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Sources: Ralph Richardson, 785-532-5660, rcr@k-state.edu;
and April Mason, 785-532-6224, masona@k-state.edu
Websites: http://www.k-state.edu/provost/searches and http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/deandirector/
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-2535, bbohn@k-state.edu

Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010

FINALISTS NAMED FOR COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE DEAN AND DIRECTOR OF K-STATE RESEARCH AND EXTENSION

MANHATTAN -- Three finalists will be interviewed for the position of dean of Kansas State University's College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension.

Ralph Richardson, dean of K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine and chair of the search committee, said the finalists are William "Benjy" Mikel, professor and head of the department of food science, nutrition and health promotion and director of the Food Science Institute at Mississippi State University; Kevin Kephart, vice president for research at South Dakota State University; and D.C. Coston, vice president for agriculture and university extension at North Dakota State University.

"Because of K-State's international reputation as a leader in extension and the food and agricultural sciences, interest in this position was quite high," Richardson said. "The search committee believes these three candidates stood out and have the necessary qualifications and experience for this key position at K-State."

April Mason, provost and senior vice president, said she appreciated the widespread interest by K-State constituents in this particular search.

"We look forward to engaging stakeholders from across the state in this interview process," Mason said. "It is vital to the state’s and nation’s agricultural viability to get the best leadership in this very influential position."

Each finalist will visit K-State's main campus for a three-day interview process, and then spend half a day at the K-State Agricultural Research Center-Hays. Each candidate also will take part in an open seminar from 2-3:45 p.m. in the K-State Alumni Center Ballroom. K-State students, faculty and staff and the general public are welcome to attend.

"Each candidate has been asked to discuss how they view the roles of dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension," Richardson said. "They are also expected to share how their expertise and leadership can fit into those roles."

The schedule of candidates will be:

* Mikel, at K-State Sept. 12-14, with a seminar Monday, Sept. 13; at Agriculture Research Center-Hays, Wednesday, Sept. 15.

* Kephart, at K-State Sept. 13-15, with a seminar Tuesday, Sept. 14; at Agriculture Research Center-Hays, Thursday, Sept. 16.

* Coston, at K-State Sept. 20-22, with a seminar Tuesday, Sept. 21; at Agriculture Research Center-Hays, Thursday, Sept. 23.

A full schedule for each candidate and curricula vitae will be available soon at http://www.k-state.edu/provost/searches and http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/deandirector/.

The public seminars will be videostreamed and archived for viewing at the above websites for 48 hours following each seminar.

K-State is seeking a new dean for the College of Agriculture and director of K-State and Extension to replace Fred Cholick, who became president and CEO of the Kansas State University Foundation in February.