Amit Jhala, associate professor and extension weed management specialist in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, began his term as associate department head on Jan. 1.
John Lindquist, professor of agronomy and horticulture, stepped down as associate department head on Dec. 31 after serving for four years.
“We deeply appreciate John’s four years of service as associate head and his commitment to the success of the department,” Department Head Martha Mamo said.
Jhala along with David Holding will serve as associate department heads to assist Mamo in the department’s planning. The department has a strong extension presence in IANR and Jhala’s role as associate head will maintain and strengthen the department’s role in serving Nebraska through faculty connection with extension educator colleagues across the state, creating opportunities for collaborations on translational research, and enriching student experiences.
“It was an honor to work as an extension coordinator for the department with Martha Mamo and the leadership team,” Jhala said. “I accepted this position assuming my experience in extension will be somewhat useful.”
He said his role is to support the department head through annual faculty evaluations, co-developing strategic visions and priorities, supervising staff, serving as a faculty advisory committee member, advising on resource allocations and leading ad hoc committees based on needs aligned to priorities.
“The department leadership team will meet regularly to plan and discuss operations, activities and projects aligned with the department’s goals,” he said. “In short, my role will be to support the department head in any way I can.”
Jhala will continue to serve as the chair of the Extension Coordinating Committee.
When asked what he wants to accomplish in this new role, Jhala said he plans to take the lead on the extension section of the academic program review the department will go through in the fall of 2023.
“I want to help guide our new faculty to establish impactful extension programs and connect them with Nebraska stakeholders,” he said. “I’d like to serve as a connector between the Nebraska Extension administrative team and our department’s extension faculty for better engagement, delivery and meaningful extension programming and reporting.”