Two years ago, many IR-4 Project stakeholders were stunned when it was announced that IR-4’s national coordinating headquarters was moving from its longtime home at Rutgers University to NC State University. This move was necessitated by Rutgers as the university was unable to host IR-4 headquarters due to restrictions on our U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that did not allow Rutgers to collect indirect costs or service fees. NC State was not under the same fiscal pressures as Rutgers and the university administration agreed to welcome and host IR-4 headquarters for an initial period of 10 years.
We are pleased to announce that effective October 1, 2021, the planned and orderly transition is complete and all IR-4 Project headquarters operations are now functioning out of NC State. Under normal conditions, a move of this magnitude is difficult. It is even more difficult to accomplish the move during a global pandemic. With the cooperation of NC State and Rutgers, we hired 30 full or part-time employees, moved nearly 60 years of paper files that must be retained by federal regulations, outfitted a modern office space on NC State’s Centennial Campus, and adapted legacy electronic data systems to new and modified systems. All of this occurred under budget and ahead of schedule. It takes a village, and fortunately for IR-4, everyone in the Rutgers and NC State groups worked closely together to make this happen.
There are many to acknowledge and thank during the relocation including:
- NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Steve Lommel, Rich Bonanno, David Monks, Becca Zuvich, Martellis Dickens, Holly Lipkovich, Jamie Dennis, and Jevon Smith
- Rutgers School of Environment and Biological Sciences: Margaret (Peggy) Brennan, Wendie Cohick, Zenash Tassew, Don Kobayashi, and Karl Lindauer
- IR-4-Rutgers: Debbie Carpenter, Uta Burke, Karen Sims, Juliet Thompson, Susan Bierbrunner, Sherri Nagahiro, Thomas Pike, Grace Lennon, Ken Samoil, Kathryn Homa, Bill Barney, Jane Forder, Dan Rossi, Cristi Palmer, Shiayi Huang, and Michael Braverman. Many of the above will continue working with IR-4 in some capacity.
I also want to give a shout out to the new team at IR-4 headquarters in North Carolina who have made the transition easy. Special thanks to Krystal Chojnacki, Venkat Pedibhotla, Johanna Mazlo, Roger Batts, Philip Moore, and Jimmy Byrtus who contributed as part of the “Beachhead group”, helping to pave the way for new systems, new processes, and new hires.
Finally, I want to publicly thank the members of the IR-4 Project Management Committee and the Commodity Liaison Committee. Special thanks to Mike Bledsoe of Village Farms for his help, guidance and occasional “talking me off the ledge” comments. It is comforting to know that they were there to help anytime assistance was needed.
If you are in the area, please come by and see us at our new offices located at 1730 Varsity Drive, Suite 210, Raleigh NC.
All the best,
The IR-4 Project