Bill Johnson Named Interim Head of Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A former president and chief executive officer for Farm Credit Mid-America, Bill Johnson, has been named as the new interim head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Johnson is teaming up with newly appointed assistant department head Chris Boyer, also a professor in that department. Together they will provide leadership until a permanent department head is selected.
“Bill Johnson’s proven leadership skills and experience make him a great fit to serve as interim department head,” said acting UTIA Executive Dean Chris Clark. “We are excited to see how the department can benefit from Bill’s background and focus on preparing students for careers in business and related fields.” Clark joined the department in 2002, serving as department head for three years before accepting the position of acting executive dean for the Institute.
Johnson joined the department last year when he became the first Jerry L. Gibbs Professor of Practice, a multifaceted role designed to prepare students at the Herbert College of Agriculture for careers in the business world. In this position, he develops project-based courses and experiential learning opportunities to deepen student understanding of business and leadership principles and to enhance their ability to work in interdisciplinary teams in professional settings.
Prior to joining the department, Johnson served as president and chief executive officer for Farm Credit Mid-America in Louisville, Kentucky, and has nearly 40 years of progressively responsible leadership experience in direct lending, risk management, business operations, information services, higher education and civic engagement.
Johnson earned his doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University, a master’s in business administration from Gonzaga University and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Evansville. He has served as a guest lecturer at Lipscomb University, the University of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Evansville and the University of Louisville. Among his professional accomplishments, he is a member of the board of trustees at the University of Evansville and served on the boards of Farm Credit Council Services in Denver, Colorado, the Farm Credit System President’s Planning Committee in Washington, D.C., and AgriNovus Indiana in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Boyer has been with UTIA for nearly 12 years, rising through the faculty ranks to attain the rank of professor in 2022.
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.