Ag dean to resign
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:50 AM
Search announced for interim, permanent deans
By JOHN O'CONNELL
The dean of University of Idaho's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, John Hammel, plans to leave his position after this month to return to full-time teaching and research, UI announced Dec. 7.
Hammel has held the position for nine years and will remain at the university.
"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," Hammel said in a press release. "I look forward to returning to my teaching and research roots with the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences, specifically as a soil scientist."
Hammel said he plans to resume research into crop and tillage systems. He joined UI in November 1982 as a professor of soil physics and previously was on the faculty at the University of Georgia in Athens. He was named associate dean and director of academic programs at UI in 1998 and became dean in January 2004.
UI announced an internal search will begin immediately for an interim dean, and national search for a full-time replacement should be completed by the spring. UI has extension offices in 42 Idaho counties, as well as Idaho Agricultural Experiment Stations throughout the state.
Rick Waitley, executive director of Food Producers of Idaho, credited Hammel for building partnerships between the university and the state's agricultural industry.
Dick Rush, Idaho Farm Service Agency executive director, credited Hammel to implementing fiscal cuts to programs benefiting agriculture as painlessly as possible.
"His task has been too much cutting and slashing, and that's just not a fun thing to do, but that was just a reality of the economics in higher education," Rush said.
"I think he did it well and he worked hard to communicate with the agriculture industry and the legislature."
Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, wished Hammel luck in his return to teaching.
"The Idaho Potato Commission recognizes the many contributions Dean Hammel has made in behalf of Idaho's critical agricultural industries. It has been a personal pleasure to associate with John in facing many challenges in the potato industry," Muir said.