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MSU selects new ag dean

Fred Poston, Michigan State University’s (MSU) vice president for finance and operations, was recently named dean of the university’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and special adviser to the president. The appointment will be effective Jan. 1.

According to an MSU press release, Poston will succeed Douglas Buhler, who has served as interim dean since January 2011. Poston will return to the college where he served as dean for eight years (1991-98).

“We are very grateful that Dr. Poston has agreed to return to the college where he began his MSU career,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “He brings to the position his knowledge of our land-grant mission, a strong awareness of the needs of Michigan’s agriculture community, and, of course, familiarity with the college.

“I’d also like to thank Interim Dean Doug Buhler, who guided the college with a sure and steady hand through challenging times.”

Poston has been vice president for finance and operations since 1999. During that time, he managed the financial planning of the university, kept housing costs among the lowest of the Big 10, oversaw the building of a nationally acclaimed recycling center and facilitated a new university-wide human resources management program, according to MSU.

In his time as dean, Poston guided the Revitalization of Michigan Animal Agriculture project, created Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs) and developed the Partnership for Eco-System Research and Management with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to again work with Dr. Poston,” said Wayne Wood, president of Michigan Farm Bureau. “Under his previous tenure, we experienced completion of two of the most important projects impacting agriculture, the Animal Initiative and Project GREEEN. We look forward to that same vision and leadership as we tackle the challenges and opportunities facing our industry today.”

Selecting Poston was a great choice, said, James Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.

“I am thrilled about MSU’s appointment of Fred Poston,” he said. “He has a long history with Michigan agriculture and understands the importance of the industry to the state. He will restore the partnership between agribusiness and MSU and continue MSU’s long commitment to agriculture.”

Prior to coming to MSU, Poston was director of Washington State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and associate dean of agriculture and home economics. Before that, he was on the entomology faculty at Kansas Cooperative Extension Service.

A native of Florida, Poston received his bachelor’s degree from West Texas State University and his graduate degrees in entomology from Iowa State University.

Originally posted Monday, Oct. 29, 2012

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