Leader in NU ag programs sees big future for university

RONNIE GREEN

Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-LIncoln

UNL visit: March 2 through 4

Ronnie Green already has three titles at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and he's hoping to trade them all in for chancellor.

Green, 54, is vice president of agriculture and natural resources university-wide, as well as the Harlan vice chancellor of UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. When current Chancellor Harvey Perlman's academic No. 2 stepped down last year, Perlman tapped Green to fill in as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, too.

Green said he has a wide breadth of experience on campus and good relationships throughout the campus and the state. He wants to become UNL's next leader, he said, because he sees a big future ahead.

"I think we are poised to make the next big step up in stature as a national institution and research-focused land grant," Green said. "We are poised to become one of the top institutions in the world."

Green will have meetings and interviews at UNL on March 2 through 4, with an open forum March 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Nebraska Union.

Green grew up on a farm in Virginia and made his career in animal science. He earned his doctorate in animal breeding and genetics jointly at the University of Nebraska and the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, and he later taught animal science at Texas Tech University and Colorado State University. Before coming to UNL in 2010, Green worked as senior global director of technical services for Pfizer Animal Health.

His current salary at UNL is about $375,000.

Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, said Green has a knack for both relating to Nebraskans and relaying his vision for the university's future in worldwide agriculture issues. He has had prominent roles in launching the Nebraska Innovation Campus and a food sanitation alliance in the works that will be based there.

"I think Dr. Green has a great vision for the future of the University of Nebraska, and it's not just about what might be going on at the campuses," Nelson said. "It's looking beyond the campus to what's happening around the entire state and how the university affects that."

Green has brought new energy to the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and re-energized UNL's East Campus, said Sarah Purcell, a Nebraska extension educator in Otoe County who serves on UNL's Faculty Senate. She said Green deserves the most praise for his passion for UNL and its students.

All four of his children attend or have graduated from UNL. When Purcell asked him once what they could do to make UNL a top-tier academic destination, Green said he wakes up every day trying to reach that goal.

"To me, that spoke volumes," Purcell said.

Contact the writer: 402-444-3185, kate.howard@owh.com twitter.com/KateOWH

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