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From the Dean and Director

Dr. MintonOn July 1, I became interim dean of the College of Agriculture and interim director of K-State Research and Extension when John Floros accepted the position of president of New Mexico State University. We all wish John well in his new position and appreciate his leadership over the last six years.

As a strong proponent of the land-grant university system, I will work with the existing leadership team to maintain and advance our teaching, research, and extension programs.

Here’s a brief description of my career. After completing master’s and doctoral degrees at Oklahoma State University, I joined the K-State Department of Animal Sciences and Industry in 1983 with a research and teaching position. In 2008, I accepted the position of interim director of research and technology transfer and was named to the permanent position in 2009. In 2016, my duties and title expanded to include associate dean of research and graduate programs.

In 2013, I initiated the K-State Ag Research Scholars (K-StARS) program, which provides training for new faculty including taking them to Washington, D.C., to meet with federal funding agencies.

With four U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, Feed the Future Innovation Labs, the college and
K-State Research and Extension represent 54.38 percent of the university’s research expenditures at K-State and reported to the National Science Foundation.

I believe my involvement in the strategic planning process, K-State 2025 vision, and day-to-day decision making for the college and K-State Research and Extension prepares me for this interim position.  

New budget model

Over the next two years, K-State is implementing a new budget model that allows for college-level budget growth that is tied to increasing enrollment.

We will immediately start comparing the new budget model with the old model to evaluate where efficiencies can be gained.

The College of Agriculture has a strong history of hands-on learning, excellent advising, and outstanding competition and judging teams. We remain committed to those strengths.

Staffing updates

During my tenure, we will pursue filling several department head and director positions created by retirements and job advancements. A survey by Niche.com ranked K-State’s College of Agriculture fourth of the 2018 Best Colleges for Agricultural Sciences in America, which will help draw strong candidates for these positions.

We constantly evaluate our staffing and programs to ensure we are meeting the needs of Kansans. 

I hope you enjoy reading about the awards earned by our faculty, staff, and students in this issue. I am honored to lead the organization as we search for a permanent dean and director.

J. Ernest “Ernie” Minton
Interim Dean and Director