NCTA announces national dean search

NCTA announces national dean search

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis has launched a national search for a new dean. (Photo by Craig Chandler/University Communication)
The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis has launched a national search for a new dean. (Photo by Craig Chandler/University Communication)

For release Dec. 9, 2019

By NCTA News

CURTIS, Neb. – The University of Nebraska has launched a national search for the next Dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

“The university is seeking an innovative, dynamic, and entrepreneurial individual in technical agriculture and higher education who will provide intellectual and strategic leadership for the college in Curtis,” said Michael Boehm, vice president of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska.

Monday, Boehm announced a 12-member search committee. Screening begins January 17, 2020.

The NCTA vacancy follows the retirement of former dean Ron Rosati in early August. Rosati had served as dean from June 2013, and left NCTA to be a senior consultant at the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture, a new technical agriculture college near Kigali, Rwanda.

Kelly Bruns, director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s West Central Research and Extension Center located in North Platte and NCTA interim dean, is on the search committee.

“I greatly appreciate the leadership of Dr. Bruns these past five months in carrying double duty for us, and know he will be a terrific recruiter to help our national search move forward,” Boehm said.

“NCTA is a unique and vital component in developing Nebraska’s technical agriculture workforce. We value the faculty and staff who daily lead NCTA’s statewide mission of agriculture, veterinary technology and related fields of study within the University of Nebraska.”

Currently, NCTA has 20 faculty, 40 staff, 240 college students plus 92 from high schools in dual credit. A 550-acre teaching farm with commercial crops and production livestock creates a hub for hands-on, experiential courses for NCTA students as well as Nebraska Extension, 4-H and FFA, and other partners.

Nationally ranked

NCTA’s Veterinary Technology System, one of the first two in the U.S. to be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association in the early 1970s, has been named a Top 10 Large Animal Vet Tech program. The complex houses hundreds of animals, including exotic species, in its teaching program.

In recent years, NCTA has been nationally ranked as one of the best two-year colleges in the U.S. for agricultural sciences, affordability and graduate success gauged by workforce earnings. Forbes Business Magazine placed it among the top 30 trade schools in the nation.

The NCTA Dean Search Committee is headed by Tiffany Heng-Moss, Ph.D., dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at UNL.

“I worked closely with Dean Rosati and now Interim Dean Bruns at NCTA. The two colleges are leaders for educational delivery to all of Nebraska agriculture,” said Heng-Moss. The NCTA dean will also be an associate dean at CASNR.

The two deans serve with administrators at UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nebraska Extension, Ag Research Division, and the College of Education and Human Sciences, all based in Lincoln. The NCTA dean reports directly to University Vice President Boehm.

Finalists will be named in February with campus-based interviews in March. Boehm intends to bring a new dean on board by July 1.  The university provides housing for the dean on the NCTA campus.

The NCTA Dean Search Committee includes agriculture, alumni, academic, animal health, and community representatives along with NCTA faculty, staff and students.

Search Committee

Chair: Tiffany Heng-Moss, Ph.D., dean of UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Kelly Bruns, Ph.D., NCTA interim dean/director of West Central Research and Extension Center

Ann Bruntz, Friend, Neb., UNSTA Vet Tech alumna, former producer, Ag Builders of Nebraska

Jaden Carlson, graduate student, UNL School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Becky Currie, NCTA staff custodial/security supervisor

Loren Giesler, Ph.D., UNL department head of plant pathology

Joanna Hergenreder, NCTA interim division chair/associate professor of equine science

Rev. Tunde Oladimeji, Ph.D., Curtis United Methodist Church

Brad Ramsdale, Ph.D., NCTA division chair/associate professor of agronomy

Jeremy Sievers, NCTA associate professor of agribusiness management

Steve Stettner, Palmer, Neb., NCTA alumnus and agricultural producer

Nicole Wright, NCTA Vet Tech student

A unique institution

NCTA is one of few remaining colleges in the U.S. with roots in secondary education. It opened in 1913 as a regional, residential high school created by state legislation to serve sparsely-populated rural counties and communities without schools beyond the 8th grade.

The first college graduates from the University of Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture were awarded associate degrees in 1969.

Since then, the sole focus has been technical education in agriculture and veterinary technology. It follows the academic year of the other four campuses of the University of Nebraska. A summer session is primarily for veterinary technology students.

Three residence halls provide housing year-round, including summer camps and visiting groups. The campus attracts specialty youth camps, clinics, extension seminars and public programs throughout the year. The Aggie Alumni Association will host its reunion and annual meeting at NCTA on June 27, 2020.

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