Dr. Mark Hussey’s career at Texas A&M University has been marked by continued success and increasing responsibilities. After earning his Ph.D. in plant breeding in 1983, he served as a faculty member and later head of the department of soil and crop sciences. He was subsequently named director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. In 2008, he was appointed vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences, and in 2014, he accepted a request to lead Texas A&M University as interim president.
In May 2015, Dr. Hussey returned to his position as vice chancellor and dean. The 16-month endeavor as interim president gave him the opportunity to make great strides for the university. He supervised a comprehensive administrative review; engaged students in decisions such as changes to campus dining and selecting Reveille IX; managed a campus-wide Compliance Task Force; established a Search Advisory Committee to select the vice president for student affairs; and oversaw the return of the Office of the President to the historic Jack K. Williams Administration Building.
Resuming his position as vice chancellor and dean, he helps prepare future leaders in agriculture and life sciences and oversees the broad-based teaching, research, extension and service for which Texas A&M is renowned. These vital pursuits are carried out by the The Texas A&M University System’s agricultural agencies: Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas A&M Forest Service, and the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.
During his tenure in this role, Dr. Hussey has managed the design and construction of the multi-million dollar agriculture and life sciences complex on the Texas A&M University campus, providing the first-of-its-kind headquarters for Texas A&M AgriLife. Fundraising for scholarships and other programs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has more than doubled. He initiated the AgriLife Advanced Leadership Program, which provides training and education for AgriLife leaders in the making. In addition, he is a national leader, serving as chair-elect of the Board of Agriculture Assembly, which is a unit of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Commission on Food, Environment and Renewable Resources.
Before his appointment as vice chancellor and dean, Dr. Hussey served as the director of Texas A&M
AgriLife Research. The agency has more than 1,600 employees, including 550 doctoral-level scientists who conduct research, improving life through science and technology. During his tenure as director, Dr. Hussey led the agency through a strategic branding initiative and started a corporate relations team that brought in research contracts worth more than $15 million.
From 1983 to 1985, Dr. Hussey was an assistant professor at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and
Extension Center at Weslaco, where he conducted forage breeding and management research. He joined the faculty of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University as an assistant professor in 1985 and was promoted to professor in 1997. In 2001, Dr. Hussey became professor and head of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, a position he held until 2005. Dr. Hussey was named associate director of programs for the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (now Texas A&M AgriLife Research) in April 2005.
As co-leader of a collaborative forage grass improvement team, Dr. Hussey conducted research on the development of new breeding methods for subtropical forage and bioenergy crops, including the use of molecular tools to better understand the regulation and control of cold tolerance, hybrid vigor, seed production, and reproduction in those species.
Dr. Hussey is a native of southern Illinois, where he received a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Illinois. He continued his education at Texas A&M University, where he received a master of science degree and a doctorate in plant breeding.
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