Agriculture News

March 2, 2023

Snyder Lecture speaker to focus on land-grant universities’ role in shaping the future of higher education

akridge-j23 Jay T. Akridge, Trustee Chair in Teaching and Learning Excellence, Professor of Agricultural Economics. Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —  Jay T. Akridge, Trustee Chair in Teaching and Learning Excellence, professor of agricultural economics, and former Purdue University provost, will be the guest speaker at 48th annual James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. April 21 in the David C. Pfendler Hall of Agriculture’s Deans Auditorium (Room 241), located at 715 Mitch Daniels Blvd. (West State Street).

“Calls for change are nothing new to higher education,” Akridge said. “However, from the coming decline in the number of traditional college-age students and other demographic shifts, to rapid developments in learning technologies and new providers, to public uncertainty about value and commensurate funding challenges, colleges and universities currently face a set of existential questions about their future.”

Akridge’s lecture, “Shaping the Future of Higher Education? Becoming a Land-grant University for Our Times,” will outline some of the most important factors facing higher education and focus on how a land-grant university can position itself for relevance and societal impact.

Akridge most recently served as Purdue’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity from 2017-22, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture from 2009-17, and director of the Purdue Center for Food and Agricultural Business from 2000-07. 

He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Charles Murphy Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching, Purdue’s Book of Great Teachers (2003), and being named a University Faculty Scholar (2000). Before moving into administration, Akridge was the James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics. His research focuses on strategic management of food and agribusiness firms and adoption of new technology by agribusiness. He has worked with agribusiness managers in the areas of strategy and marketing in more than 20 countries. 

Akridge joins a list of respected leaders in agricultural business and economics who have served as guest speakers for the James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture. The lecture series is the Department of Agricultural Economics’ signature annual event and was established in 1975 in honor of James C. Snyder, who served at Purdue as a professor and researcher in agricultural economics.

For more information about the event, visit the James C. Snyder Memorial Lecture website or contact Tracy Buck at, 765-494-4191.

Writer: Kami Goodwin,        

Event Contact: Tracy Buck,, 765-494-4191

Agricultural Communications: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Department Head,

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