Ag Sci Dean Bruce McPheron: “Don’t Confuse a Bad Job with a Hard Job”

August 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

When I walked up to the Ag Administration building in early July to interview Bruce McPheron, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, I knew I’d be speaking with someone who has a very difficult job. The cut in the University’s state appropriation has hit Ag particularly hard; it has a different funding model, and the college is having to make some painful cuts.

McPheron couldn’t have been more gracious. We had room to print only excerpts from the interview in our September/October issue—which should be arriving in your mailbox shortly, if it’s not already there—so I’ve transcribed the interview and posted the bulk of it here. I learned a lot about how Ag Science is coping with the cuts and how the college is reshaping itself. I hope you will, too.

The end of our interview was particularly striking. After spending a half-hour discussing all of the issues McPheron has to deal with, I asked, “And you wanted to be the dean?” McPheron said plenty of faculty have told him he’s got the worst job on campus, but he responds, “Don’t confuse a bad job with a hard job.” He said he has a “great” job—even though he calls it “the hardest job I’ve ever had.”

Lori Shontz, senior editor

Entry filed under: The Penn Stater Magazine. Tags: , .

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