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MSU welcomes new department head
MISSISSIPPI STATE – J. Mike Phillips has been selected as the new head of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Mississippi State University.
Phillips has been the chair of the Department of Agricultural Sciences at Morehead State University in Kentucky since 2007. Before his appointment at Morehead, Phillips served as professor of agronomy and director for the Southwest Research and Extension Center at the University of Arkansas.
“Dr. Phillips has an extensive background in teaching, research and Extension,” said George Hopper, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “His leadership capabilities will be invaluable to the plant and soil sciences department.”
Gary Jackson, MSU Extension Service director, said Phillips’ experience in overseeing Extension programs will further strengthen MSU’s agricultural outreach.
“We are pleased to have someone with such diverse experience and leadership abilities,” Jackson said. “The plant and soil sciences department is an important component in the university’s support to Mississippi agriculture.”
Phillips earned his doctorate and master’s degrees in agronomy from the University of Arkansas. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Phillips has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors and was elected vice chair of the Agri-Energy component of the Governor's Task Force on the Future of Agriculture in Kentucky.
The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences is part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Many of the department’s faculty hold appointments with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the MSU Extension Service. The department offers undergraduate and graduate programs in agronomy and horticulture. It is home to the University Florist and the golf and sports turf management concentration within the agronomy major.
In addition to teaching programs, the plant and soil sciences department conducts research and outreach in plant breeding and genetics, crop simulation, crop modeling, agronomy, soil sciences, crop physiology, weed science, turfgrass science, seed technology, and horticulture.
Writer: Karen Templeton