The LSU AgCenter recently placed eight regional directors in office as part of an overall reorganization of its statewide service to the people of Louisiana.
“We think this move to a system that involves regional directors who will jointly administer our Extension and research programs will help us to better serve the people of the state,” LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson said in announcing the appointments.
“Not only does it better integrate the administration of our programs, but it also streamlines our structure by eliminating some administrative positions.”
The LSU AgCenter conducts research and educational programs in areas ranging from production agriculture to youth development and environmental issues to family and consumer sciences through a statewide network of Extension and research faculty members in parish offices and research stations across Louisiana.
The new administrative structure of eight regions headed by regional directors replaces the former structure for the AgCenter's statewide operations, which involved separate operation and administration of 19 research stations, five Extension districts and two urban area Extension centers.
Those named to the new regional directors positions effective Dec. 1 were:
- John Barnett in the Central Louisiana Region (Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides and Vernon parishes). Barnett had been serving as Extension cotton specialist for the LSU AgCenter.
- Pam Hodson, Southeast Region (East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington and West Feliciana parishes). Hodson was the Extension district agent responsible for supervising educational programs and faculty in a portion of southeastern Louisiana.
- Robert Hutchinson, Northeast Region (Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas and West Carroll parishes). Hutchinson had been resident director of the AgCenter's Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph.
- Jere McBride, Northwest Region (Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River and Sabine parishes). McBride was resident director of the AgCenter's Red River Research Station at Bossier City and its Pecan Research/Extension Station in Shreveport.
- Steve Linscombe, Southwest Region (Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. Landry and Vermilion parishes). Linscombe led the AgCenter's rice breeding research program at its Rice Research Station and also had been an Extension rice specialist.
- Walter Morrison, South-Central Region (Ascension, Assumption, Iberia, Iberville, Lafourche, St. James, St. John, St. Martin, St. Mary, Pointe Coupee, Terrebonne and West Baton Rouge parishes). Morrison was the Extension agronomy project leader and a specialist in soybeans, corn and other crops.
- Steve Mullen, Crescent Region (Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Charles parishes). Mullen was the division leader for the AgCenter's statewide 4-H youth development program.
- Allen Nipper, North-Central Region (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Union, Webster and Winn parishes). Nipper had been resident director of the AgCenter's Hill Farm Research Station at Homer.
In other administrative changes that also took effect Dec. 1:
- Mike Futrell was named director of the LSU AgCenter's Leadership Development program. Futrell, who fills the position left vacant when Ken Roberts became an associate vice chancellor for the AgCenter, was director of public relations and head of communications for the AgCenter.
- Ellen Murphy was named head of the AgCenter's Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Division — filling a position left vacant when Carolyn Carter retired earlier this year. Murphy had been director of institutional relations for the AgCenter, a position that has been eliminated as part of the restructuring.
- Terril Faul was named to head the AgCenter's Extension 4-H Youth Development Division. Faul fills the position left vacant when Mullen became regional director for the Crescent region. He formerly served as an Extension district agent, one of the positions eliminated in the move to the new regional system.