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Dr. Brian Parr returns to Murray State as head of the department of agricultural science
Dr. Brian Parr, new head of Hutson School of Agriculture

MURRAY, Ky. -- Dr. Brian Parr has joined the Hutson School of Agriculture at Murray State University in the department of agricultural science as professor and head. Parr, who previously got his professional start in higher education at Murray State, has returned after seven years at Auburn University.

Parr is a native of Greeneville, Tenn., and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and his Ph.D. in agricultural education from Oklahoma State University.

He began his career serving five years as an agricultural education instructor at David Crockett High School in Washington County, Tenn. Following his time as a graduate teaching associate at Oklahoma State, Parr served two years as an assistant professor at Murray State and one year as an assistant professor at the University of Georgia.

During his tenure at Auburn, Parr advanced through the ranks from assistant to associate professor and served as the head teacher educator in agriculture and assistant department head. He coordinated the undergraduate, master's, and specialist programs in agriscience education and the Ph.D. program in career and technical education.

An award winning researcher and author, Parr was named Author of the Year for the Journal of Agricultural Education in 2006 and 2008, and was honored with the Distinguished Manuscript Award for the Southern Region Research Conference in 2014. His outstanding teaching was recognized by the Auburn College of Education with his selection as the winner of the Leishuck Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2013 and he was named the Outstanding Young member of the southern region of the American Association of Agricultural Education in 2011.

As department head at Murray State, Parr succeeds longtime faculty member Dr. Dwayne Driskill in coordinating all of the programs in agricultural science including agribusiness economics, agricultural education, agricultural systems technology, agronomy, horticulture and agriscience technology. Department enrollment has grown to more than 350 students; total enrollment for the Hutson School of Agriculture is over 930 students. Parr will also be responsible for the administration of the new online master's of science and the agricultural education leadership doctoral programs.

"My return to Murray State University and the Hutson School of Agriculture was the most natural move I have made professionally," Parr said. "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at MSU a decade ago and have waited for the right opportunity to return. I am thankful I had the chance to come 'home' to Murray State."

"We are very excited that Brian has decided to return to MSU in an administrative role in the Hutson School of Agriculture. He shares our passion for agriculture and for the outstanding programs in our school and university," Dr. Tony Brannon, dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture, said. "His expertise, particularly in graduate education at the master's and doctoral levels is an exact fit for our need at this time as we continue to grow and provide a 'start to finish' stable of courses and programs ranging from our Racer Academy of Agriculture dual credit programs in the high school through to the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs.

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