Executive vice chancellor, IANR vice chancellor finalists named

Executive vice chancellor, IANR vice chancellor finalists named

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced two sets of finalists for two senior vice-chancellor positions, each of whom will make campus visits and meet with the university community in the next several weeks.

Michael Boehm, William Brown, Gary Thompson and Ron Yoder are finalists for the position of Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and University of Nebraska Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Sheryl Tucker, Elizabeth Spiller, Mark Sheridan and Cheryl Achterberg are finalists for the executive vice chancellor position, formerly known as the senior vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Both of the positions were opened when Ronnie Green became the university’s 20th chancellor earlier this year. He had previously held both titles.

Biographies of each finalist, as well as their public visit schedules, follow.

IANR vice chancellor/NU vice president finalists

Michael Boehm, professor of plant pathology and vice provost for academic and strategic planning at the Ohio State University; live-streamed state and campus town hall, 3 p.m. Sept. 26 in 107 Hardin Hall, faculty forum 2:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in Room 113, McCollum Hall. Boehm has been responsible for strategic planning for Ohio State’s six campuses; K-12 and community college partnerships; the University Libraries System, College of Public Affairs and Office of Institutional Research and Planning; dean reappointment reviews and academic unit reviews; integrated capital planning; and classroom readiness. He oversees Ohio State’s Discovery Themes initiative, a 10-year program to produce solutions to the challenges of the 21st century, and he is co-lead for the Humanities and the Arts Discovery Theme.

Boehm was previously chair of Ohio State’s Department of Plant Pathology. He is an authority on the integrated management of turf grass diseases and focuses on the biology, ecology and management of fungal diseases of turf grass. He also works on the integrated management of Fusarium head blight of wheat with a focus on the development of biological control strategies for this economically important and challenging disease. The author of 38 peer-reviewed articles and edited book chapters and nearly 100 abstracts, reviews and proceedings papers treating these issues, Boehm holds five U.S. and 15 international patents related to his work on the biocontrol of Fusarium head blight. He has secured about $2.5 million in external funding.

William F. “Bill” Brown, dean for research and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at the Institute of Agriculture at the University of Tennessee; live-streamed state and campus town hall, 3 p.m. Sept. 28 in the East Union Arbor Suite; faculty forum, 2:30 p.m. Sept. 29, Great Plains Room, East Union. Brown oversees research activities and coordinates with academic programs and extension across seven academic departments. He is a national leader with the Experiment Station Committee on Policy. Before his 2008 appointment as dean, Brown was assistant dean for research and assistant director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. In that role he coordinated interactions with commodity groups and their support programs, facilitated the development of faculty-driven multidisciplinary centers and served as a liaison between the institute and university-level sponsored programs and technology transfer offices.

Brown’s training is in animal science with a focus in ruminant nutrition. He earned his doctorate from Nebraska. In his faculty role, his research program focused on forage quality, energy and protein supplementation, grazing systems and heifer development primarily for beef cattle but also including dairy cattle. He has published widely in refereed and clientele/public venues and is active in professional society editorship responsibilities with several academic journals.

Ron Yoder, interim vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Nebraska; live-streamed state and campus town hall, 3 p.m. Oct. 3 in the East Union Great Plains Room; faculty forum, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 4 in Room 113 of McCollum Hall. From 2011-2016, Yoder was associate vice chancellor of IANR, serving as the chief operating officer with oversight of its three mission areas and responsibility for day-to-day operations. Previously he led the Biological Systems Engineering Department at Nebraska and the Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Department at the University of Tennessee.

Yoder has been president of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and is a fellow of that society and of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Alpha Epsilon, Gamma Sigma Delta and Sigma Xi. His research and educational interests have been in agricultural water management, measurement and estimation of evapotranspiration, water and solute movement in the vadose zone and land use impacts on water quality. He has held positions at the University of Wyoming, the USDA ARS in Colorado and in Washington state, and at Tennessee. Yoder is a licensed professional engineer in Nebraska and Wyoming.

Gary Thompson, associate dean for Research and Graduate Education and director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station at Pennsylvania State University; live-streamed state and campus town hall, 3 p.m. Oct. 6, East Union Great Plains Room; faculty forum, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 7, East Union Great Plains Room. Thompson works with students, faculty, staff, university administrators, alumni and stakeholders, and is involved in organizations that provide regional, national and international leadership for land-grant institutions.

