FosterKen Foster named interim head of Agricultural Economics

Ken Foster, professor of agricultural economics, has been appointed interim head of the Department of Agricultural Economics. He had been associate head of the department and director of graduate programs since 2004. Ken succeeds Sally Thompson, who is taking a leave of absence from Purdue. She will assume a position with the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080813FosterInterim.html

HooserSteve Hooser is new ADDL director

The head of the Toxicology Section of the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory has been named ADDL's new director. Stephen B. Hooser, a comparative pathobiology professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, succeeds Leon Thacker who has served as ADDL director for the past 23 years.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080805HooserADDL.html


LadischMike Ladisch Named One of the One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era

Dr. Michael Ladisch, Distinguished Professor in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department and Director of Purdue’s Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering (LORRE) was recently named one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era” by The American Institute of Chemical Engineer (AIChE).

Full story: http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/in_focus/2008/August/LadischAwardArticle.htm

BoehjleAAEA and Foundation Honor Boehlje

Michael Boehlje was honored at this year’s American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) Annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.  He won the Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Award for an individual with ten or more years’ experience for his outreach programs with producers and agribusiness. Additionally, he was honored  with the formation of the Michael D. Boehlje Appreciation Club in the AAEA Foundation. This appreciation club recognizes Boehlje for his teaching, research and outreach work in agricultural finance and agribusiness management. In honor of his accomplishments, the fund is dedicated to fostering teaching and scholarship in agricultural finance and agribusiness management, and promoting the growth and visibility of the profession. 


LeeJohn Lee named Associate Director of the Purdue Center for the Environment

John Lee, professor of Agricultural Economics, will be joining the Center for the Environment, where he will be the Associate Director for Economics and Policy. In this position he will work to develop interdisciplinary research proposals on environmental issues. One project he is involved with currently entails the relocation of wildlife out of newly developed areas in Panama, where large tracts of rainforest are being cleared for housing and to expand the country’s canal. Other projects will have more local objectives, such as searching for least cost means of improving water quality. He will continue to teach two graduate courses in Ag Econ as well as AGEC 204, Introduction of Natural Resources Economics.


Tim Kerr joins Office of Academic Programs

KerrAssociate Dean Dale Whittaker is pleased to announce that Tim Kerr will join the College of Agriculture as Assistant Director for Academic Excellence on September 15. In this role, Tim will be responsible for developing, directing, and coordinating exceptional opportunities for high ability, currently enrolled and prospective undergraduate and pre-professional students in the College. Tim comes to us from the Department of Biological Sciences, where he was an academic advisor for five years.


University News


Purdue taps Emory exec as VP for physical facilities

Purdue University officials on August 25 announced that Robert McMains, associate vice president of facilities management at Emory University, has been named Purdue's vice president for physical facilities, effective Oct. 1. Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080825CordovaMcMains.html

Nobel Laureate in genetics, cancer to speak at Purdue's Discovery Lecture Series

Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, an American biochemist and molecular biologist who co-discovered gene splicing, is the keynote speaker for Purdue University's Discovery Lecture Series event on Sept. 12. Sharp's lecture, "The Roles of Short RNAs in Cancer and Biology," is free and open to the public.

Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080820SharpDiscoveryLecture.html

Tickets available for James Earl Jones event

Tickets will be available starting Thursday, Aug. 28 for "An Evening with James Earl Jones" on Oct. 2. The talk, which is 7:30 p.m. in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse, is part of Experience Liberal Arts, a monthlong celebration highlighting programs in the College of Liberal Arts. The tickets are free, but required. Full story: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008b/080826JonesTickets.html



Mark your calendar

August 29: 2008 Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Lecture - Dr.Clint Chapple - Department of Biochemistry. More information

September 15-19: Galaxy III Conference in Indianapolis. Extension professionals from around the country come together for this conference. Visit http://sharepoint.agriculture.purdue.edu/ces/galaxy/default.aspx for more information.

September 16-18: Ohio State Farm Science Review in London, OH.  Purdue brings several specialists and exhibits to this educational farm show each year. Contact Danica Kirkpatrick at 494-9113 for more information.

September 20: Family Day activities from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. in the Pfendler second floor gallery. Contact Lori Barber at 494-8482 for more information.

September 28: Scholarship Banquet at 12:00 p.m. in the ballrooms of the Purdue Memorial Union. Contact Lori Barber at 494-8284 for more information.

October 7: Purdue Agriculture Career Fair from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the ballrooms of the Purdue Memorial Union. Contact Linda Austin at 494-8473 for more information.

October 8 & 9: The Indiana Flower Growers Association Annual Meeting in West Lafayette. Contact Colleen Martin at 765 494-1306 for more information.

October 11: Indiana 4-H Congress at the Holiday Inn Select Indianapolis Airport. Contact Steve McKinley at 494-8435 for more information.

October 21-24: National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. Contact Tracie Egger at 494-8470 for more information.

October 25: Purdue Homecoming.  Agriculture Alumni reunite on campus for food and fun prior to the football game versus Minnesota. Contact Donya Lester at 494-8593 for more information about College of Agriculture Alumni activities.  Contact Barry Delks at 496-7234 for Animal Sciences Reunion information.












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