Roush named new dean of College of Agricultural Sciences

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State announced today (July 2) that Richard Roush will be the new dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, pending approval by the University Board of Trustees at its July 11 meeting. His appointment is effective Oct. 1, 2014.

Roush is currently the dean and a professor at University of Melbourne’s Melbourne School of Land and Environment in Australia.

“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, Penn State’s 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.

“I’d also like to thank Barbara Christ, who has served as interim dean for the college, providing steady guidance as we conducted our search,” said Jones. “I am pleased also that she will continue to serve in this capacity until Oct. 1.”

Roush replaces Bruce McPheron who left Penn State in November 2012 to become vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University, his undergraduate alma mater.

Since McPheron’s departure, Christ, senior associate dean and professor, has served as interim dean of the college.

“There are global challenges facing agriculture, including feeding a projected 9 billion people without further damaging the environment and opportunities for greater export income,” said Roush. “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 has served in his current position at the University of Melbourne since 2006, leading an academic staff of 95 that generates between $20 million and $22 million in annual research income.

Roush received his Bachelor of Science degree in entomology from the University of California, Davis, in 1976, and his doctorate in entomology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1979.

From 1981 to 1986, he was a faculty member and researcher at Mississippi State University; an associate professor at Cornell University until 1995; and associate professor at Australia’s University of Adelaide (1995-2003). From 1998 to 2003, he was CEO of Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management. For three years from 2003 to 2006, he directed the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program at the University of California, also serving as interim director of the school’s Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program from 2004-06.

Since 1987, Roush has consulted for corporations such as Eli Lilly, DuPont, Monsanto and Dow on the management and prevention of resistance to conventional and biological pesticides, and genetically transformed plants.

Over his career, he has received more than 25 personal grants for research totaling more than $3.6 million. Roush also received a research grant in Australia for $20.3 million ($19.1 million, U.S.).

A member of the Entomological Society of America since 1979, he also was a founding member of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture, which was established in 2007.

Roush has written nearly 100 articles in refereed journals and contributed to more than 30 books. He’s been a reviewer for multiple journals, including Evolution, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Economic Entomology.

In his role as dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Roush will oversee one of the largest integrated academic and outreach units of its kind in American higher education. With research expenditures approaching $97 million annually, the college is one of the most research-active among its peer institutions, and serves 3,000 undergraduate student, as well as 580 graduate students through its nine academic departments.

Last Updated July 08, 2014