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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

Agricultural Economics at TAMU: Shared Vision and Administrative Philosophy

Mark Waller

Prof. and Assoc. Dept. Head - Extension

May 24, 2012


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Outline Administrative Philosophy

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

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)



Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

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)


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Vision and Recent Reviews Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Vision and Recent Reviews Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Vision and Recent Reviews Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Vision and Administrative Philosophy Agricultural Economics

  • 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)


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Vision and Administrative Philosophy Agricultural Economics

  • 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.


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Vision and Administrative Philosophy Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Vision and Administrative Philosophy Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Funding and Our Future Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Funding and Our Future Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

Funding and Our Future Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

My Qualifications Agricultural Economics

  • 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


Agricultural economics at tamu shared vision and administrative philosophy mark waller

My Qualifications Agricultural Economics

  • 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