Ohio State University Extension has announced the appointment of Extension professionals Eric Barrett and Chris Zoller to state-level interim positions.
Barrett will serve as interim assistant dean of OSU Extension and associate chair of the Department of Extension, effective Nov. 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, or until the permanent position is filled. Zoller will serve as interim assistant director for agriculture and natural resources, effective Dec. 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, or until the permanent position is filled.
In his new role, Barrett will oversee the administrative and professional promotion process and the faculty promotion and tenure process, as well as supporting faculty affairs for OSU Extension, which is housed in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Zoller will provide leadership, administration, guidance, and vision for OSU Extension’s agriculture and natural resources program. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of CFAES.
“We are excited to welcome both Eric and Chris to these important roles,” said David Civittolo, interim associate dean and director of OSU Extension. “Their extensive experience and dedication make them ideal candidates to lead these critical areas right now.”
Barrett will work with other department chairs and administrators to advance the vision and mission of the Department of Extension; and he will collaborate with university partners and external stakeholders to increase the state, national, and international presence of OSU Extension. He also will foster collaborative and productive relationships among staff, faculty, and students within the department and with other campus connections. Barrett will continue to serve as an associate professor and area leader.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and a master’s degree in agricultural economics, both from The Ohio State University. He previously served as an Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources in Mahoning County. His specialization is direct food and agricultural marketing, and commercial/consumer horticulture.
Zoller will work with department chairs, college deans, and unit leaders to support interdisciplinary and multi-programmatic efforts within CFAES and across campus, as well as with external agencies, commodity organizations, and other partners. He also will promote effective teamwork among Extension professionals, manage the state agriculture and natural resources office, and serve as a member of the OSU Extension leadership team.
Zoller earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and agricultural economics and a master’s degree in agricultural education, both from The Ohio State University. He is an associate professor and most recently served as an Extension educator in Tuscarawas County, where he conducted programming and research on farm management, farm succession planning, farm financial management, dairy and livestock production, and agronomic and forage crop production.
In early December, Zoller was named as the recipient of the 2023 Excellence in Extension Award, recognized for his working relationships with peers and clientele, innovation and relevance of his work, and the impact of his programs and research.