James Averill, a Michigan State University alumnus and longtime leader in Michigan agriculture, has been assistant director for MSU AgBioResearch since July 2023.
Averill oversees on- and off-campus research facilities, including the South Campus Animal Farms and 15 AgBioResearch centers across the state. Additionally, he leads internal grants programs geared toward advancing Michigan’s agriculture industries, specifically the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture.
From 2021 to 2023, he served as the director of outcome assessment and continuous quality improvement in the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). In this position, he was responsible for the college’s implementation, coordination and evaluation of the academic aspects of its professional curriculum. With CVM, Averill has also led the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory as interim director.
For more than two decades, Averill has been affiliated with MSU in some professional capacity. From 2002 to 2006, he was a research assistant in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, where he has also been an adjunct faculty member since 2007.
Prior to joining MSU on a full-time basis in 2020, Averill worked for more than a decade at MDARD in a variety of roles. He served as bovine tuberculosis coordinator and later as state veterinarian before ultimately becoming deputy director, providing administrative direction, policy development and stakeholder relations.
Averill earned a bachelor’s degree from MSU in veterinary science, as well as his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. He later completed a doctoral program in epidemiology and public health at MSU.