September 27, 2023

Jayson L. Lusk was named vice president and dean of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources by Oklahoma State University.

Lusk has a bachelor’s degree in food technology from Texas Tech University and a doctorate in agricultural economics from Kansas State University. Lusk began his career as an assistant professor at Mississippi State University and worked his way to the top from there.

Lusk was employed by OSU from 2005 to 2017 where he worked as an agricultural economics professor and held the Willard Sparks Endowed Chair, then worked as a regents professor. During this time, in 2011, Lusk lived in Paris where he conducted research for the French National Institute for Agriculture.

Lusk has worked as a professor and head of the Agricultural Economics Department for Purdue University since he left OSU in 2017.

In his lifetime, Lusk has published five books and more than 270 articles in peer-reviewed journals covering agricultural research and innovation. Lusk’s latest book, titled “Unnaturally Delicious,” explains how science and technology work with agriculture to improve worldwide food insecurity.

Lusk has also received numerous awards including the Borlaug Communication Award from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and the Lou Ann Aday award — Purdue University’s most prestigious research award in the humanities and social sciences. He has served on the executive committee of the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board. He is also a fellow and past president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

With renown experience and skill, Lusk is more than qualified for his upcoming position as dean of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU, which he will begin in August.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to come home to a place where I worked for 13 years and help build on the foundation in place to move the college and our state forward,” Lusk said. “It’s an opportunity to make an impact and to make a difference. It’s also a place where the students, faculty and staff are doing good things, and OSU Agriculture is well positioned with support of alumni and stakeholders to have an even bigger impact in Oklahoma and beyond.”

OSU searched for candidates from all over the nation to fill the position. OSU Provost Jeanette Mendez said this thorough search reached a strong pool of candidates, including Lusk. 

“I am delighted that Dr. Lusk, a member of the Cowboy family, has chosen to return and lead the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,” Dr. Mendez said. “Oklahoma State University is a national leader in agriculture, and I believe Dr. Lusk will continue to build on the strong foundation of retiring vice president and dean Dr. Tom Coon.

“As part of the systemwide strategy OSU unveiled in October 2022, the university has a focus on fighting food insecurity with the concept of using research to help ‘nourish the world.’ Dr. Lusk’s background in partnering technology and agriculture dovetails perfectly with OSU’s commitment to leveraging research and innovation to improve the world’s food shortage issues.”

As part of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Lusk was chosen to lead the Ferguson College of Agriculture, OSU Extension and OSU Ag Research. 

Lusk’s duties consist of overseeing academic programs, OSU Extension and all agricultural research efforts on campus and statewide.

Lusk will also lead the move-in and transition to the New Frontiers Agricultural Hall, the $115 million state-of-the-art teaching, research and Extension facility. The new building will focus on experiential learning, collaboration between students and faculty, adaptive research and encourage innovation. The building was launched in January of 2020 and is set to be completed in the summer of 2024.

The OSU/A&M Board of Regents approved appointing Lusk into the position.

“I’m excited to welcome Dr. Lusk back to OSU as the new vice president and dean of OSU Agriculture,” said Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture and member of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents. “Dr. Lusk is well-known across the country and will bring a unique perspective and passion to this position. The work of OSU Agriculture faculty and staff, along with the leadership team, is essential to the success of the Oklahoma agriculture industry. I am looking forward to his return to Stillwater and seeing how Dr. Lusk’s vision helps further Oklahoma agriculture.”

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