Holding named Department of Agronomy and Horticulture associate department head

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Lana Koepke Johnson | Agronomy and Horticulture

David Holding, professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, began a one-year term as an associate department head on January 1.

He is assisting Martha Mamo, department head, and John Lindquist, also an associate department head, in the day-to-day decisions and future planning of the department.

“With such a large and diverse faculty in agronomy and horticulture spanning research, teaching and extension, it would be extremely challenging if not impossible for one person to take sole responsibility for steering the ship,” Holding said. “Associate heads are not substitutes waiting in the sidelines in case they are needed, but instead they play continuous, active and creative roles in decision making.”

Holding stated that good leaders know they don’t have all the answers. They know how to encourage and empower people to work together to come up with solutions to complex problems. Good leaders also know that they can be more effective by sharing ideas at the drawing board stage with their leadership teams.

“Dr. Mamo has done this effectively by defining an overarching team spanning our research, teaching, and extension faculty and prioritizing the urgent review of our undergraduate and graduate curricula,” Holding said.

According to Mamo, one of the department’s Strategic Priorities is to improve the focus and experiences of graduate education. Since he joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2009, Holding has been engaged in both graduate and undergraduate curriculum matters and is now leading a major review and modernization of agronomy and horticulture’s graduate curriculum in terms of its content, organization and website display.

“David’s experience made him an ideal candidate to serve as a co-lead of an ad hoc committee to roadmap strategies and action plans and serve as the inaugural co-chair of a newly formed Graduate Curriculum Committee,” Mamo said. “These efforts directly align with the IANR Graduate Education Framework and the aims in the N2025 Strategic Plan.”

Asked why he accepted this position, Holding stated that he cared about doing what he can to improve the department.

“I am keen to take on challenges. I have been recognized as having valuable ideas and an ability to effectively share them, and I see it as my duty to take the risk and try. I have always gone above and beyond in my service, and I see this position as a recognition of the value of this service and leadership ethic,” Holding said.

“David is a team player, strategic and respected by faculty, staff and students. I look forward to working with him,” Mamo said.

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David Holding
David Holding