Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences ended its long search for its next dean today, selecting Richard Roush, currently the Dean of Melbourne University’s School of Land and Environment in Australia. Roush is set to take the reins on Oct. 1.
“There are global challenges facing agriculture, including feeding a projected 9 billion people without further damaging the environment and opportunities for greater export income,” Roush said in the press release. “The breadth and depth of Penn State puts us in a great place to help meet these challenges and opportunities, for the benefit of the state, nation and the planet. I very much look forward to joining the team.”
Roush holds entomology degrees from the University of Cal at Davis (undergraduate, 1976) and Berkeley (doctorate, 1979). He began work as a professor at Mississippi State from 1981-86, before becoming an associate professor of entomology at Cornell from 1987-95. From there, he worked in the Department of Crop Protection at the University of Adelaide, also in Australia. From 1998 to 2003, he was CEO of Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management, and then served in the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program at Cal for three years. He’s worked at the University of Melbourne since 2006.
Melbourne was ranked the No. 1 Australian University by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the 28th worldwide, so his deanship there is certainly impressive. He’s written nearly 100 articles and has contributed to more than 30 books, receiving more than 25 personal research grants totaling about $3.6 million along the way.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Roush as our newest dean. His leadership experience and distinguished scholarship will help advance the College of Agricultural Sciences in a significant and impactful way,” said Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost. “He has a tremendously exciting vision related to the academic profile of the college and he brings a considerable breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to the position.
Directly, Roush is replacing interim dean Barbara Christ, who’s served in the role since October 2012 when Bruce McPheron left to become dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State.
Roush’s appointment is pending Board of Trustees’ approval at its July 11 meeting. Welcome to Happy Valley, Dr. Roush!