Karen Plaut will soon be the Director of Agricultural Research programs for Purdue University's College of Agriculture. She assumes her new role June 1. Her role involves providing administrative support to departments and faculty in agriculture, the College of Consumer and Family Sciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine. She will work behind the scenes to make sure different departments work together on projects, and help faculty find and compete for funding, while working on issues relating to insuring that Purdue's College of Agriculture continues to have the infrastructure in place to be a leading institution in ag research.
She takes over from Mark Hermodson, who served as interim director for several months. In announcing that Plaut would be coming to Purdue, Jay Akridge, dean of the College of Agriculture, thanked Hermodson for his service during the interim period.
The position opened when former director, Sonny Ramaswamy, was appointed dean of the College of agriculture Sciences at Oregon State University last summer. He was one of three talented Purdue leaders who departed to be deans at other universities a year ago.
Plaut comes to Purdue from Michigan State University. She served most recently there as chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at Michigan State. She originally earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont, and a master's degree in animal nutrition from Penn State University. Plaut finished doctorate work in animal sciences at Cornell University in New York state.
"What I'm really looking forward to is building on the research at Purdue," Plaut said. "I really think Purdue has the opportunity to be the leader in agriculture for the 21st century."
Meanwhile, a former top leader in Purdue Agriculture is leaving the university for a position elsewhere. Randy Woodson served as Dean of the College of Agriculture before Akridge. He left that post to move across the street as second in command to university president Cordova.
Now, Woodson is moving on to North Carolina State University. He will be chancellor of the university there.