UA System recommends Deacue Fields as head of agricultural division

University of Arkansas system president Donald Bobbitt announced Wednesday, April 20, that he would recommend Deacue Fields as the next vice president for agriculture for the UA system.

Fields was one of two finalists to replace Mark Cochran, who retired last fall. Fields was named dean of Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 2017.

Pending approval from the UA system’s board of directors, Fields is expected to begin work on July 1.

“Throughout our search process, Dr. Fields clearly demonstrated the background, temperament and leadership skills we were looking for in the next vice president for agriculture,” Bobbitt said in a statement. “He understands the importance of the university’s land-grant mission, and I look forward to working with him to advance the Division of Agriculture’s education, research, and extension efforts for the benefit of citizens and communities of Arkansas who depend so heavily on agriculture for economic and cultural progress.

“Although it was a difficult choice due to the high quality of the two finalists, I am confident that Dr. Fields is ready to unite faculty and staff around the goal of advancing the Division to new heights in coming years.”

Chuck Culver, assistant divisional vice president and director of external relations, served as interim vice president.

“I am grateful to Chuck Culver for his outstanding service as interim vice president, and I appreciate the dedicated efforts of each member of our search committee during this search,” Bobbitt said in a press release. AU System. “I especially want to acknowledge Christina Miller, the division’s chief of staff, for her hard work in guiding this process to a successful outcome.”

Before coming to AU, Fields was a professor and department head at Auburn University. Prior to that, he was an associate professor and coordinator of the Alabama Agricultural Analysis Program with the Auburn Department of Agriculture and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Fields received his bachelor’s degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1993, his master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1995 and his doctorate from LSU in 2002, all in agricultural economics.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to continue to build the impact of the Agriculture Division as we embrace the mission of land grants in service to our state,” Fields said in a statement. “Going through this process reinvigorated my passion for agriculture and highlighted many opportunities for the Division to cultivate partnerships and collaborate over this next chapter.

“I want to thank Dr. Bobbitt and everyone else involved for entrusting me with the responsibility to lead the division and continue to shape its imprint on the people of Arkansas. I look forward to continuing to work with the talented professionals who make up the UADA team to develop a vision for the future.

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