In announcing the appointment, Rick Roush, dean of the college, said Roth will work with Department Head Erin Connolly, faculty and staff to keep a large, complex department with multiple educational and research programs functioning smoothly. The department employs more than 100 faculty members and research, extension and support staff.
As associate head, Roth will provide leadership for the extension functions of the department, which will include managing, planning, coordinating and identifying resources for all forms of applied research, instruction and outreach. To help achieve the department's extension objectives, he also will develop and maintain collaborative relationships within the department and the college, as well as with other University units and external stakeholders.
In addition, he will work with the department head, faculty, staff and various committees on departmental issues and special projects; will represent the department in the department head's absence; will consult with the department head on issues, needs and planning; and will provide vision for building and enhancing the department's mission, structure and programs.
Between earning bachelor's and doctoral degrees in agronomy from Penn State, Roth received a master's degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. After joining the College of Agricultural Sciences as a research associate in 1987, he became assistant professor of agronomy in 1989 and achieved the rank of full professor in 2002.
Roth's research and extension program focuses on management and variety evaluation of grain crops, corn, corn silage, soybean, winter wheat and winter barley. He also has developed and commercialized technology for the interseeding of cover crops in corn and soybeans.
The Department of Plant Science offers undergraduate, four-year majors in plant sciences, landscape contracting and turfgrass science and a two-year program in golf course turfgrass management. It offers graduate programs in horticulture, agronomy and turfgrass management, and faculty members participate in intercollege graduate programs in ecology; molecular, cellular and integrative biosciences; and plant biology.
The department also conducts scientific research to discover answers to complex problems that threaten sustainable land use and food production and communicates research findings through scholarly publications and relevant extension programs to enhance the quality of life for residents of Pennsylvania and the world.