Search for UF/IFAS Leader

Published: June 14th, 2019

Category: Memos

W. Kent Fuchs, President

Yesterday, Dr. Jack Payne announced his plans to retire from his position as Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources. I am writing to thank Jack for his leadership of IFAS and also share early information on the search for his replacement.

This summer, Dr. Payne completes nine years of IFAS leadership. I am fortunate to have worked with Jack for half of that time and have observed firsthand his commitment, passion, and love for IFAS, our university and state of Florida. I look forward to celebrating Jack’s tenure in the coming months.

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Perri, dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions, will serve as chair of the committee that will advise me on the search. Melissa Curry, assistant vice president of UF Human Resources, will serve as the search consultant for the committee.

If you have input on the recommended qualifications for candidates, names of excellent potential candidates or suggestions for members of the search committee, please contact Melissa Curry at In addition to Melissa Curry and the search chair, Dean Perri, I also welcome your input on all aspects of the search. My personal email is  As with previous cabinet-level searches, we plan to provide opportunities for campus input on finalists when we reach that stage.

Our plan is to search nationally and to appoint the very best possible individual to this important senior leadership position. We also plan to move quickly and to name someone as soon as possible.

 We will communicate as the search process proceeds and expect the next communication to include the search committee membership.

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