MSU appoints new CALS associate dean
A Mississippi State University professor and administrator is the new associate dean in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Scott Willard, head of the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, will assume the position of associate dean on Oct. 1.
Willard has been at MSU since 1999, first as a professor of reproductive and environmental physiology in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences before taking the helm in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2007.
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology merged with the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in 2010, a recommendation of the faculty-led Select Committee on Efficiencies and Innovations and an action supported by the faculties of both departments.
During his tenure as head, undergraduate enrollment in the department has grown from 73 students in spring 2008 to 284 in spring 2013.
“I am pleased to have Scott Willard serve as a member of our administrative leadership team,” said George Hopper, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “Dr. Willard is a proven leader and a man of high character. He will be an asset to our college as we continue to grow our enrollment and expand our educational programs.”
Willard will assume the associate dean position in the fastest growing college at MSU. This fall the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences established an all-time high in enrollment at 2,152 students, an increase of nearly 11 percent from last fall.
“With more than 2,000 students in the college, Dr. Willard will coordinate all aspects of our academic programs, including curriculum, student advising, scholarships and recruiting” Hopper said.
Willard earned a bachelor’s degree in animal, veterinary and fisheries science at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston. He earned a master’s and doctoral degree in physiology of reproduction at Texas A&M University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cell biology and anatomy at the Medical University of South Carolina before coming to MSU.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is home to the departments of Agricultural Economics; Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Animal and Dairy Sciences; Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology; Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion; Landscape Architecture; Plant and Soil Sciences; Poultry Science; and the School of Human Sciences. The college offers 15 undergraduate degrees with 46 concentrations.