CANR Dean's Update - Sept. 5, 2017

A message from Ron Hendrick, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

September 5, 2017 - Author:

CANR Colleagues,

Welcome to the 2017-18 academic year! As we met with our newest students last week, I couldn’t help but be inspired by their enthusiasm and excitement for all that this new year will bring.

There’s a lot that is playing into the excitement from this summer’s work and successes, especially in public and private support for our programs and people.

We were fortunate to be a part of a funding line in the state budget, through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, that will see dollars added to the following projects:

  • Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture (M-AAA) –The state recently devoted $2.5 million to M-AAA in its 2018 budget.
  • Workforce development— The state has pledged $1.2 million in support of workforce development and community college partnerships with MSU for 2018.
  • Mobile food labs and updates to the campus food processing lab – The state funded $3.2 million in updates to the campus lab and three mobile food processing units to be used both on campus and with our community college partners.
  • The state also funded a 2 percent, $1.2 million increase in our AgBioResearch and MSU Extension lines.
  • We’ll also be the direct beneficiaries of most of the $1.5 million allocated to the Tree Fruit Commission.

We are seeing the results from partnerships with stakeholder groups across the state. We are also reaping the responsibilities of additional work because of our excellent track record of educating the state’s workforce, being out in front of research and bringing practical solutions to Michigan’s residents. Thank you for establishing this foundation upon which we can build!

We had a successful fundraising year, raising over $20 million in philanthropic support. These dollars and those referenced above help to offset continuing pressure on our General Funds budget.

We will also have the chance to welcome two new leaders to the CANR this winter:

  • Ming-Han Li, PhD, was named director of the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC). His appointment will be effective Jan. 8, 2018. 
  • Pamela Ruegg, D.V.M., M.P.V.M, has been named chair of the Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Animal Science. Ruegg will start at the beginning of the spring 2018 semester. 

A new chair for the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition will be announced soon.

Associate Dean Kelly Millenbah, PhD, is leading the search team for the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. Expect to hear from her as candidates visit this fall.

We also have searches under way for a director of Stakeholder and Government Relations, our next Department of Community Sustainability chair and the next Kellogg Biological Station director.

We are also leading the way on a new effort called Food@MSU. This is fully under way, and you’ll hear a lot more about it this fall, with several tailgate events and our first Our Table event. Look for more information about opportunities to participate.

Ron Hendrick

Professor & Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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