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MSU CANR: honoring land grant pillars, embedded in communities throughout Michigan

Lou Anna K. Simon, Ronald Hendrick, Mark Hollis

“There’s an authenticity about MSU that I haven’t felt other places I’ve been,” Ron Hendrick tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.  Hendrick is an alumnus and has returned to his alma mater to be dean of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“Clearly the campus has undergone a lot of transformations, but it’s good to see the core values that make the place so special the same.”

Hendrick says today’s CANR is very diverse, containing both microbiologists and interior designers in the same college.

“It’s that great diversity that, in part, attracted me back here.”

He says that a challenge for “colleges like ours” involves overcoming the narrow view many people have of what agriculture and natural resources mean.  “There’s definitely education that needs to occur about all that we do and all that we are.”

The dean says the college places about 95 percent of its graduates into jobs upon graduation.  And he says that agriculture “is a very high-tech” industry.

Hendrick says that “curriculum review is an ongoing process in the college.  We work very closely with stakeholders to make sure that we are teaching things that are going to be of importance and fundamental value to our students and the industry in the state.”

He says he feels fortunate to be in a college that honors all three pillars of the land grant ethos – the teaching, the research and the outreach through Extension.  “We’re not just in the rural areas.  We are deeply embedded in all the communities around the state.”

MSU Today airs Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on AM 870.

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