Dr. Nick Place began his appointment as the Dean and Director of University of Florida/IFAS Extension in September 2012. In this role, Dr. Place is responsible for meeting the mission and goals of the University of Florida Extension program, and serves on the IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Administrative Team. UF/IFAS Extension has faculty located in each of Florida’s 67 counties, 13 research and education centers, 15 academic departments and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
Primary responsibilities of this position include: 1) providing visionary leadership that addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with Florida’s diverse food and agricultural systems, natural resources, and sensitive ecosystems; changing and expanding human population; ongoing urbanization; and globalization of markets for agriculture and natural resources; 2) provide vision and leadership that supports and advances the comprehensive land grant mission of the University of Florida; 3) work effectively in a multi-disciplinary capacity with UF administrators and faculty; state and local leaders in agriculture, food, life science, and natural resources; industry, private organization and government agencies; and other institutions of higher education; 4) maintain close working relations with state and county governments; 5) work cooperatively and serve as the primary liaison with the Florida Sea Grant and the 1890 Extension program at Florida A&M University; 6) lead and manage all aspects of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, including budget and salary management, and the hiring, placement, tenure, promotion, and permanent status of state and county faculty; 7) secure private endowments and increase extramural funding for Extension programs; 8) work closely and collaborate with other IFAS Deans as well as fellow UF College Deans; and 9) actively participate and represent UF/IFAS Extension at the state, regional and national levels.
Dr. Place’s initial start in Extension was as a Multi-county Extension Agent for 12 years in Pennsylvania. This work included conducting educational programs in dairy, livestock, 4-H / youth development and community development. During this time, he also served as the County Extension Director for seven years and as an Assistant Regional Extension Director for two years. In 1995 he was selected by USDA to work in Poland as part of the Polish-American Extension Project for six months on extension education methods and dairy/livestock technologies.
Dr. Place has received a number of awards, including: 2006 AIAEE Outstanding Achievement Award, 2006 NAAE Outstanding Early Career Award, 2006 AAAE Southern Region Outstanding Young Agricultural Educator Award, 2005 NACTA Teacher Fellow Award, and 2005 CALS Graduate Teacher/Advisor of the Year Award. Dr. Place earned his B.S. in dairy husbandry at Delaware Valley College. He earned his M.S. in dairy and animal science and his Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education, both from Penn State University.