Michael Ransom interim head of agronomy at KSU
Michel Ransom as the new interim department head

MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — The Kansas State University (KSU) Department of Agronomy has chosen Michel Ransom as the new interim department head. Ransom will transition into the position as the current head, Gary Pierzynski, university professor, assumes a new administrative position at The Ohio State University.

Ransom graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the University of Arkansas in 1974. He continued his education by completing a master’s in soil science at the University of Arkansas in 1976 and began his professional experience in the U.S. Department of Agriculture by conducting soil surveys in southern Arkansas. In 1984 he received a Ph.D. in soil genesis, classification and mineralogy from The Ohio State University. Ransom came to KSU in 1984 as an assistant professor of agronomy.

In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, Ransom has served as the assistant head for teaching in the department since 2000. That part of his responsibilities involve coordination of academic programs, management of the teaching budget, assignment of graduate teaching assistants and advisors, class scheduling, course and curriculum development, assessment coordination, and faculty evaluation and development of teaching.

He also has invested in students through experiential learning as the soil judging team coach. The team has experienced regional and national success under his guidance. Ransom said it is an opportunity for students to travel and see soils and landscapes in different locations.

“I think it is fun for students and a good environment for them to learn in,” Ransom said.

Since joining the agronomy department in 1984, he has accumulated many awards and professional achievements. He is a fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America. He was awarded the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Educator Award. He has served as the president of faculty senate at KSU and has been recognized by various college organizations and national societies for excellence in teaching and advising.