McMeans appointed as new Southern Ag Center chancellor-dean

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The Southern University System Board of Supervisors Friday accepted the recommendation of Southern University System President-Chancellor Ray Belton to appoint Orlando F. McMeans as chancellor-dean of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences at Southern University Baton Rouge.

McMeans is currently vice president for research and public service at West Virginia State University. His employment at West Virginia State University, then West Virginia State College, began in November 1998 as the director of the Department of Land-Grant Programs. In addition to his vice president role at the university, he is also the executive director of the WVSU Research and Development Corporation, and dean and director of the WVSU Gus R. Douglass Land-Grant Institute. He is also a full tenured research professor of biology. 

McMeans currently serves in several leadership roles with the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU): member of the board of directors; chair of the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) Policy Board of Directors; and liaison to the APLU Council of Agriculture, Research, Extension, and Teaching. Recently, he served as the Association of 1890 Research Directors 2019 Biennial Research Symposium Steering Committee co-chair. He has served on the West Virginia Science and Research Council since 2011. He has served in leadership positions or is a member of the following organizations: Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (past national president);  USDA/1890 Executive Team (past chair); Association of 1890 Extension Administrators (member), 1890 Deans Council (,ember), and the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (member). 

McMeans received a Bachelor of Science in horticulture from Alabama A&M University and a Master of Science in horticulture from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. He earned a Ph.D. in horticulture also at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduating from the University of Illinois, he went on to do postdoctoral studies at Virginia Tech in the area of genetic engineering. 

His start date is pending.

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