Wednesday, September 17, 2014
   
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New ag research dean combines industry, academic perspectives

LINCOLN—A geneticist with significant experience in both academia and private industry has been named dean of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Agricultural Research Division and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Archie C. Clutter’s broad experience will be key in helping ARD build on its current successes and strengths during an era marked by both daunting challenges and exciting opportunities, said Ronnie D. Green, University of Nebraska vice president and Harlan vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL.

Green cited the development of UNL’s Innovation Campus, establishment of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute, growing programs in the life sciences, and IANR’s Innovating Agriculture and Natural Resources to 2025 initiative as tremendous opportunities for ARD.

“However, in the current economic climate, it is critical that we be creative in securing funding for agricultural research essential to Nebraska and the nation. Dr. Clutter clearly brings the right combination of skills and experience to lead ARD,” Green said.

“Dr. Clutter has been a distinguished faculty member at Oklahoma State University, a seasoned administrator in research and development in industry and he has a strong appreciation for the full spectrum of research in agriculture and the life sciences, natural resources and the human sciences,” Green said.

“Such experience is highly important in this era in which strategic partnerships are increasingly important to build our research capacity as well as for enhanced and more efficient technology transfer to allow us to effectively deliver on our mission and meet our goals,” Green added.

Clutter currently is vice president for research and development at Newsham Choice Genetics, where he manages a team of 10 research staff and an annual budget of $3 million. He also was a professor of animal science at Oklahoma State University from 1987-2000 and held several research and development positions in Monsanto from 2000-07.

“What really drove me to consider a possible move to academia is the tremendous challenges that we face in agriculture to feed a growing world population and to do that with limited and precious natural resources,” Clutter said.

Clutter said UNL is uniquely positioned to address these challenges, with the state’s natural resources, a longstanding reputation as an international leader in agricultural research, its strength in the human sciences and “a strong connection between the people and agriculture, which is increasingly rare these days.”

“The university already has begun to build a great deal of momentum around these challenges and opportunities,” Clutter added.

He said ARD is particularly well suited because of its statewide research and extension centers.

Clutter added that he plans to bring to his new position some facets of how research is conducted in an industry setting.

“I’m anxious to see how in a practical way I can help us look at implementing some of those best practices from industry into academia,” he said.

Clutter, an Iowa native, received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University and his master’s and doctorate in animal science from UNL.

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