October 28, 2009

Lloyd Murdock, a longtime professor with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, was recently named the first director of the college's Research and Education Center in Princeton.

Murdock will devote approximately 50 percent of his time to this role and 50 percent to continuation of his extension work in soils. In the latter capacity, he remains a professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

The new director's role is the result of the elimination of the college's management operations department and the realignment of functions within that department. Administration of the Princeton facilities is now under the direction of Nancy Cox, director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and associate dean for research. Murdock will report directly to Cox.

"We are glad that Lloyd accepted this leadership position, as he understands the strong service role of UKREC and has a dedication to agribusinesses in the region," Cox said.

The decision to eliminate management operations was prompted by continuing budget pressures and a 2008-09 review of farm operations, said Scott Smith, dean of the College of Agriculture.

"These changes better position the center to sustain the key position they have long held for statewide, mission-oriented service," he said. "We hope to ensure that they remain educational centers first and foremost, and farms and facilities secondarily."

The director's role is to facilitate and support the efforts of faculty and professional staff in establishing innovative programs and projects and developing a team-oriented, mission-centered agenda for UKREC. Murdock will be the liaison between the faculty and staff and the college administration. His responsibilities include budget oversight, long-term planning, strategic programming, and shorter-term prioritization.

Faculty and professional staff at UKREC continue to report to their academic departments. An executive advisory board, including representatives of participating departments and mission areas, has been established to form and maintain an effective external advisory structure for UKREC.

Also as part of the overall reorganization, Donnie Davis, the longtime superintendent at Princeton, has been named director of central Kentucky farms for the college. In his new role Davis will be moving to the Lexington area to oversee operations of the college's Woodford County, Eden Shale and North farms. 

In this role, Davis will supervise farm superintendents at the three farms as well as coordinate superintendent operations across all Experiment Station research centers including the UKREC and Robinson Center.

A new superintendent will be named for the UKREC and will report directly to Murdock.

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