Two University of Tennessee leaders honored by Association of Public and Land-grant Universities


UTIA’s Neal Schrick and Hongwei Xin recognized as FSLI Fellows


Credit: Image provided by FSLI.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Two leaders from within the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture were recently honored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Neal Schrick, head of the Department of Animal Science and interim head of the Department of Food Science, and Hongwei Xin, dean and director of UT AgResearch, are among a cohort of twenty-five Fellows of the Food Systems Leadership Institute for 2020. The group was honored during a recognition ceremony in the recent virtual annual meeting of the APLU. The Fellows were recognized for their accomplishments in completing the FSLI executive leadership development program and for contributions to their individual organizations and the broader higher education and food systems.

The FSLI is a two-year program designed for experienced leaders in academia, government and industry. Through a dynamic curriculum that includes three executive-style residential sessions, individual coaching, mentoring and personal projects, the FSLI seeks to enhance personal leadership ability, develop skills and knowledge for organizational change, and broaden perspectives on integrated food systems.

Fellows report that the FSLI experience significantly impacted their leadership abilities. More than 40% of the FSLI Fellow alumni have experienced promotions, selection to lead high-profile initiatives, election to university-wide leadership posts, and other recognitions. Other Fellows are using their enhanced leadership and broader food systems perspectives to lead change from their current positions.


The FSLI program was created with financial support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and is operated in a partnership between North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. More information on the FSLI is available at

The complete list of 2020 Fellows is available online in the APLU annual awards booklet, A Community of Scholars Honoring Excellence, 2020.

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