A professor of plant science, Thompson's research focuses on the molecular biology of plant vascular systems and the genomics of plant responses to phloem-feeding insects. Thompson is a fellow in the APLU-sponsored Food Systems Leadership Institute.

Before joining Penn State, Thompson led the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University and was the program director for plant-biotic interactions in the Directorate for Biological Sciences at the National Science Foundation. He held consecutive summer appointments as visiting research professor in the Department of Plant Biology at University of Copenhagen, was an associate professor and professor with appointments at the Little Rock campus and with the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas, and was associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona. He received his bachelor from Nebraska in 1979.

For more information on the IANR vice chancellor search, click here. Information on how to access the live streams will be shared at a later date.

Executive vice chancellor finalists -- all sessions are in the Nebraska Union auditorium

Sheryl Tucker, associate provost and dean of the Oklahoma State University Graduate College; faculty forum 3 p.m. Oct. 3; live-streamed public presentation 1:30 p.m. Oct. 4. In 2014-15, Tucker was interim vice president for research and technology transfer at OSU. Before joining Oklahoma State, she was a program director for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program at the National Science Foundation. She started her career at the University of Missouri as a professor of chemistry and associate dean for academic affairs in the graduate school.

As a molecular spectroscopist with an interest in chemical separations, she has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts in journals, such as Science and Analytical Chemistry. She has earned funding from federal and foundation sources such as the National Science Foundation, NASA and Research Corp. Nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate students have been involved in her research program, leading to numerous advanced degrees.

Tucker has worked to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in science. The White House awarded her a presidential award for excellence in science, mathematics and engineering mentoring.

Elizabeth Spiller, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech; faculty forum 3 pm. Oct. 5; live-streamed public presentation 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6. Spiller oversees a dozen academic departments, a school of performing arts, a graduate school of education and three ROTC programs. program strengths across the arts, humanities, human and social sciences, and education. Spiller has focused on developing and expanding the college’s curricular offerings, including new majors and degree programs in criminology, multimedia journalism, national security, security governance and sports media and analytics. She has also been engaged in broadening diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Spiller was associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida State University. She worked with programs in the humanities and the mathematical sciences and provided administrative support for online learning, academic-side budget support and the core curriculum revision. She also was director of the History of Text Technologies Program and associate chair of the Department of English.

A Renaissance scholar with expertise in the history of science and in critical race studies, Spiller is the author of two books. She has also edited two collections and published articles and book chapters on early modern literature and culture. Spiller has held major fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation.

Mark Sheridan, vice provost for graduate and postdoctoral affairs and dean of the Graduate School at Texas Tech University; faculty forum 3 p.m. Oct. 10; live-streamed public presentation 1:30 p.m. Oct. 11. At Texas Tech, Sheridan provides leadership to the graduate school as well as supervision of interdisciplinary graduate programs and coordination of graduate and postdoctoral education with the research and other academic activities.

He also was associate dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies and director of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program at North Dakota State University. Sheridan was the director of North Dakota’s EPSCoR program.

Sheridan’s research is in comparative physiology/endocrinology and has been funded by several agencies, including NSF and USDA. He has given about 40 invited/plenary lectures and has more than 135 referred publications. He also is editor, associate editor or editorial board member for four international journals.

Cheryl Achterberg, dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology at the Ohio State University; faculty forum 3 p.m. Oct. 12; live-streamed public presentation 1:30 p.m. Oct. 13. A leading scholar in nutrition education and behavior interventions, Achterberg has established a national reputation for building programs, advancing research and resolving challenging collegiate issues.

Achterberg has led major initiatives including restructuring, accreditation, revision of 1,300 courses to improve curriculum as Ohio State moved from quarters to semesters and the creation of nine new undergraduate degrees along with four new graduate degree programs. She was on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Scientific Advisory Committee and continues to be involved with national food policy decision-making. She is a Fellow of the Culinary Institute of America. Among her honors is the 2015 Helen Denning Ullrich Award of Career Excellence from the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior and the 1993 Mead Johnson Award for Research in Nutrition from the American Institute of Nutrition. She also presented the keynote lecture at the W.O. Atwater Centennial Celebration Symposium.

Before joining Ohio State, Achterberg was the inaugural dean of the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University and was founding dean of the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University.

For more information on the search for the executive vice chancellor, click here. Information on how to access the live streams will be shared at a later date.

Michael Boehm
William F. "Bill" Brown
Gary Thompson
Ron Yoder
Sheryl Tucker
Elizabeth Spiller
Mark Sheridan
Cheryl Achterberg