KRVN Interview on May 16, 2015

Listen in on my recent interview with KRVN, highlighting the recent Food Factory of the Future Conference.

http://real.unl.edu/podcast/IANR_Radio/ianr051615.mp3

 

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KRVN Interview for May 9, 2015

Listen in on my recent interview with KRVN, highlighting UNL graduation festivities!

http://real.unl.edu/podcast/IANR_Radio/ianr050915.mp3

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KRVN Interview on May 2, 2015

Listen in on my recent interview with KRVN, discussing the groundbreaking ceremony for our new Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center at UNL.

http://real.unl.edu/podcast/IANR_Radio/ianr050215.mp3

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KRVN Interview for April 25, 2015

Listen in on my recent interview with KRVN, discussing our recent tour of Nebraska with the new NU President Hank Bounds -

http://real.unl.edu/podcast/IANR_Radio/ianr042515.mp3

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KRVN Interview for April 18, 2015

Listen in on my recent interview with KRVN, discussing the annual CASNR week festivities -

http://real.unl.edu/podcast/IANR_Radio/ianr041815.mp3

 

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Nebraska FFA Convention Recap

Listen in on my recent interview with KRVN, discussing the Nebraska State FFA Convention –  http://real.unl.edu/podcast/IANR_Radio/ianr041115.mp3

Also, check out the highlight video of the FFA members time on campus - https://youtu.be/J_ZYQ67Ms0o

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News of Interim Change of Appointment

By now, you will have likely seen the news from Chancellor Perlman regarding an upcoming interim change in my appointment and responsibilities.  I am extremely humbled by the opportunity to serve UNL as the interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, while continuing to serve as the NU vice president and IANR Vice Chancellor.

I wanted to assure all of you in our IANR family and community that I only accepted this charge from Harvey after a lot of thoughtful consideration.  I am confident in the talented leadership team we have in place across IANR, particularly with the steady and highly capable hand in daily operations of associate vice chancellor Ron Yoder and the collective IANR Leadership Council.  I know we will not miss a beat in continuing on the upward trajectory of the Institute.

It might also be helpful for you to know this is not the first time that such service in both roles has occurred, having been done so ably and effectively before under Irv Omtvedt in the 1990’s.  I am privileged to count Irv as a dear friend and mentor – and expect I will lean on his wisdom from that experience in the coming months.

It has been a wonderful experience with you since July 19, 2010 and the coming fiscal year, starting on July 1, will be even more exciting!  Thanks for all that you do every day.

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Leadership Transitions, Momentum, and Bright Futures

By now, most of you will have seen the statement by Chancellor Perlman indicating the fact that the coming academic year will be his last as our UNL leader. This news also comes at a time when we have recently said goodbye to University of Nebraska President J.B. Milliken and are about to welcome his successor President Hank Bounds. Sometimes the uncertainty associated with leadership transitions can be unsettling, in this case and at this time at the University of Nebraska, I feel exactly the opposite. The future is very bright, not the least of which is due to Harvey’s and JB’s impactful and enduring leadership.

It goes without saying, but I want you to know, that I have had the rare and precious opportunity of being able to work with both of these leaders in the unique role in which I have the privilege of serving where I report directly to both of them. What a phenomenal time that has been, one that has been unparalleled for me personally and professionally up to now, and likely to be so in the future.

I have no doubt that Chancellor Perlman will long be thought of as a truly transformative leader who really changed UNL in so many positive ways. Some of these have been referenced today in the press around his announcement this morning, and will likely be discussed a lot in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Positive risk taker, visionary, smart, savvy, astute, aspirational, intellectually talented, strategic, and gifted mentor are all terms that immediately come to mind for me in describing Harvey. He also has become my friend, so even though I have known this was coming for some time, seeing the words in print that define a transition in our professional relationship is still a bit surreal.

As Harvey said in his message to the campus this morning, UNL is indeed on a phenomenal trajectory as a major and world-leading public Land-Grant university. That in itself is exciting, but as I have described to you in IANR in the past year, we also are at an inflection point where that trajectory is only pointing up on all fronts. While the present is exciting and exhilarating, I am convinced that UNL’s best times lie ahead from the strong foundations that have successfully been laid.

