​Barry Sims Steps into New Role May 1

Dr. Barry Sims will assume the role of Associate Director of UT AgResearch on May 1, 2016. He will lead facility projects and coordinate faculty research at the university's 10 AgResearch and Education Centers. Photo by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA.​ Download image.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – University of Tennessee AgResearch has named Barry Sims as its new Associate Director. He will assume the new role May 1, 2016.

Sims, who has spent the last 18 years as Center Director of the Highland Rim AgResearch and Education Center in Springfield, will provide leadership to the university’s system of AgResearch and Education Centers. Sims will focus on construction and facility projects at the 10 centers, along with coordinating faculty research at these sites. Other responsibilities include the organization of field days, special events and employee training programs.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Sims fill this role,” says Dean Bill Brown, UT AgResearch. “With Barry’s background and experience, he can provide valuable guidance and direction to our AgResearch and Education Centers as they facilitate research projects that advance agriculture and natural resource management.”

Before joining UT AgResearch, Sims worked for the University of Missouri as an Extension specialist. He has also worked as a field research biologist in the private sector. He holds a doctorate in agronomy and weed science from the University of Arkansas. Sims is currently the national president of the Research Center Administrators Society and a former president of the Southern Weed Science Society.

A native of Tennessee, Sims grew up on a farm in McNairy County. He and his wife, Amy, have three sons.

“I am looking forward to my new role working closely with the 10 AgResearch and Education Centers, as well as AgResearch and Extension faculty and staff in carrying out the mission of the UT Institute of Agriculture,” says Sims.

Sims is replacing John Hodges, who is retiring following more than 40 years of service to UT AgResearch.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. 



Dr. Barry Sims, associate director, UT AgResearch, 865-974-7161, 

Ginger Rowsey, UTIA Marketing and Communications, 731-425-4768,