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Agricultural News

Oklahoma State Ends Search for Ag Dean with Selection of Dr. Thomas Coon from Michigan State

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:49:59 CDT

Oklahoma State Ends Search for Ag Dean with Selection of Dr. Thomas Coon from Michigan State Pending approval by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents later this week, Oklahoma State University today named Dr. Thomas Coon as Vice President, Dean and Director of the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR). Coon was selected after a lengthy national search.

Dr. Coon will replace Dr. Robert Whitson, who retired in July 2012, after he served for seven years as Vice President and Dean for the Division of Agricultute at OSU. Click here for the Oklahoma Farm Report story of Whitson's accomplishments as he exited the position two years ago.

The first search process following Whitson ended in failure- and it was the reorganized search that eventually pointed to Dr. Coon. Coon was selected over Dr. Paul Patterson of Auburn University after both candidates made public appearances on the University campus earlier this month. Click here to review Dr. Coon's Vitae (resume) which shows he has been a long time Michigan State staffer, having started in Lansing in 1989 as an assistant professor in the Fisheries and Wildlife department at that University.

You can also take a look at his Linked In profile, click here for that.

"Thomas Coon brings a 25-year track record of leadership in higher education and expertise in agriculture and natural resources, specifically in the areas of water ecology and management that are becoming increasingly important issues across the state, nation and world," said OSU President Burns Hargis. "We are pleased to have Dr. Coon join the OSU team."

Coon is currently Director of Extension and professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. During his time at Michigan State, Coon has directed more than 600 staff and faculty on the campus and in Michigan's 83 counties, overseeing a budget of more than $70 million.

Coon's selection must be approved by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, which holds its regularly scheduled meeting at Connors State College in Muskogee on Friday.

Mike Woods, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, has served as interim VP, Dean and Director of DASNR since July of 2012. "I want to thank Mike for serving as interim leader and continuing the division's high level of excellence in outreach, instruction and research."

Coon earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Biology from Luther College in 1976, and received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California-Davis. Coon is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

In addition, he has served on the board of trustees for the National 4-H Council and the Michigan 4-H Foundation and in 2013 he received the Gary L. Davis award for leadership in 4-H.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Coon served as Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and as Associate Department Chairperson and Acting Chairperson in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU.

The vice president, dean and director of DASNR has the ultimate responsibility for all activities related to the three functions of the division: academic programs, research and extension.



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