Dean’s Update

Alan Grant

Alan Grant, dean

Greetings from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

As you will read about in this issue of Innovations, this is a great time of growth in the college. We recently celebrated the opening of several new facilities, and we are looking ahead toward the construction of at least three new groups of buildings in the coming years that will benefit our students, researchers, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

As part of this growth, we are looking at ways we can increase the visibility and impact of our learning, discovery, and engagement programs in key areas.

A good opportunity to do this is the proposed creation of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences.

We are looking ahead toward the construction of at least three new groups of buildings in the coming years that will benefit our students, researchers, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

The school will put the departments of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Horticulture, and Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science together to fuel innovation and productivity while making new investments to boost our capacity and tackle the many challenges in agriculture and food security, the green industry, plant biology, and the environment.

The increased collaborative activity will serve our external stakeholders better, and it will also give faculty members opportunities to revise and develop curricula that will attract more students who will be prepared for careers that encompass these disciplines. The university’s new provost, Thanassis Rikakis, has championed a goal of becoming more transdisciplinary in our work, which aligns well with the goals of the school.

The school is also a target for new investments. Recruitment of faculty members and construction of new facilities, such as the next building in the Human and Agricultural Biosciences Precinct, will ensure that Virginia Tech is a global leader in plant and environmental sciences.

You can learn more about the school at http://news.cals.vt.edu/spes.

As the college continues to grow, I look forward to working with you to find ways we can continuously improve an already great institution.

Sincerely,
Alan Grant
Dean
algrant@vt.edu

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