John Killeferf Named Dean of So. Dakota State’s College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences

An Oregon State University professor will be the new head of the South Dakota State University College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

John Killefer was selected to replace Barry Dunn, who became university president this past May. Dr. Daniel Scholl has been leading the department in the interim.

Killefer was served as professor and department head of animal and rangeland sciences at OSU since 2012. He oversaw a merging of the animal sciences and rangeland departments with ecology and management, and the school built three facilities. Killefer also helped establish nearly $3.5 million in endowments to support teaching and research.

He was chosen after a nationwide search. His leadership style and experience made him stand out, according to Dennis Hedge, provost and vice president for academic affairs at SDSU.

”He articulated the type of vision that will allow the college to continue to excel and move into the future in a way that will allow students, faculty and staff to have a greater impact on the state, the region and the world,” Hedge said.

Killefer said he’s looking forward to the move. He starts his job in March 2018.

”The College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences embodies the land-grant mission dedicated to exceptional education, research and outreach efforts that are accessible to all,” he said in a news release. “I am excited to build upon the outstanding foundation.h

An accomplished researcher, Killeferfs programs have secured more than $6.3 million from both federal and industry sources where his research focused on high-quality production animals and meat products.

Killefer was inducted into the Oregon Beef Council Hall of Fame in 2014 and served as a fellow from 2013-15 for the Food Systems Leadership Institute, a national organization dedicated to developing individual and institutional leadership for a 21st century food system.

Killefer went to OSU in 2011 after nearly 10 years as a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before that, he taught at West Virginia from 1994-2002.

Killefer earned his bachelorfs degree in biological sciences at Hastings College in Nebraska. He earned his doctorate in animal science with an emphasis in growth and development at Oregon State.