Virginia Tech has finalized the committee tasked with overseeing a national search for the next dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

As the head of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), the dean serves as chief administrative officer of the college and is responsible for strategically leading the college’s academic and administrative operations. CALS and its faculty and students are shaping the future of agriculture and life sciences, and the land-grant philosophy and mission of Virginia Tech in all its diverse teaching, research, extension, development, international, and service and outreach activities.

The next dean will replace Alan Grant, who has announced his retirement effective the end of the 2023-24 academic year, after 15 years of leadership and service.

The list of search committee members is as follows:

  • Dan Givens – search committee chair and dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Jason Grant – W. G. Wyson Professor of Agriculture, Agriculture and Applied Economics, and director for the Center for Agricultural Trade
  • Renee Boyer – department head, professor, and extension specialist, Food Science and Technology
  • Jake Tu – University Distinguished Professor, Biochemistry
  • Zach Easton – professor and extension specialist, Biological Systems Engineering
  • Jonathan Auguste – associate professor, Entomology
  • Donna Westfall-Rudd – associate professor, Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education
  • Angela Anderson – collegiate associate professor, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
  • James Chen – assistant professor, School of Animal Sciences
  • Ozzie Abaye – Thomas B. Hutcheson Jr. Professor of Agronomy, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
  • Jasmine Phillips – financial specialist, CALS; president of CALS Staff Association
  • Mark Reiter – director, Eastern Shore AREC; professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
  • Janet Spencer – director, VCE Southeast District
  • Estrella Johnson - assistant dean, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, College of Science
  • Keith Goyne – associate dean, College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Dan Cleveland – assistant vice president for University Advancement
  • Elizabeth Hooper – associate vice president for Government and Community Relations
  • Robert Mills – Virginia Farm Bureau; past chair of the CALS Dean’s Advisory Council
  • Katie Frazier – Farm Credit of the Virginias; chair of the CALS Dean’s Advisory Council

The search committee will be supported by a staff that includes Ron Fricker, vice provost for Faculty Affairs; Barbara Lockee, associate vice provost for Faculty Affairs (and primary point of contact for in-house questions/comments); Allison Craft, executive assistant to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Sara Thompto, program assistant, Faculty Affairs; and Catherine Piche, program assistant, Faculty Affairs.

Virginia Tech is partnering with Korn Ferry organizational consultant firm to assist with the search process and receive nominations and applications for the position. The position description and application/nomination process will be posted shortly on the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost website.

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