UNL names new head for Department of Animal Science
Larry Berger, professor of animal science at the University of Illinois, has been named the Marvel L. Baker head of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science.
He will begin his new position Aug. 17, succeeding interim head Sheila Scheideler.
The Dr. Marvel L. Baker professorship was created by an endowment from Robert and Ardis James of Chappaqua, N.Y. Baker started his career in 1924 at the institution that is today's Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. He then became a professor of animal science at UNL and served until his retirement in 1963. Mrs. James worked for Baker at UNL after graduating from high school, and he was a positive force in her experience at the University of Nebraska.
Berger, a northeast Kansas native, began his faculty career at Illinois after receiving his doctoral degree in ruminant nutrition from UNL in 1978. He has been at Illinois for 31 years, serving as professor since 1986.
Though he had been interested in becoming a department head and had opportunities to apply for such positions at other institutions, Berger did not, instead waiting for the right one to materialize. UNL was that right one, he said.
"This is the first one I've applied for. It speaks to the admiration and respect for the people here and the livestock industry in the state of Nebraska," Berger said.
Although Berger and his wife are pulling up deep roots to move to Lincoln, he said he felt like he has accomplished everything he set out to accomplish at Illinois.
"I am impressed by Dr. Berger's strong commitment to teaching, research and extension education," said John Owens, NU vice president and IANR Harlan vice chancellor. "The fact that Larry's current department is the United State's second-ranked animal science department for faculty scholarly productivity means he will bring a deep appreciation for academic excellence to UNL."
Berger has received numerous awards for teaching and research, where his emphasis has been on the use of protein and energy nutrition and animal management techniques to improve the production efficiency of beef cattle.
Scheideler has been interim department head for two years, succeeding Don Beermann, who became director of the Institutional Animal Care Program in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.
Berger received an associate's degree in agriculture from Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan., and bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from Kansas State University.