KNOXVILLE – Finalists in the search for the next chancellor to lead the statewide University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have been named, and they include one longtime UT administrator and two career higher education leaders. Interviews begin Nov. 30.
The finalists will visit Knoxville, Columbia and Jackson for meetings with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. Open forums will be part of the interview process, and links to the schedules are available on the search website. The forums held in Knoxville will be webcast live.
“The Institute of Agriculture holds a very special place in my heart,” UT President Joe DiPietro said. “I was honored to serve as chancellor for four years before being elected president of the statewide University system, and I’m honored to work with the committee to select the best candidate to guide the institute in its service to the state and people of Tennessee.”
The finalists are:
Interim chancellor of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture since September. His almost 23-year career at the institute includes serving as dean of UT Extension from 2008 to 2016 and assistant dean from 2001 to 2006. He also served as professor of agricultural economics for three years and associate professor for four years prior. Before coming to UT in 1994, Cross spent 11 years at Oregon State University as assistant professor of agricultural and resources economics and as an instructor. He also served as an instructor in the department of agriculture at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Cross earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University and a doctoral degree in agricultural and resources economics from Oregon State University.
Dean of the College of Agriculture at Cal Poly Pomona in Los Angeles, California, since 2014. Previously, she served as vice president for economic development at the University of Connecticut. Her career in higher education also includes 25 years at Iowa State University, where among other positions, she served as associate vice president of extension and outreach. Prior to beginning her career in higher education, she spent about eight years with the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Holz-Clause earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business, a master’s degree in public administration and a doctoral degree in agriculture education and extension—all from Iowa State University.
Executive associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University since 2009. Previously, he served as dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University for three years. Sams also served Texas A&M as professor and head of the poultry science department from 1999 to 2006 and as interim head of the nutrition and food science department in 2005. Previously, he was associate and assistant professor of poultry science and food science at Texas A&M from 1987 to 1999. Sams was a graduate research assistant for four years at the University of Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in poultry science and food and resource economics. He earned a master’s degree in poultry science and a doctoral degree in food science and human nutrition—also from the University of Florida.
The successful candidate will serve as a member of the UT System leadership team, reporting directly to the University president, and as the chief academic and administrative officer of the Institute of Agriculture, which consists of UT Extension, AgResearch, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
To learn more about the search, read more about the finalists and download their photos, visit tennessee.edu/execsearch/utia-chancellor/.