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Defining Futures for Agricultural Economics. Parr Rosson Professor/Extension Economist Director, Center for North American Studies Department of Agricultural Economics Texas A&M University. The Mission. “Accessible, Practical Education for the Public Good”. Research. Extension.

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Defining Futures for Agricultural Economics

Parr Rosson

Professor/Extension Economist

Director, Center for North American Studies

Department of Agricultural Economics

Texas A&M University

The mission
The Mission

“Accessible, Practical Education for the Public Good”




Under Assault, But Highly Relevant Today

The setting
The Setting

  • We Have a Strong Department

  • Increasing Demands on the Unit

  • Faculty Departures

  • Shrinking Budgets & Continued Uncertainty


  • Maintaining Program Excellence

  • Achieving Excellence in Others

  • Meeting Changing Needs of Constituents

  • Filling Current & Expected Faculty Vacancies

  • Expanding Our Resource Base

Alternative futures or visions
Alternative Futures or Visions

  • Consistent Top 10 Department of Agricultural Economics?

  • A Nationally Prominent Department of Agricultural Economics?

  • The Status Quo?

  • The Nationally Prominent Department of Agricultural Economics?

Administrative approach
Administrative Approach

  • Vision Led & Mission Oriented

  • Emphasize Teamwork & Mentoring

  • Participatory, Soliciting Input & Feedback

  • Informed, Deliberate & Decisive

  • Build Synergies from Diversity

Why is synergy important
Why is Synergy Important?

  • Work Together So that Output of the Unit is Greater than the Sum of Working Separately

  • Diversity of the Department is a Major Strength!

    • Large Number of Sub-Disciplines

    • Large Number of Faculty

    • Wide Geographic Dispersion Across the State

Building synergies
Building Synergies

  • Shared Vision

  • Set Priorities

  • Appreciate What Each Other Does

  • Work Together for a Common Purpose

Excellence in All We Do!

Common theme across teaching research extension
Common Theme Across Teaching, Research & Extension

  • Create New Knowledge

  • Validated by Peers

  • Extended to the Public

Increase Scholarship!

Incentives rewards
Incentives & Rewards

  • Incentives

    • Salary Enhancement & Incentive Programs

    • Overload Pay

    • Salary Supplements

  • Rewards

    • Agency/College/University

    • Professional Associations

    • Stakeholder Groups

    • Salary

Considerations for a development plan
Considerations for a Development Plan

  • Focus on Our Common Purpose & Priorities

  • Faculty Buy-In is Critical to Success

  • Solicit Input from Stakeholders

    • Forming Coalitions Important

  • Develop a Comprehensive Plan

  • Be Bold in Implementing the Plan!

Development strategy three pronged approach
Development StrategyThree Pronged Approach






New Initiatives


Program Focused



Considerations for focus of development efforts
Considerations for Focus of Development Efforts

Program Enhancement

New/Emerging Programs

Global Energy

Infrastructure & Transportation

Food Systems & Food Security in Latin America

  • Commodity & Financial Policy

  • Environment & Climate

  • Food Safety & Health Economics

Final thoughts
Final Thoughts

  • Capture the Synergies

  • Achieve Excellence through Scholarship

  • Focus on the Mission

  • National Prominence!

Recommendations of external review team
Recommendations of External Review Team

  • Need a Common Vision & Mission to Set Priorities & Allocate Resources

  • Align Budget Requests with Priorities

  • Consider Resources Relative to Academic Demands

  • Target Advanced Assistant &Associate Profs for New Hires in Teaching Program