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Richard Rhodes appointed as the new Executive Director of NERA

Posted: June 28, 2016

The Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NERA) recently announced that Dr. Richard C. Rhodes III of the Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station is its new Executive Director, effective July 1, 2016. As we welcome Dr. Rhodes, we bid farewell to Dr. Daniel Rossi, who will retire after serving over nine years with NERA, and over 37 years in the land-grant system, and to Rubie Mize, who has served as the Assistant to the Executive Director over the past 20 years.
Dr. Richard C. Rhodes III

Dr. Richard C. Rhodes III

(Note: This text was provided by NERA.)

Dr. Rhodes is currently the Associate Dean, Research, College of the Environment and Life Sciences and Associate Director, Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Rhode Island. He previously served as chair of the Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science, Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Associate Director of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension. He is bringing to NERA years of experience working in the Land-grant University System, where he has served in many leadership roles.

Dr. Rhodes said, “This is an extraordinary and humbling opportunity.  NERA is comprised of 15 experiment stations through 13 Land-grant institutions representing a tremendous amount of intellectual horsepower and research capability.”

“Rick brings tremendous experiences in both the Research and Extension missions. He has been an active member of NERA, is familiar with its regional and national activities and can hit the ground running. He is well known to his Experiment Station colleagues nationally,” commented Dr. Cameron Faustman, NERA Chair.

“The region is home to both large and small universities, states with modest populations and states with large populations. We represent a wide spectrum of agricultural enterprises and food web systems. We’re both large, metropolitan areas, and classic rural. The diversity of the expertise that the northeast region possesses is our strength, our ‘smallness’ is our competitive edge and our iconoclastic way is characteristic of our independent thinking.  We need to use all those attributes to our advantage,” added Dr. Rhodes.

As we welcome Dr. Rhodes to the NERA family, we bid farewell to Dr. Daniel Rossi who will retire after serving over nine years with NERA, and over 37 years in the land-grant system. NERA Chair Cameron Faustman said, “Dan will be missed tremendously by his colleagues in the Land-grant System. He has been well known for his welcoming personality, can-do attitude and professionalism. It is a bittersweet occasion for the Experiment Station Directors in NERA. We are sad to realize that a long-standing and trusted colleague will no longer be a part of our group and at the same time pleased that he will now be able to pursue retirement interests.”

In addition to the retirement of Dr. Rossi, we are also saddened by the pending departure of Ms. Rubie Mize. Ms. Mize has faithfully and extremely capably served as the Assistant to the Executive Director over the past 20 years and has been an invaluable resource for the Association. She is well known and respected by her colleagues nationally in both the Experiment Stations and Extension Systems and will be missed by all those who have known her. Ms. Mize is the consummate professional; she has accepted a new position as Research Coordinator at the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station effective July 1, 2016.   

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Rhodes to the association. We wish Dr. Rossi a relaxing, fun-filled, stress-free retirement. And we extend our best wishes to Ms. Mize as she begins a new phase in her professional career. We are also extremely grateful to Dr. Rossi and Ms. Mize for their many very productive years with NERA.