Leading Our People: Steve Husman

Nov. 21, 2019

True leadership lies in guiding others to success. In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well. —Bill Owens

“I do my very best to recognize and appreciate all of the people for their contributions, accomplishments and skill sets,” Steve Husman, recipient of the 2018-2019 ALVSCE Administrator of the Year Award, said about his leadership philosophy. “I believe in letting good people do their job. I tend to be a pretty simple, common-sense type person and not make things more complicated than they need to be.”

He has clearly refined his leadership through his nearly 40-year career at the University of Arizona, starting as an Assistant Agent in Agriculture and expanding to roles such as Area Agent and serving when needed as Director of Pima County Cooperative Extension.

In the Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension our foundational strategic intent is to be the most sought-after place to be part of. Part of being the most sought-after place for our employees is recognizing and thanking them for their valuable contributions.  That is why the division gives awards annually, including the Administrator of the Year Award, which recognizes an administrator who has done an exceptional job leading their unit within the division.

Steve Husman, the 2018-2019 recipient, is an Associate Director of the Arizona Experiment Station  and Director of the Tucson Area Agricultural Centers.  He was nominated by colleagues who work under his leadership as well as colleagues who witness his leadership in action.

Steve was described by his nominators as a leader with exceptional vision, passion, dedication, and one who recognizes and cares for the people he leads.  When asked what the secret to his vision and effectiveness was, he stated, “over the course of my career, based on years as a student, technician, faculty member, and administrator – I’ve worn all of the hats, I believe that I fully understand and recognize all the various diverse things we do.”  His vision and passion for the mission is evident from the series of stories from his nominators about his contributions to the 4-H High Ropes Course, Tucson Village Farm, and youth visiting the Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER).

One nominator touted his wisdom and support of the mission saying:
Steve’s background as a faculty member is in crop and soil science. He spent a career helping Arizona citizens improve their livelihoods. Now, he is helping the Experiment Station system improve its ability to deliver on its promise. I could go on with example after example of Steve’s virtues, successes, and support of the mission. The bottom line is Steve combines experienced wisdom with the execution to accomplish complex and sensitive tasks. The Campbell Avenue Farm, the jewel of TAAC, has the distinguished reputation of being the “front porch” of the UA… Steve deserves high praise and recognition for continued and sustained service at the highest levels as an administrator in CALS.

“I can honestly tell you that being nominated -let alone winning the award- is both professionally and personally very gratifying,” Steve shared when asked how he felt to be selected. “I am very humbled.”

 Steve has recently announced his retirement from the University.  This recognition for his leadership is a fitting tribute to his many years of dedicated service. He sums up his legacy well, “I am most pleased that I have contributed, in some small way, to CALS, the UA, and the users of the Ag Center.”

He certainly has, and our division is a better place for his leadership. Thank you, Steve.

For more information about nominating a leader for the Administrator of the Year Award, visit the award page on Compass.