Duane M. Ford

Freelance Education Reporter


Duane M. Ford grew up on a family farm outside of Tonica, Illinois; received a BS in Agronomy with Highest and University Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1977; farmed with his father and brother for two years; and then attended graduate school at Iowa State University. After graduating with an MS (1982) and a PhD (1984) in Crop Production and Physiology, he served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1986, he began his career in teaching and academic leadership at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri. While there he taught and performed research in crop science and biology, served as Chairperson for Agricultural Science, as Associate Division Head for the Division of Science, received a fellowship in the W.K. Kellogg National Leadership Program (1991-1994), and studied for a sabbatical year at the Center for Biotechnology Policy and Ethics at Texas A&M University (1993-1994). In 1996, Dr. Ford became Chairperson and Professor, Department of Agriculture, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. From 1999-2011, he served as Dean for the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Platteville, Wisconsin. He also was Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for one year (2009-2010). In 2011, Dr. Ford became Southwest Wisconsin Technical College’s fifth president. He led the College, located in Fennimore, Wisconsin, until retirement in 2015. While in Southwest Wisconsin, he served on the Platteville Water and Sewer Commission, Platteville Economic Development Advisory Committee, and Southwest Health (hospital, nursing home, ambulance service, and clinics) Board of Directors. He chaired an ad hoc City of Platteville Citizen’s Advisory Committee which reviewed the adequacy of the current police station and recommended construction of a new facility. He was actively involved with the Grant County Economic Development Corporation and Fennimore Industrial and Economic Development Committee. He and his wife, Sheri, live in Covington, Georgia. They have two children, a grandson, and a great-grandson. Dr. Ford works part-time as a free-lance education reporter.