It is going to be a wonderful adventure and opportunity this coming year working with Chancellor Perlman and incoming President Bounds. I am extremely bullish on the future of the University of Nebraska and especially UNL, and even more pleased to be here at this place, at this time than at any point since beginning this journey with you in July of 2010. As Harvey said so well this morning, only opportunity and bright futures lie ahead!  We owe much of that to Harvey Perlman.

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Honoring a Great American and a Great Nebraskan

Some of you will have recently seen news reports concerning the fund raising efforts to build a new Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at UNL (click for press release).  This Institute has been conceived in collaboration with Dr. Clayton Yeutter, former US Trade Ambassador, Secretary of Agriculture, Advisor to the President, and director of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  Clayton is a Nebraska native and UNL alumnus of the Department of Agricultural Economics and the College of Law. The earliest days of his career were spent here at UNL as a faculty member in agricultural economics.

Last September, we were very pleased to honor Clayton, as one of the four Nebraskans who have served as US Secretary of Agriculture, with the placement of a beautiful life-size bronze statue in the Legacy Plaza of our campus.  The statue has been temporarily located immediately east of the Dairy Store overlooking the Yeutter gardens, which are placed there in memory of Clayton’s late wife Jeanne.  When Legacy Mall landscaping renovations are completed as a part of the East Campus Student Commons project, the statue will be relocated immediately to the west of the current C.Y. Thompson building.

On March 17th, I was honored to participate in the launching of National Agriculture Day in Washington, DC, as a part of a panel discussion on innovation in food and agriculture sponsored by Agri-Pulse on Capitol Hill.  As a wonderful part of the celebration, we honored Clayton with the debut of a video highlighting his life of service to agriculture and global trade. More than 300 leaders from across the ag and food sector and colleagues from Clayton’s long career were present for the debut.

The video tribute to Dr. Yeutter, along with a fund raising version of the production can be seen at:

Yeutter Tribute:  https://youtu.be/hPY8a1p317c

Yeutter Institute Fund Raising:  https://youtu.be/WqtqshNWo-A

The video debut was also the kick-off of a fund raising effort to endow $5M in private funding to establish the Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance.  An additional $5M is currently under consideration by the Nebraska legislature in LB 496 graciously introduced by Sen. John Kuehn from Heartwell.  At the time of the March 17th announcement, we had already raised $3.1M, with a substantial lead gift of $2.5M in that total from Dr. Yeutter himself.

When the fund raising is completed, the endowment will support the establishment of three Presidential chairs at UNL – one each in the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Business Administration, and Law.  These three endowed professors will form the core of the Institute, with one of them serving as its director, along with additional faculty to be marshalled into the effort across the three colleges.  In addition to research and graduate education enabled by the Institute faculty focused in this area, a new undergraduate minor/certificate program is envisioned at the core of the Institute’s activities and outcomes.

This is a wonderful development for us at UNL and adds to the drive that we have underway for the raising of new Presidential and endowed chairs for IANR.  With the addition of the “ag” chair in the Yeutter Institute, we now have 12 such chairs – with our eventual goal to be 25.  All but three of these have been put into place since 2011!  This adds to the more than 40 endowed professorships held by members of the IANR faculty, and truly reflects the world-class nature of our efforts.

I am so pleased to see the Yeutter Institute for International Trade and Finance becoming a reality.  Never before has there been more need for students to understand and be prepared to be successful in the global trade arena.  I am deeply appreciative to Dr. Yeutter for his vision for this Institute, and as he says on the video he has great expectations for its success for many generations to come.  Once again, UNL is leading globally by providing such a unique opportunity – and in the process, honoring the legacy of one of the all-time great Nebraskans and UNL alumni.

Thank you, Clayton for your vision and your impact — and to all who have and will contribute to the endowment of the Yeutter Institute for International Trade and Finance.

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KRVN Interview for March 28, 2015

Listen in on my recent interview with KRVN, discussing the Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at UNL - http://real.unl.edu/podcast/IANR_Radio/ianr032815.mp3

 

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