Tracy Kitchel, associate professor of agricultural education and leadership, has accepted a position as assistant vice provost for graduate and postdoctoral affairs in the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Missouri.
His new position involves a variety of duties including: coordinating the campus graduate fellowships program; serving as an ombudsman for graduate student issues beyond the program or college level; coordinating the Office of Postdoctoral Education; coordinating campus awards and finding ways to nominate graduate faculty and students for awards beyond the campus; coordinating programs such as Directors of Graduate Studies Orientation, Directors of Graduate Studies Summit and Graduate Assistant Teaching Orientation (GATO); and serving as the administrative lead in the Office of Graduate Studies in the absence of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies.
“We are so proud that a member of the CAFNR family is joining the Office of Graduate Studies,” said Tom Payne, Vice Chancellor and CAFNR Dean. “It goes to show what excellent faculty we have here in the College – Tracy is truly one of the best. I look forward to working with him in his new capacity and wish him well.”
Kitchel has been 35 percent in the Office of Graduate Studies and 65 percent in the department since March 1 to finish out commitments for the semester. On June 1 he will be 100 percent in the Office of Graduate Studies, although he said he still looks forward to working with CAFNR faculty, staff and students going forward.
“The Office of Graduate Studies is there to help graduate faculty and students. For my position, I’m here to help students with issues that may arise in the program if they want advice or advocacy from someone outside their program,” Kitchel said. “With faculty, I’m happy to help with issues or questions relating to fellowships or postdoctoral scholars, or to provide advice on issues with graduate programming or students.”
Kitchel will move into Jesse Hall when the Office of Graduate Studies moves back there, due to construction. He will still teach a graduate-level data analysis and interpretation course next spring to finish out a cycle of students in agricultural education and leadership.
“After that, if I can make my schedule work, I would like to continue to teach one graduate course each spring. I have a few graduate students I will continue to advise until they graduate,” he said.
“This move is very bittersweet as I will miss my daily interactions with my AEL, DASS and CAFNR colleagues. The nice part is that I’m only as far as red campus!”