Changes Coming to AgResearch Administration


In August, John Hodges, assistant director of UT AgResearch, announced his retirement after more than forty years of service to our university. He plans to step down next summer. The announcement comes just four months after Steve Oliver, assistant dean of UT AgResearch, declared his plans to retire at the end of December 2015.

Both men have been esteemed members of the AgResearch team, and their leadership will be greatly missed by faculty and staff. Oliver served as professor in the UT Department of Animal Science for twenty-six years, establishing an internationally recognized research program on milk quality and dairy food safety. For the past five years he has served as assistant dean. In this role, he has developed multidisciplinary faculty teams and promoted AgResearch relationships with commodity groups, agencies, and professional organizations.

Hodges began his UTIA career in 1970 as a student worker at the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center. In 1975 he became director of the Center. During his thirty-four-year tenure, he led the Center through multiple expansions and a diversification of research programs. Since 2009 he has served as assistant director, managing facility and construction projects at the AgResearch and Education Centers as well as assisting with field days, special events, and employee training programs.

A search committee has been formed, and the Associate Dean for AgReserach position has been posted. Committee members will begin screening applicants on October 15.

The Assistant Director position will be adjusted slightly to include the commodity programs and the work plan system.

Please join me in wishing both Dr. Oliver and Dr. Hodges well as they begin new chapters in their lives.