The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has announced the finalists for the position of Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and University of Nebraska Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The position opened when Ronnie Green became the university’s 20th chancellor earlier this year.
Finalists Michael Boehm, William Brown, Gary Thompson and Ron Yoder will make campus visits and meet with the university community in the next several weeks. State and campus town halls will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.
Michael J. Boehm is a professor of plant pathology at The Ohio State University. Since 2010, he has also served as the university’s vice provost for academic and strategic planning. In that capacity he is or has been responsible for such key initiatives as strategic planning for Ohio State’s six campuses, 15 colleges, and 17 support units; Ohio State’s four regional campuses and their 7,500 students, 172 faculty, and 200 staff members and collective annual budget of $55 million; K-12 and community college partnerships; the University Libraries System, John Glenn College of Public Affairs and Office of Institutional Research and Planning; dean reappointment reviews and academic unit reviews; integrated capital planning; and classroom readiness. Boehm oversees Ohio State’s Discovery Themes initiative, a 10-year $500 million program designed to produce durable solutions to the grand challenges of the 21st century, and he serves as co-lead for the Humanities and the Arts Discovery Theme.
Prior to being appointed vice provost, Boehm was associate chair, then chair, of Ohio State’s Department of Plant Pathology. One of today’s recognized authorities on the integrated management of turfgrass diseases, he focuses on the biology, ecology and management of fungal diseases of turfgrass. He also works on the integrated management of Fusarium head blight of wheat with a focus on the development of biological control strategies for this economically important and challenging disease. He is the author of 38 peer-reviewed articles and edited book chapters, and nearly 100 abstracts, reviews and proceedings papers treating these issues. He holds five US patents and 15 international patents related to his work on the biocontrol of Fusarium head blight, and he has secured some $2.5 million in extramural funding.
Boehm provided leadership for all extension-outreach activities related to turfgrass disease management and plant health at Ohio State from 1996 to 2010. He has taught at all levels of the curriculum and has been active in advising and mentoring students and postdoctoral researchers. His teaching has been recognized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities with that organization’s 2010 National Teaching Award, one of only two presented nationwide. He has also received an Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Phytopathological Society (APS).
An active member of the APS, he has served in a number of roles in that association, most recently as president. In addition to his academic career, he served for 20 years in the military reserves and was recalled to active duty as a microbiologist with the Navy after 9/11 and the intentional release of anthrax.
Boehm earned his bachelor’s degree at Heidelberg College of Ohio (1987) and both his Master’s (1990) degree and doctorate (1992) at The Ohio State University.
William F. (Bill) Brown serves as Dean for Research and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at the Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee (UTIA). His office oversees all research activities and coordinates with academic programs and Extension across seven academic departments, involving approximately 170 faculty, and ten AgResearch and Education Centers across the state. He is active in national leadership roles with the Experiment Station Committee on Policy (ESCOP), serving as Chair of the ESCOP Budget and Legislative Committee and Chair of the National Research Support Program – 1 NIMSS.
Prior to his appointment as Dean at UTIA which began in 2008, Dr. Brown served as Assistant Dean for Research and Assistant Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) at the University of Florida from 1999 to 2008. In that role he coordinated interactions with commodity groups and their support programs, facilitated the development of faculty–driven multidisciplinary centers and served as a liaison between IFAS and university–level sponsored programs and technology transfer offices.
Dr. Brown’s academic training is in animal science with a focus in ruminant nutrition. He received the BS degree from the University of Florida, the MS degree from the University of Tennessee and the PhD degree from the University of Nebraska. In his faculty role, Dr. Brown was located at the Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona, FL with the Animal Science Department at the University of Florida. His research program focused on forage quality, energy and protein supplementation, grazing systems and heifer development primarily for beef cattle but also including dairy cattle. He has published widely in refereed and clientele/public venues and was active in professional society editorship responsibilities with several academic journals.
Bill and his wife Lindsey (an attorney) have two children; Austin a senior at the University of Florida and Morgan a freshman at Florida State University.
Ron Yoder is currently Interim Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the University of Nebraska, and Interim Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources IANR at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. From 2011–2016 he was Associate Vice Chancellor of the IANR, serving functionally as the chief operating officer of the Institute with oversight of the three mission areas and responsibility for day–to–day operations. Previously he was Head of the Biological Systems Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska, and Head of the Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Department at The University of Tennessee.
He has served as President of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers ASABE, and is a Fellow of that Society and of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering AIMBE. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers ASCE, Alpha Epsilon, Gamma Sigma Delta, and Sigma Xi. His research and educational interests have been in the areas of agricultural water management, measurement and estimation of evapotranspiration, water and solute movement in the vadose zone, and land use impacts on water quality. He has held positions at the University of Wyoming, the USDA ARS in Colorado and in Washington state, and at The University of Tennessee.
He earned a B.S. in civil engineering from Drexel University, an M.S. in agricultural engineering from Clemson University, and a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University, and is a licensed professional engineer in Nebraska and Wyoming. His work has taken him to fourteen countries, including Brazil, Zambia, Turkey, the Netherlands, and China.
Dr. Gary Thompson serves as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education and the Director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station in the College of Agricultural Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. In this position, he works with students, faculty, staff, university administrators, alumni, and Pennsylvania stakeholders and is actively involved in organizations that provide regional, national, and international leadership for our land-grant institutions. As a Professor of Plant Science at Penn State, he maintains an active research program that focuses on the molecular biology of plant vascular systems and the genomics of plant responses to phloem-feeding insects. Dr. Thompson is a fellow in the APLU-sponsored Food Systems Leadership Institute.
Prior to his arrival at Penn State, Dr. Thompson served as the Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University (2007-2011) and as the Program Director for Plant-Biotic Interactions in the Directorate for Biological Sciences at the National Science Foundation (2004-2006). Dr. Thompson held consecutive summer appointments as a Visiting Research Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at University of Copenhagen in Denmark (2003-2004). He served as an Associate Professor (2001-2002) and Professor (2002-2007) with appointments at the Little Rock campus and with the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas. From 1991-1997 he held the position;of Assistant Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona, with appointments in Plant Sciences and in Microbiology; he was promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure at that institution; in 1997. Dr.
Thompson received his B.S. from the University of Nebraska in 1979, his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin in 1986, and his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1989, and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona.