Daniel J. Robison, associate dean for research and professor of forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University, has been named dean of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design at West Virginia University.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Robison as our newest Mountaineer,” said Provost Michele Wheatly, WVU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He has a tremendously exciting vision for furthering the academic profile and success of Davis College students, faculty and staff. I know that under his leadership, the College will build a number of new undergraduate and graduate programs.
“Moreover, Dr. Robison will be a guiding force as Davis College builds its beautiful new greenhouse and designs and builds a new Agricultural Sciences building.”
Robison said, “I am truly honored to be named dean and I look forward to joining the outstanding people in, and stakeholders of, the Davis College as we forge into what is sure to be a dynamic period in the history of the College.
“The people and the mission of the Davis College are perfectly aligned to address the great challenges of our time, and to push into the future with our work and through our students. My wife Julie and I, and our daughters Sophia and Hannah, are excited to become part of the WVU and Morgantown communities,” said Robison, who will begin his new assignment May 31, 2012.
Robison currently leads the research enterprise of the North Carolina State University College of Natural Resources, where he has held leadership roles since 2004. In his work as an administrator and professor there, since 1997, he won recognition for teaching, directed several large-integrated research programs and international initiatives, was engaged with Extension and outreach activities, and during 2007-2008 he was a Leadership Fellow with the American Council on Education, serving with the chancellors of University of Alaska-Fairbanks and East Carolina University.
He has published extensively in the forest science literature, secured millions-of-dollars of research funding, mentored graduate students and worked overseas in a number of locations, from South Africa to Israel to Myanmar.
Robison’s own disciplinary expertise is in the areas of natural resource management and sustainable development, silviculture and forest pest management, and clonal forestry and biomass-energy. Prior to his work at N.C. State University he worked at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry-Syracuse (SUNY ESF), and lived for two years in West Africa working for a variety of organizations, including with the West African Rice Development Association.
Robison earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in forestry from SUNY ESF, and a Ph.D. in entomology from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Davis College, one of 13 colleges within WVU, is the University’s oldest academic unit. It has 108 faculty and 150 full-time staff and an enrollment of 1,700 undergraduate and 280 graduate students. It has a full spectrum of degree programs housed in five academic divisions. The Davis dean also serves as director of the West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, managing the research facilities of the college, including farms and forests. The College, from design to animal and plant sciences, from forest science to landscape management, is central to WVU’s mission to advance the people and places of West Virginia, and beyond.
The Davis College was renamed in 2001 for two Morgantown sisters, Gladys Gwendolyn Davis and Vivian Davis-Michael, in recognition of their $18.4 million gift. The College offers 22 undergraduate majors, as well as 17 masters programs and seven doctoral degree programs. Today’s Davis College students have access to 3,425 acres of farmland and 8,134 acres of forest, as well as a new greenhouse, dairy and the Rumen Fermentation Laboratory. All of these resources provide opportunities for learning and study beyond the classroom, and facilitate valuable community service.
Robert Jones, dean of WVU’s Eberly College of Arts and Science, led the search committee that chose four candidates from a pool of applicants to visit campus in November and December of 2011.Dr. Rudy Almasy, a long-time WVU administrator and English professor, has been serving as interim dean in Davis College since July of 2011.
“He has capably guided the College through the ground-breaking of the new greenhouse, the opening of the first exhibits of the WVU Natural History Museum, and the celebration of WVU’s land-grant sesquicentennial, in which the Davis College has had a significant role,” Wheatly said. “We are so grateful to Dr. Almasy for his commitment to the University.”
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