URBANA - Dr. Neal Merchen, Head of the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois, has been appointed as ACES Associate Dean for Research and Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station Director, beginning Sept. 17. An Interim Head for Animal Sciences is expected to be announced soon.
Merchen began his professorial career at the University of Illinois in 1981. After an accomplished career of research and teaching in the area of ruminant nutrition, he served as Animal Sciences Department Head from 2001 to date, during which time he led a reorganization of the department in response to changing research, teaching, and extension needs, including a significant restructuring of the curriculum, while maintaining the exceptionally strong faculty/staff that underlies the department’s wide recognition as the top-rated program in the country.
“Neal has a deep understanding of ACES’ research, academic, and extension programs, within the land-grant context,” said Robert Hauser, dean of the College of ACES. “This understanding, coupled with his administrative skill, breadth and judgment, will allow him to serve the University of Illinois well in his new role.”
Merchen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1973 and 1978, respectively, from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and a doctoral degree in 1981 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.