Academic leaders from four major land-grant universities have been named finalists to be dean at West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and director of the West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Campus visits for the candidates begin this week as Daniel J. Robison, associate dean for research in the North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resources meets with various groups in Morgantown Tuesday through Thursday.

Other candidates, and their scheduled visits are:

  • Zhanjiang (John) Liu, associate dean for research in the College of Agriculture and assistant director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station at Auburn University; Dec. 5-6.
  • Donn G. Shilling, head of the Department of Crop and Soil Science at the University of Georgia; Dec. 6-8.
  • Mark Rieger, associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida; Dec. 14-16.

“All four of the candidates bring a strong background in research, which is key part of our 2020 Strategic Framework for the Future,” said Robert Jones, dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the search committee. “They all also understand the important role land-grant institutions play in the American educational landscape, which is especially important as WVU is a leading player in the changing role of land-grants for the 21st Century.”

Detailed information and schedules for public appearances for all four candidates is available at a special website –

Students, faculty and staff are invited to meet the candidates at open forums. During these sessions, the candidates will introduce themselves and audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions. Evaluation forms will be available in each forum as well as on the website.


CONTACT: University Relations/News

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.