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Agricultural Economics at TAMU: Shared Vision and Administrative Philosophy Mark Waller

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Agricultural Economics at TAMU: Shared Vision and Administrative Philosophy Mark Waller Prof. and Assoc. Dept. Head - Extension May 24, 2012. Outline. Texas A&M and the Land Grant Mission, and Department of Agricultural Economics Vision and Recent Reviews

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Agricultural Economics at TAMU: Shared Vision and Administrative Philosophy

Mark Waller

Prof. and Assoc. Dept. Head - Extension

May 24, 2012

slide2

Outline

  • Texas A&M and the Land Grant Mission, and Department of Agricultural Economics
  • Vision and Recent Reviews
  • Vision and Administrative Philosophy
  • Funding and our Future
  • My Qualifications
slide3

Texas A&M, the Land Grant Mission, and Department of Agricultural Economics

  • Purpose of the land grant system
    • In 1862, passage of the Morrill Act laid the groundwork for the democratization of public higher education
    • Grew out of our industrialized societies’ increasingly complex problems, deficiencies and demands
    • As critically important today as it has ever been
  • Major sponsoring legislation
    • Morrill Act (Teaching)
    • Hatch Act (Research)
    • Smith Lever Act (Extension)
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Texas A&M, the Land Grant Mission, and Department of Agricultural Economics

  • Mission of the land grant system
    • In 1862, passage of the Morrill Act laid the groundwork for the democratization of public higher education
    • Grew out of our industrialized societies’ increasingly complex problems, deficiencies and demands
    • As critically important today as it has ever been
  • Major sponsoring legislation
    • Morrill Act (Teaching)
    • Hatch Act (Research)
    • Smith Lever Act (Extension)
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Texas A&M, the Land Grant Mission, and Department of Agricultural Economics

  • The University’s mission of excellence
    • Vision 2020: Creating a Culture of Excellence-Serving the Public Good
        • Be one of the 10 best public universities in the nation by 2020
        • Be an invaluable resource to the state, nation and the world
    • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 2010-2015 Strategic Plan
        • Elevate our faculty (teaching, research, scholarship)
        • Strengthen graduate programs
        • Enhance the undergraduate experience
        • Build engaging connections beyond the University
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Texas A&M, the Land Grant Mission, and Department of Agricultural Economics

  • Department of Agricultural Economics
    • The department’s stated vision, mission, and goals are well aligned with the land-grant mission
    • Desire to attain a top 10 ranking matches well with the universities vision
      • We question how good we are
    • We are good, but there is room for improvement
        • How do we measure our relative position and progress
        • We may be better than we think we are
    • We, as a department, must decide what we want to be in the future
        • Our Department and our profession’s history would suggest this is not uncommon
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Vision and Recent Reviews

  • We have a large undergraduate program
    • Nationally recognized for its size and quality
    • Strong agricultural economics and agribusiness degrees
    • Nationally recognized teaching faculty
      • Many classes taught by faculty
    • Highly regarded advising program
    • Clubs, competition, travel and study abroad opportunities
  • Things to consider
    • Can we maintain quality at this size
    • Graduate student teaching opportunities
    • Targeted opportunities such as Action 2015: Education First
      • High Impact Learning
      • Advising Support
slide9

Vision and Recent Reviews

  • We have a large graduate program
    • Nationally recognized for its size at the MS and PhD levels
    • Strong agricultural economics and agribusiness Masters degrees
    • Nationally recognized Graduate faculty
  • Things to consider
    • Can we have the quality we want at this size
    • Graduate student advising, funding, publication output, job placement, and degree completion times
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Vision and Recent Reviews

  • The department is considered strong overall
    • One of the larger agricultural economics departments in the US
    • Highly respected senior faculty, promising junior faculty
    • Relationship with the business school, Intercollegiate Faculty of Agribusiness
    • Strong undergraduate and masters programs
    • Nationally respected Extension program
  • Things to consider
    • Funding challenges
    • Current and future faculty turnover
    • PhD program issues
    • Department’s future direction and priorities
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Vision and Administrative Philosophy

  • Leadership through service to faculty, staff, students, and clientele to achieve the stated vision and priorities of the Department, College, Agencies, and University community
  • Encourage input from faculty, staff, and students about a shared vision, goals and process for achieving them
  • Build a professional that is environment conducive to teamwork and respect, where all stakeholders can be heard, and their opinions and contributions are valued
    • Everybody matters (Faculty, Staff, Students)
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Vision and Administrative Philosophy

  • Build a reputation and expectation of clear communication, transparency, consistency, and equity across the department
  • Advocate for the department across the University, the agricultural economics profession, the former students, extension clientele, and commodity and industry leaders
    • We should not keep our good work and outcomes a secret!!
      • Submission and recognitions of Awards for faculty, former students, etc.
      • Reports to administration, press releases, etc.
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Vision and Administrative Philosophy

  • We have an effective administrative and committee structure that can be used to delegate duties
    • A department this large requires delegation of duties
    • A-Team (Associate Department Heads, leader of research, chair of intercollegiate faculty)
    • System of approximately 21 committees
      • Continue rotation of personnel on committees to share duties/opportunities
      • Some restructuring may be needed
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Vision and Administrative Philosophy

  • We hire top quality professional faculty that need to be given a degree of flexibility in research, teaching, and extension program development
    • Departmental needs must be covered
      • Teaching assignments
      • Extension and research programmatic areas
    • Flexibility is needed for faculty to develop their full potential and build on their strengths
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Funding and Our Future

  • The Department has a strong history of Centers providing a focus for Research/Extension and industry interactions
    • Mission and focus of Centers continues to evolve with changing departmental and clientele needs
    • Changing structure of funding
    • Importance to the graduate program
      • Research experience, industry contacts, publication opportunities
slide16

Funding and Our Future

  • Endowed Chairs
    • Can we expand the number in our Department
    • Learn from our past attempts, and from other successful Departments and Universities
    • Is there an incentive system that might help
slide17

Funding and Our Future

  • The need for external funding will continue to increase as traditional sources remain flat or decline in the near future
    • Need increased cooperation across the department’s faculty and with interdisciplinary and multi institution groups, to pursue larger multi-year grants such as NIFA/AFRI
    • Help faculty to develop/increase longer-term funding relationships with industry, commodity organizations, and other entities that need analytical services
    • Maintain contact and relationships with former students and clientele through various forms of communication, recognition/award opportunities, and other activities
    • Work with the Development Foundation to build a network of former students, clientele, former faculty, and other potential donors
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My Qualifications

  • Over 17 years as Extension Economist-Grain Marketing and Policy
    • Participation in development of award-winning Extension programs
      • Teamwork, and commitment required to build high-quality enduring programs
      • Secure grants and contracts, and build industry relationships
      • Evaluation of programs and report results to funders, administrators, legislators
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My Qualifications

  • Over 7 years as Associate Department Head-Extension
    • Served as a member of the department’s Administrative Team
    • Provided administrative supervision for the Agricultural Economics Extension Program Unit, with oversight and approval of the Department Head
        • Prioritizing positions/hires
        • Management of the Extension budget
        • Oversight of grant and contract activity within the Extension unit
        • Conduct annual performance evaluations of professorial rank Extension faculty with the Department Head
        • Conduct on annual performance evaluations of Program Specialists and selected staff
    • Coordination of monthly and annual planning conferences
    • Coordination/oversight of monthly reporting, quarterly highlights reporting, Extension Strategic Plan revision and reporting
    • Participate with the Department Head in the department’s annual review with the Dean and Directors
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