Titles change for top WSU ag officials in bid to increase efficiency
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2012 11:30 AM
By MATTHEW WEAVER
Two top Washington State University agriculture administrators are getting new titles.
Dan Bernardo, dean of WSU's College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences CAHNRS, has been named vice president for agriculture and extension.
Bernardo will remain the dean of CAHNRS and continue to oversee WSU Extension.
Bernardo said there's no change in responsibilities. He believes WSU President Elson Floyd made the change to recognize the expanded role Bernardo took on 21/2 years ago when he assumed leadership of the extension program.
Bernardo said the new title gives him increased visibility when working with external audiences, which could help fundraising.
As dean, Bernardo reported to the university provost, but as a vice president, he will report to Floyd and attend executive cabinet meetings.
"It could be helpful in terms of making sure agriculture and extension issues are addressed and receive the proper attention they should at the executive level of the university," Bernardo said.
WSU Agricultural Research Center director Ralph Cavalieri, also the associate dean of CAHNRS, will take on a new job as the associate vice president for alternative energy.
Bernardo said Cavalieri will coordinate WSU's bioenergy activities.
"Those have become so expansive and reach across several campuses and colleges within WSU," he said. "The president just felt there needed to be somebody organizing and could speak to the entire biofuels effort."
Cavalieri will remain as research center director until a replacement is named. Bernardo said a search will begin shortly, with a goal of interviewing candidates in the fall and making a hire after Jan. 1.
The hope is for farmers not to notice much change, he said.
"We feel we've made a lot of strides to improve research, extension and serving the farmer on the ground," Bernardo said. "Our goal is to continue to make improvements regardless of who has what title and what function."