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Executive Leadership

Ron Mittelhammer

Ron Mittelhammer


Ron Mittelhammer was appointed interim dean on June 1, 2013, and Dean (for a two-year term) on September 22, 2014. In his 35 years at WSU, Mittelhammer, a Cougar Alum, has garnered a reputation for wearing his school spirit on his sleeve. Sometimes it’s on the front of his shirt or his tie, but it’s always there. You will never see him without his favorite fashion accessory—WSU’s logo.

In addition to his unwavering Cougar pride, Mittelhammer brings to CAHNRS a deep commitment to research, discovery, and continuous improvement, as well as a wealth of experience. He works to cultivate and strengthen CAHNRS’ many collaborative relationships with industry and other stakeholders. Internally, his goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations while fostering a sense of community and team spirit among faculty, staff, and students.

A celebrated graduate-level teacher who has received national and university-wide awards for instruction, Mittelhammer was one of the first professors promoted to the level of Regents Professor, WSU’s highest academic rank, in 2004. In 2014, Mittelhammer was awarded the WSU Eminent Faculty Award, the highest honor for WSU faculty, recognizing his contributions to the vitality and strength of the WSU community as well as for his contributions to the field of economics through his “teaching, research, creative scholarship and service.”

He was instrumental in the design of the School of Economic Sciences and served as its first director from 2004 to 2010.

In addition to three major books on statistics and econometrics, Mittelhammer has authored more than 250 publications and presentations, as well as numerous book chapters.

He has been recognized as a Journal of Econometrics fellow; an Agricultural & Applied Economics Association fellow, president, and past president; and a Distinguished Scholar of the Western Agricultural Economics Association. He is also a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Mittelhammer earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Rutgers University (1972, 1974), and his doctorate in agricultural and resource economics from WSU (1978).

Rich Koenig

Rich Koenig

Associate Dean and Director, WSU Extension

Dr. Koenig joined WSU in 2003 as a faculty member and soil scientist. In 2008, he became chair of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, one of the largest departments in CAHNRS.

He became associate dean and director of WSU Extension on September 1, 2012.In this role he is responsible for administering outreach programs in agriculture, natural resources, community and economic development and youth and family areas and Extension’s 700+ employees and over 13,000 volunteers.

As a faculty member and chair, Dr. Koenig taught introductory courses in soil science and led research and extension programs in soil and nutrient management for agricultural systems in eastern Washington.

He led similar programs for agricultural and urban horticulture systems while an extension specialist at Utah State University from 1995-2003. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and a Ph.D. from WSU.

Jim Moyer

Jim Moyer

Associate Dean for Research and Director, Agricultural Research Center

A native of Dayton, WA., and an alumnus of WSU’s agronomy program-now called crop and soil sciences-Jim Moyer is slated to take up his roles at WSU on May 1, 2013. A renowned plant pathologist, Moyer has focused his research on virology – in particular, the population structure and dynamics of tospoviruses.

He has made contributions to sweet potato pathology and cultivar development, was awarded a patent for fingerprinting ornamental plant cultivars and is involved in numerous national and international activities.

He has served as president of the American Phytopathological Society and is a fellow of that group. He received the Morrison Medal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service and the Alex Laurie Award from the national floral crop industry for his research contributions.

Rich Zack

Interim Associate Dean, Academic Programs

Rich comes from the Department of Entomology at Washington State University where he serves as a professor and curator of the M. T. James Entomological Collection. Dr. Zack received his PhD degree in Entomology from WSU. Rich has taught numerous courses at WSU but most of his efforts have been directed to undergraduate, University Common Requirements (UCORE) courses designed for non-science students.

Rich has research interests in insect taxonomy and systematics, biological diversity, and pest management. He is interested in “rare” and unusual environments such as Palouse Prairie remnants as well as habitats provided by the national parks and federal reserves. He has conducted extensive studies on the insects of the Hanford Nuclear Site and his studies were instrumental in the naming of parts of the Site as a national monument. He also has ongoing biological diversity and invasive species studies in Guatemala and Micronesia.

Rich has been honored with numerous recognitions and awards including distinguished teaching awards from CAHNRS, the University, and his professional society. He was also named one of the Top Five Instructors as WSU as chosen by the students. Rich is very involved in outreach activities designed for K-12 students.