Dr. Dennis Nef, a veteran faculty member and administrator at California State University, Fresno, has been named interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at California State University, Fresno, effective Feb. 2.

He succeeds Dr. Jeronima “Jeri” Echeverria, who moves in February to the California State University headquarters in Long Beach to become associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for the 23-campus CSU system.

A search for a replacement for Echeverria will begin immediately, said Fresno State President John D. Welty.

Nef, who joined the university faculty in 1983, has been serving as associate vice president and dean of Undergraduate Studies since August 2005. He previously was a faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology specializing in agricultural policy and resource economics, and land and water economics.

“I’m pleased that Dr. Nef has agreed to fill this very important position on an interim basis,” said Welty. “His knowledge of our university and undergraduate educational issues, and his administrative experience will be invaluable as we maneuver through what will be challenging fiscal months ahead.”

Nef holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Brigham Young University, and M.S. (Utah State) and Ph.D. (Iowa State) degrees in agricultural economics.

Nef is the author of papers on agricultural land use, water policy and energy rate selection in agriculture. He has taught courses in natural resource economics, agricultural trade, agriculture and food policy, agricultural research methods and agricultural finance.

He formerly had served as associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics, and is a member of the Fresno County Agricultural Land Conservation Committee.