​Recognized at National Research Center Administrators Society Meeting

Walt Hitch and Barry Sims

Walt Hitch (left) and Barry Sims, both of UT AgResearch, were honored for service to the Research Center Administrators Society during the organization's annual meeting in February 2017. Photo by A. Sims, courtesy UTIA. Download image.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Two members of the University of Tennessee AgResearch leadership team were recently honored at the annual Research Center Administrators Society (RCAS)​ meeting in Mobile, Alabama.

Barry Sims, associate director, UT AgResearch, was recognized for completing his term as president of RCAS. He will serve as past-president for the next year. As past-president, Sims will be available to assist the incoming president in coordinating RCAS activities and in efforts to strengthen the societies' mission.

Walt Hitch, center director, Plateau AgResearch and Education Center, received the Distinguished Service Award. This award is given annually to one member who has made outstanding contributions to the society over an extended period of time. Hitch is a longtime member of RCAS. He has held numerous offices and committee appointments, including serving as RCAS President from 2012-2013.

RCAS is a national organization comprised of agricultural research center administrators from universities, colleges and USDA.

“The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture has a long history of participation in the RCAS,” says Bill Brown, dean of UT AgResearch. “This Society provides an important opportunity for Center Directors from across the county to come together and share ideas. Both Barry and Walt have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing agricultural research and education at a state, regional and national level. It is wonderful that their efforts have been recognized by their peers at RCAS.”

UT AgResearch advances science in agriculture and food systems, natural resource management, and family and community sciences. More than 160 faculty, staff and graduate students search for research solutions at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture campus and at 10 AgResearch and Education Centers across the state.

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



Barry Sims, executive director, UT AgResearch, 865-974-7339,

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