FYI 03-22-2017

A Message from the Associate Dean

Dr. Shelly Nickols-Richardson, head of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN), was the guest speaker at the Leadership team meeting this month. Dr. Nickols-Richardson reviewed collaboration with Extension and discussed opportunities for future work, especially related to food safety. More details about FSHN are available at .

On March 15, I accompanied Dean Kidwell on a trip to Chicago and our Cook County unit. We visited several community gardens and met with the STEM education team and the Community Health team. The Dean plans additional field visits in the coming months. These are excellent opportunities for her to become more familiar with Extension’s diversity, scope, and impact and for field staff and stakeholders to engage directly with the Dean.

We are working with the University of Illinois Center for Training and Professional Development to conduct an organizational culture survey. An email link to the survey was sent to all employee this week. Your participation in the survey will help Extension improve as an organization.

George F. Czapar, Associate Dean and Director
Office of Extension and Outreach

News & Announcements

Effective February 28, James Hazzard is Technology Services Manager and Paul Thornhill is Web Application Development Manager. James and Paul provide leadership to the IT and web teams. Together with our marketing team and Digital Marketing Manager Philip Miller, these three teams continue to operate as an integrated unit. Please submit requests for marketing, web, and IT projects and assistance through the online request portal, . Over the last five years, we have installed over twenty-five Infocus MondoPads in our offices to make it easier to present and participate in video conferences. We have improved that project with a solution we are affectionately calling the “Faux MondoPad”. The Faux MondoPad is purchased as discrete parts and assembled by the IT support team for less than half the cost of a standard Mondo, and three times the warranty life. If you would like to learn more about getting a Faux MondoPad for your office, submit your request via or email

Celebrating the history and the future of interdisciplinary research at Illinois

In celebration of the University’s Sesquicentennial, the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research are now accepting proposals to fund 4-6 research symposia that tackle big-picture topics with clear societal impact and that showcase the university’s research strengths. The symposia, the culminating research events of the Sesquicentennial Celebration, will occur simultaneously, April 10-12, 2018.

Topics should appeal to researchers in a number of disciplines and proposed presentations should invite the exploration of new or innovative approaches to pressing societal issues. Funding of up to $20,000 per symposium is available. Funding for this program is made possible through the generous support of the David Dodds Henry Lectureship Fund.

Applications are due April 28, 2017.

Learn more and apply at:

Questions: Email the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at: to discuss possible proposals or to ask questions about the program.

Below is the March 17 email message from Dean Kidwell regarding Dr. Steve Loerch, Head of the Department of Animal Sciences.

Dear ACES Community,

I am deeply saddened to inform you that Dr. Steve Loerch, Head of the Department of Animal Sciences, has accepted a position as the Senior Associate Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. In the short time I have been here, I have come to deeply respect and admire Dr. Loerch for his ability to be an empowering leader, for his connection and dedication to students, and for his unwavering support of his faculty, the department and the College. Steve is an impressive person, whose passion and enthusiasm are contagious. He has made a tremendous impact at University of Illinois during his tenure as department head, and I am extremely grateful to Steve for all he has done to create excellence here. As a native of Pennsylvania, Steve is returning to his alma mater and his family, opportunities that I too know are impossible to refuse. Please join me in congratulating Steve. He has earned this opportunity, and will undoubtedly transform lives at Penn State much like he has done here. He will forever be a member of the ACES family no matter where he goes from here.

Steve, a man with pristine integrity, chose to stay at Illinois for the next few months so that he can complete several important projects. He will continue to serve as head until August. I am grateful to Steve for his thoughtful consideration of making the needs of the department a high priority as he plans to transition to his new role.

An action plan will soon be created to launch a national search for the next head of the Department of Animal Sciences. Further details are forthcoming.

Below is a March 16 email message from Dean Kidwell regarding a leadership transition in the ACES Office of Advancement.

Dear Colleagues,

I want to make you aware of a leadership transition in the Office of Advancement for the College of ACES. As of today, Associate Dean of Development Chad Vogel has left ACES to join the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement (OVCIA). I want to acknowledge Chad’s service to the College and to thank him for helping us prepare for a successful campaign.

Effective today, Kimberly Meenen will assume the role of Advancement team lead for the College of ACES. As a two-time Illinois alumna and a long-standing member of our Advancement team, Kimberly brings the experience and expertise needed to successfully lead us through this transition. Kimberly is well respected by staff, faculty, donors and alumni, and she has outstanding experience as a senior director of development. Kimberly also recently completed the Leading Forward Fellows Program, which is a yearlong leadership academy for campus advancement professionals sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement. She is well positioned to make tremendous contributions in this interim role.

We are very fortunate to have a group of dedicated, enthusiastic and talented individuals on our Advancement team. I am grateful to these people for the tireless efforts they make to advocate for the College. We also have tremendously loyal donors and alumni who are eager to partner with us to create a brilliant future for the College. We are making excellent progress in the advancement arena; I look forward to working closely with Kimberly and the Advancement team to keep our momentum moving forward.

As you are aware this is a critical position for the College, and I want to assure you that we will move forward with conducting a national search to hire the best possible candidate to serve as the next leader of advancement efforts before the campaign launches in the fall.

Advancement is a community effort and I ask you to please do your best to support and encourage Kimberly and the Advancement team during this transition.

Thank you for your consideration,

Current Openings in Extension

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A1700134 Evaluation Data Analyst April 6, 2017
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