August 4, 2020
As many of you already know, Dr. JD McNutt began his retirement on July 31. We wish him well in this new chapter of his life and thank him for the decades he dedicated to our Extension profession, K-State Research and Extension, and to the people he served as an Extension professional in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas.
Dr. McNutt’s duties included serving as the Head of the Southeast Research and Extension Center. Professor Gayle Price will be serving as the Acting Head of the Southeast Research and Extension Center. She will also continue to serve as our Program Leader Coordinator for the Family and Consumer Sciences disciplines.
Dr. McNutt’s leadership duties also included serving as the K-State Research and Extension administrator for most of our Southeast local units. I have asked our Associate Director for Field Operations, Dr. Jim Lindquist, to be responsible for these duties, and he has agreed to provide leadership to our Southeastern local units.
Please note that Professor Price’s and Dr. Lindquist’s new duties are temporary.
At the end of August, Dr. Bob Gillen – who heads the Southwest Research and Extension Center and the researchers at the Agricultural Research Center at Hays, the Southwest Research Center at Tribune, and the research division of the Northwest Research and Extension Center at Colby – will also start his life’s retirement chapter. We wish him well in that endeavor and thank him for his dedicated service to K-State Research and Extension and the people of Kansas.
We are taking the opportunity of Dr. McNutt’s and Dr. Gillen’s retirements to implement a plan to provide more specialized leadership of our centers and local units. That plan includes:
1. Placing the administrative leadership responsibilities for the research and extension efforts of our centers and their respective research and extension faculty and staff into the hands of a Western Research and Extension Center Head and an Eastern Research and Extension Head.
a. The Western Research and Extension Head will lead the efforts of the research and extension faculty and staff teams at the Southwest Research and Extension Center, the Southwest Research Center, the Agricultural Research Center, and the Northwest Research and Extension Center.
b. The Eastern Research and Extension Head will lead the efforts of the research and extension faculty and staff teams at the Southeast Research and Extension Center and the Northeast Extension Center.
2. These two positions will be filled using a soon-to-be-announced and soon-to-be-initiated internal search. The search for both positions will be conducted by one committee under the leadership of KCARE Director Dr. Dan Devlin. If this search and screen cannot find a candidate to replace Dr. Gillen before his retirement date, an Acting Western Research and Extension Center Head will be assigned.
3. Upon filling the Western and Eastern Research and Extension Head positions, our K-State Research and Extension local unit administrative leadership responsibilities will be shifted to three Regional Directors of Local Units.
Dr. Chris Onstad will serve as the Eastern Region Director of Local Units and will cover Atchison County, Brown County, Cherokee County, Coffey County, Doniphan County, Douglas County, Frontier District, Greenwood County, Johnson County, Leavenworth County, Lyon County, Marais des Cygnes District, Marshall County, Meadowlark District, Pottawatomie County, Riley County, Rolling Prairie District, Shawnee County, Southwind District, Wabaunsee County, Wildcat District, and Wyandotte County.
Ms. Aliesa Woods will serve as the Central Region Director of Local Units and will cover Barber County, Butler County, Central Kansas District, Chisholm Trail District, Cottonwood District, Cowley County, Edwards County, Flint Hills District, Geary County, Harper County, Harvey County, Kingman County, McPherson County, Midway District, Phillips-Rooks District, Post Rock District, Pratt County, Reno County, Rice County, River Valley District, Sedgwick County, Stafford County and Sumner County.
Ms. Mary Sullivan will serve as the Western Region Director of Local Units and will cover Clark County, Comanche County, Ford County, Golden Prairie District, Grant County, Gray County, Greeley County, Hamilton County, Hodgeman County, Kearny County, Kiowa County, Meade County, Morton County, Pawnee County, Rawlins County, Stanton County, Sunflower District, Thomas County, Twin Creeks District, Walnut Creek District, West Plains District, Wichita County, and Wild West District.
4. Should one or two of the Regional Directors of Local Units named above be qualified for, apply to and become either the Western- or Eastern Research and Extension Center Head, a search and screen for any vacated Regional Local Unit Director position will be implemented. The new regional responsibilities and regional designations will not go into effect until all three Regional Directors of Local Units are in place.
5. Once the new Regional Directors of Local Units assignments and geographical regions have been implemented, Dr. Jim Lindquist’s duties as Associate Director for Field Operations will focus on local unit policy and procedures, providing leadership to our Regional Local Unit Directors, providing local unit coverage assistance when needed by the Regional Local Unit Directors, supporting our budget and districting efforts, and developing, supporting, and implementing other K-State Research and Extension initiatives.
We hope to have all of these changes implemented by the end of October, if not before. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.