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April 29, 2024

Matthew Daum recommended as interim dean of MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Matthew Daum will be recommended to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees to serve as the interim dean of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, or CANR, effective July 1, 2024. Pending board approval, he will succeed Kelly Millenbah, who has served as dean and interim dean for the past three years.

Matthew Daum

During her time serving as interim dean and dean, Millenbah has focused on cultivating engagement between MSU’s founding college and the people it serves. Along with her colleagues in MSU Extension and AgBioResearch, she embarked on two seasons of statewide Meet Michigan tours, crisscrossing the state with a team of leaders to connect with CANR stakeholders and Michigan residents in communities from Detroit to Marquette to Benton Harbor.

The college broke ground on two major infrastructure projects under Millenbah’s leadership: the new Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Center and renovations and additions at the Plant Science Greenhouses, both of which were funded in part by the state of Michigan. Millenbah initiated an ongoing process of strategic planning with CANR’s senior leadership team in 2023, identifying core areas of strength and opportunity across CANR’s academic and research portfolios. 

“While I am saddened to learn of Dean Millenbah’s departure from her leadership role, I understand her answering the call to support her family, and I am grateful for her substantive contributions to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Michigan State University over the years,” said MSU Interim Provost Thomas Jeitschko. “I am grateful for Dr. Daum’s willingness to step into this interim role — and for his knowledge about, leadership experience within, and familiarity with CANR, which will provide stability and continuity for the college during this time of transition.”

Daum has served as the director of the MSU School of Packaging since 2020. He also serves as CANR’s assistant dean of corporate relations and strategy.

In his role as School of Packaging director, Daum led a comprehensive renovation of the school’s classrooms, collaboration areas and research spaces. The renovations, which were completed in April 2023, were supported by donations totaling over $10 million, including lead gifts from corporate and private donors. Packaging industry leaders also provided gifts-in-kind: a custom multi-axis vibration system, test and measurement equipment and computers. Under Daum’s direction, formal planning is currently underway for a major expansion of the School of Packaging, a $25 million investment that will double the size of the building and significantly increase research capacity, creating space for more faculty and graduate students.

In Daum’s role as assistant dean of corporate relations and strategy, he has worked in support of CANR’s ongoing process of strategic planning, and alongside Millenbah, to develop the CANR Leadership Council, which brings together partners across a wide range of industries in an advisory capacity.

“Dr. Daum has an impressive record of service to our college as the director of the prestigious and high-impact School of Packaging, and he possesses unique strengths in the areas of corporate and donor relations,” said Millenbah. “I’m confident that he will be an outstanding interim dean to this one-of-a-kind community of students, faculty, staff and stakeholders, and I will be championing him every step of the way.”

Daum is a three-time MSU graduate, earning his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the School of Packaging, and was recognized as the MSU Innovation Center’s Corporate Connector of the Year in 2022. He spent 26 years at HP Inc. (formerly Hewlett Packard), where he held a variety of executive management positions in the HP LaserJet supplies business, including leadership roles in product research and development, product marketing, packaging, supply chain and big data/global analytics. Prior to returning to Michigan State University in 2020, Daum also advised graduate students at Clemson University and guest lectured at both Clemson and the College of Idaho.

“As a lifelong Spartan, it’s a personal honor for me to uphold CANR’s land-grant legacy of excellence in partnership with the college’s exceptional faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said Daum. “I look forward to extending Dean Millenbah’s excellent work deepening relationships and partnerships around campus, the state, nationally and internationally to ensure we are meeting needs through workforce development, applied research and relevant outreach.”

By: Kelly Kussmaul

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