New Year will Bring Change in Ag Dean

Friday, December 7 2012


MOSCOW, Idaho – John Hammel will close out his time as the dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences this month after nine years in the position to pursue full-time teaching and research opportunities.

“I have greatly appreciated the time that I have served as dean – in spite of some challenging times, we have seen advances with our partners around the state. I look forward to returning to my teaching and research roots within the department of plant, soil and entomological sciences. Specifically as a soil scientist, I am excited about resuming efforts in the area of crop and tillage systems.”

Hammel joined the University of Idaho in November 1982 as a professor of soil physics after serving on the faculty at the University of Georgia in Athens. In April 1998, he had served as associate dean and director of academic programs and was appointed dean in January 2004.

“I’m grateful for John’s commitment to the state of Idaho,” said M. Duane Nellis, University of Idaho president. “As a 21st century land-grant university, John’s support of education, research and extension efforts have reached thousands of Idahoans each year and contributed in important ways to our state’s agricultural economy.”

Rick Waitley, executive director of Food Producers of Idaho, said, “John Hammel stepped up to provide excellent leadership to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences during a difficult time. He was an effective advocate for the University of Idaho and for Idaho agriculture. He successfully found ways to create and build partnerships that benefitted both…John is happiest whenever he has a chance to interact with and help students as a faculty adviser and researcher. I want to thank John for his service and look forward to working with him as a productive member of the faculty and continuing leader in Idaho’s agricultural community.”

An internal search will begin immediately for an interim dean while a national search for a new dean can be completed this spring.

Agriculture now ranks as Idaho’s largest single industry and provides a solid foundation for the state’s economy. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences continues to conduct research, teach students and extend science-based knowledge to benefit people in Idaho, the United States and the world.

As part of the college, the University of Idaho Extension serves the state with offices in 42 counties. The Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station operates research and extension centers and farms across the state. University of Idaho Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program draws together 38,000 youth and 4,000 volunteers annually throughout Idaho’s communities.

The University of Idaho’s College of Agriculture was created in 1901 to recognize the importance of agricultural research to Idaho. The college’s name was changed to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in 2001 as part of its centennial celebration to recognize that its mission and its programs had expanded.
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