MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Dirk Maier, current head of the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University (KSU), confirmed to World Grain on Feb. 10 that he will be leaving that role to serve in a newly created position in the Dean of Agriculture’s office at KSU. 

Maier, who became head of the grain science and industry department in 2008, said he will remain in that position until a replacement is hired. He will also remain as director of KSU’s International Grains Program.

Maier was instrumental in the university’s recent acquisition of a five-year, $8.5 million award from the U.S. Agency for International Development to establish a new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss, and he will continue to work on that project.

“I will be working with the newly hired director of that project to get it up and running,” Maier said. “There’s the potential for another $20 million in grant funds for that particular effort. The rest of my time I will be working in the dean’s office in the area of research and strategic initiatives.”

Maier said he will also continue to help oversee the building projects that have yet to be completed in the Grain Science Complex located on the north end of campus.

In Maier’s six years as head of the Department of Grain Science and Industry, student enrollment within the department has increased, the distance education program offered through the Grain Elevator and Processing Society has grown and more than $25 million has been secured in research, technology transfer and education grants.

A search committee to hire a replacement for Maier has been formed and is in the process of developing a position description that will be advertised in the near future, Maier said.