December 5, 2007 | By: Katie Pratt

Michael Mullen, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture associate dean for academic programs, was selected to be a fellow of the national Food Systems Leadership Institute. 

“The College of Agriculture believes that leadership development is a core element of our mission, and we invest time and resources in several excellent programs. FSLI is one of the most prominent national programs for university leaders,” College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith said.

The 2-year leadership development program is for individuals who participate in diverse segments of the food system. The program focuses on personal leadership skills, leadership for organizational change, and broadening food systems perspective. During the two years, fellows will develop two individual programs and participate in a group program that will focus on a national food systems issue. Mullen said much of the program will focus on sustainability and food safety issues.

Mullen is one of 23 new fellows who were selected due to their extensive leadership experience and support from their organization’s senior executives. They represent 20 states, 19 universities and two food and nutrition companies.

Mullen said the institute’s aim is to enhance the fellows’ leadership skills regarding food systems issues in the United States. Fellows explore the possibilities of seeking advanced administrative positions at land grant colleges and universities or in segments of the food systems industry.

“The FSLI provides the opportunity for me to learn more about my leadership style and how to better manage educational programs in the college and provides the opportunity to focus on campus and national problems,” Mullen said.

Mullen was appointed associate dean in 2004. Previously, he was a faculty member in the department of agronomy. Before coming to UK, he taught five years at University of Tennessee-Martin and nine years at UT- Knoxville as the lead teacher in the soils program. He received his bachelor’s and master degrees from Purdue University and earned a doctorate degree from North Carolina State University. 

The Food Systems Leadership Institute was formed by the partnership of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Intensive residential sessions for fellows will be at North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and the University of Vermont.


 M. Scott Smith, 859-257-4772