Horticulture Head MacKay Becomes Food Systems Leadership Institute Fellow

Wayne Mackay (second from right), head of the Department of Horticulture and interim head of the Department of Food Science, is the fifth Bumpers College administrator or faculty member to complete the Food Systems Leadership Institute program.
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Wayne Mackay (second from right), head of the Department of Horticulture and interim head of the Department of Food Science, is the fifth Bumpers College administrator or faculty member to complete the Food Systems Leadership Institute program.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Wayne Mackay, department head and professor in Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas, has become a Fellow of the Food Systems Leadership Institute.

The institute is an executive leadership development program for academia, industry and government, and enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change, and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems.

Mackay, professor and head of the Department of Horticulture as well as interim head of the Department of Food Science, completed the 2016-18 program as one of 26 members nationally of Cohort 12.

"I want to congratulate Wayne on becoming a Fellow of the FSLI program," said Deacue Fields, dean of Bumpers College. "FSLI is one of the most respected executive leadership development programs in the country. It's an honor to be selected to participate, and it takes commitment and hard work to complete the program. Wayne is a great leader in our college, and this has fine-tuned leadership skills he already had. I look forward to him utilizing his training in his role as department head."

The two-year program prepares scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs. Through a curriculum including three executive style residential sessions, individual coaching, mentoring and personal projects, the institute seeks to enhance personal leadership ability, develop skills and knowledge for organizational change, and broaden perspectives on integrated food systems.

"The Food System Leadership Institute enhanced my understanding of the food system in an interdisciplinary setting on a national and international scale that I could not gain in any other forum," said Mackay. "In addition, the experience helped me refine my leadership skills, which I hope will make me a more effective leader in the university and the food system."

Fellows report the experience has had a significant impact on their leadership abilities. Leadership growth can be measured in many different ways, and more than a third of the group has experienced promotions, selection to lead high-profile initiatives, election to university-wide leadership posts and other recognitions. Other Fellows use their enhanced leadership and broader food systems perspectives to lead change from current positions.  

FSLI is a program of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. It was created with financial support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is operated in a partnership between North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.   

Other Bumpers College members to complete the program and become Fellows are Associate Dean Lona Robertson; George Wardlow, head of the Department of Agricultural Education, Communication and Technology; Leslie Edgar, former assistant dean and agricultural communications professor; and Curt Rom, former University Professor of horticulture and current associate dean of the U of A Graduate School and International Education.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu


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