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National Search Ends at Home

PULLMAN, Wash. — A national search for an associate dean and director of academic programs for the Washington State University College of Agriculture and Home Economics had ended at home.

Appointment of Vicki McCracken was announced today by Dean James Zuiches. McCracken has occupied the position in an interim capacity since November 1998. She succeeds Larry James, now CEO and dean of WSU Tri-Cities.

“I am extremely pleased with the leadership that Vicki McCracken has provided in creating academic partnerships with the W. K. Kellogg grant and her vision for quality and relevance in undergraduate teaching,” said Zuiches.

“We have lots of opportunities and challenges to expand our enrollment in agriculture and home economics,” McCracken said, “but the big challenge lies in overcoming the stereotype of what a degree in agriculture and home economics allows a person to do.”

McCracken comes to the job during a period in which change will be essential to the college’s future. She endorses a recent statement by presidents of 25 land-grant universities, “Unless public colleges and universities become the architects of change, they will be its victims.”

She notes, it is difficult for universities to change, but warns, “Things are going to change and if we’re not in control of the change, we will be the victims of change. If we want to have a bright future, we have to be involved in a positive way and must lead the changes.”

Ag and home ec account for about nine percent of WSU’s enrollment. In 1999-2000, the college enrollment was equivalent to 1,507 full time students. This includes both under-graduate and graduate students.

McCracken received her doctorate in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 1984 and immediately joined the WSU faculty in agricultural economics. In May 1994 she became associate director of the WSU Agricultural Research Center.

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