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Purdue Extension Director Search Narrows to Four


The search for the next director of the Purdue Extension service is a marathon each time such a search is conducted, but the most recent search is moving into a final four phase. Purdue Dean of Agriculture Jay Akridge says four outstanding candidates have been identified and will be coming to the West Lafayette campus starting next week. He hopes one of them is the right person to lead Purdue Extension.

Purdue’s Jim Mintert is one of the four.

“He’s been program leader for ag and natural resources and has been serving as our interim director since Chuck Hibberd left us for Nebraska,” Akridge told HAT. “Ben West is a district extension director for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a guy that’s got a really deep extension background. Ray McKinnie leads extension for North Carolina A&T University and is again a veteran and someone known nationally for extension leadership. Jason Henderson who is with the Kansas City Federal Reserve is also one of our candidates and many will know Jason through his many presentations on rural development, rural economy and agriculture issues. He’s a very frequent speaker around the country.”

With strong statewide support of extension through the years, the search committee comprised of members from across the college has some very specific candidate criteria.

“Clearly we want someone with vision on where we can take extension in this state. We feel very strongly that Indiana supports extension, county level, state level, our state legislature and so there’s a lot to build on there and we wanted someone that could take a look at the momentum we have but see something bigger and better long term. We want somebody that understands the idea of helping bring science based information and putting it in the hands of the people of the state; somebody that helps us understand how to measure impact; somebody that knows how to build a diverse, inclusive and high impact organization. So we’re asking a lot but I think we’ve got four candidates that we want to take a close look at.”

The four interviews are expected to span the next two to three weeks. After that Akridge says the search committee will re-convene, “and then they’ll make a recommendation to me and we’ll go from there in terms of if we have our candidate or not and hopefully start a negotiation process. Ideally we would have somebody in place by July 1, August 1, sometime in that time frame.”

And that would be just in time for the start of the Indiana State Fair. Portions of the upcoming process will be open to the public and that information will be published when it becomes available.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/02/Jay-Akridge-extension-update.mp3|titles=Jay Akridge extension update]

Here’s the full interview with the Dean:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/02/Jay-Akridge-full.mp3|titles=Jay Akridge full]