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Finalists selected for dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences

Four finalists for the dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences will visit the South Dakota State University campus in the coming weeks.
 
Each candidate will spend two days, one in Brookings and one combined day in Rapid City and Pierre, meeting with university leadership, deans, researchers, faculty, students and staff. There will be open forums for each individual to engage with other key stakeholders and community and university members.

The four candidates are:
 
John Killefer, Ph.D.
Professor and Head, Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences
Oregon State University

John Killefer
John Killefer

Killefer currently serves as a professor and head of the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences at Oregon State, a position he has held since 2012. During that time, he successfully merged the departments of animal sciences and rangeland, ecology and management to form the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences. Killefer has also successfully completed construction on three facilities to support teaching and research for his department.

Killefer came to OSU in 2011 after nearly 10 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was an associate professor and later professor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at Hastings College in Nebraska. He earned his Ph.D. in animal science with an emphasis in growth and development at Oregon State.

Killefer will be on the Brookings campus Nov. 16, followed by a trip to Pierre and Rapid City Nov. 17. His open forum will be Nov. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the University Student Union's Lewis & Clark Room.

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Greg Lardy, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Vice President of Agricultural Affairs
Head of Department of Animal Science
North Dakota State University

Greg Lardy
Greg Lardy

Since 2009, Lardy has served as a professor and department head in the Department of Animal Sciences at North Dakota State University, where he is responsible for overseeing 25 faculty and 45 support staff. Previously, he served at the state beef cattle specialist for NDSU from 1997-2009, a position that was 40 percent extension related.

Lardy’s research background includes nearly 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts involving cow-calf nutrition, beef cattle management, use of alternative feedstuffs in beef cattle diets and forage supplementation. He has spoken to more than 20,000 livestock producers, veterinarians and industry experts, nationally and internationally.

Lardy earned his Ph.D. in animal science, ruminant nutrition from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Science degree in animal and range sciences, ruminant nutrition from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He was awarded a bachelor’s degree from NDSU.

Lardy will be on the Brookings campus Nov. 15 and Pierre and Rapid City Nov. 16. His open forum will be Nov. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the University Student Union's Lewis & Clark Room.

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Barbara Rasco, Ph.D.
Professor and Director, School of Food Science
Washington State University

Barbara Rasco
Barbara Rasco

Rasco began her tenure at Washington State University in 1998 as a professor in the School of Food Science before becoming interim director in 2013 and the director in 2014. The school includes 20 faculty members and is jointly administered by the Washington State College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resources Sciences and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in food science.

Prior to joining the ranks at WSU, Rasco served as an assistant and associate professor for the Institute for Food Science and Technology and the College of Ocean and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Washington. She also worked for Cargill Inc., in Memphis and the Cargill Research Department in Minneapolis. Rasco also conducted food safety training programs in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and North Africa from 1995-2007.

She earned a juris doctorate degree from Seattle University and the University of Puget Sound, a Ph.D. in food science and nutrition from the University of Massachusetts and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Rasco will be on the Brookings campus Nov. 8 and in Pierre and Rapid City Nov. 9. Her open forum will be Nov. 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the University Student Union's Lewis & Clark Room.

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Michael Schmitt
Professor and Associate Dean for Extension
University of Minnesota

Michael Schmitt
Michael Schmitt

Schmitt has served as associate dean for extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at Minnesota most recently since 2012. He also held the position from 2000-06. He is responsible for leading and managing the agricultural and natural resource extension efforts of 70 extension specialists in the college and nearly 80 extension educators throughout Minnesota.

Schmitt has also served as the college’s interim associate dean for research and the interim deputy director for the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station from 2013-14. He was the senior associate dean for extension and the associate director for the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station from 2007-11. In 2006, Schmitt served as the college’s director of financial affairs during an administrative restructuring that involved a $140 million budget.

Schmitt earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree in soil fertility from the Department of Agronomy at the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and soil science from Minnesota.

Schmitt will be on the Brookings campus Nov. 7 and in Pierre and Rapid City Nov. 8. His open forum will be Nov. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the University Student Union's Lewis & Clark Room.

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Additional information for each candidate and the open forum livestream links can be found at https://www.sdstate.edu/agriculture-biological-sciences/abs-dean-search