Nick T. Place, Ph. D.
Dean and Director, Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Dr. Nick Place began his appointment as the Dean and Director of University of Florida/IFAS Extension in September 2012. In this role, Dr. Place is responsible for meeting the mission and goals of the University of Florida Extension program, and serves on the IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Administrative Team. UF/IFAS Extension has faculty located in each of Florida's 67 counties, 13 research and education centers, 15 academic departments and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
Primary responsibilities of this position include: 1) providing visionary leadership that addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with Florida's diverse food and agricultural systems, natural resources, and sensitive ecosystems; changing and expanding human population; ongoing urbanization; and globalization of markets for agriculture and natural resources; 2) provide vision and leadership that supports and advances the comprehensive land grant mission of the University of Florida; 3) work effectively in a multi-disciplinary capacity with UF administrators and faculty; state and local leaders in agriculture, food, life science, and natural resources; industry, private organization and government agencies; and other institutions of higher education; 4) maintain close working relations with state and county governments; 5) work cooperatively and serve as the primary liaison with the Florida Sea Grant and the 1890 Extension program at Florida A&M University; 6) lead and manage all aspects of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, including budget and salary management, and the hiring, placement, tenure, promotion, and permanent status of state and county faculty; 7) secure private endowments and increase extramural funding for Extension programs; 8) work closely and collaborate with other IFAS Deans as well as fellow UF College Deans; and 9) actively participate and represent UF/IFAS Extension at the state, regional and national levels.
From 2007 through 2012, Dr. Place served as the Associate Dean and Associate Director of the University of Maryland Extension. In this role, Dr. Place was administratively responsible to the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Director of UME for meeting the mission and goals of the extension program, and he served on the College Administrative Team. UME has faculty located at University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES); 23 counties; Baltimore City; four regional centers; and the Maryland Sea Grant program. UME also supports faculty positions in the Colleges of Chemical and Life Sciences, Health and Human Performance, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences.
Prior to the University of Maryland, Dr. Place was a faculty member at the University of Florida in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication (AEC) from 1999 - 2007. At Florida, he served as the AEC Graduate Coordinator, and he served as the Coordinator for the Program Development and Evaluation Center for two years. Dr. Place taught undergraduate and graduate course on the role and development of extension, extension methods, adult education, extension administration and supervision, and extension systems. As a Graduate Faculty member he advised M.S. and Ph.D. students focusing on extension; to date, he has been on 71 graduate committees, of which he has chaired 30. The primary focus of his extension appointment was in the area of professional development, including new faculty orientation and training, extension mentoring, professional development needs assessment, extension in-service programs and extension leadership development.
Dr. Place's initial start in Extension was as a Multi-county Extension Agent for 12 years in Pennsylvania. This work included conducting educational programs in dairy, livestock, 4-H / youth development and community development. During this time, he also served as the County Extension Director for seven years and as an Assistant Regional Extension Director for two years. In 1995 he was selected by USDA to work in Poland as part of the Polish-American Extension Project for six months on extension education methods and dairy/livestock technologies.
Dr. Place has received a number of awards, including: 2006 AIAEE Outstanding Achievement Award, 2006 NAAE Outstanding Early Career Award, 2006 AAAE Southern Region Outstanding Young Agricultural Educator Award, 2005 NACTA Teacher Fellow Award, and 2005 CALS Graduate Teacher/Advisor of the Year Award. Dr. Place earned his B.S. in dairy husbandry at Delaware Valley College. He earned his M.S. in dairy and animal science and his Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education, both from Penn State University.