After serving as the dean of the College of Natural Resources
for 12 years, two things prompted Allen Dyer to step down from his
position: family and fly fishing.
“I’ve been at this a long time,” Dyer said. “Mostly it was time
to spend more time with family and do some fly fishing. With four
children and 19 grandkids, I have obligations out there.”
Dyer plans to do a transitional appointment, where he will come
back and teach only the fall semester for two years. This will
allow him to be around his family more and to enjoy all the outdoor
activities he usually cannot fit into his schedule.
Dyer said he arrived at CSU in the middle of a snowstorm in
January 1971. He brought with him a forestry degree from the
University of California at Berkeley, a doctorate in economics from
Utah State University and a year-and-a-half as a Utah State faculty
He was the head of the forest and wood science department for
eight years, until he became a dean in 1992. Dyer said being a dean
has provided a lot of satisfaction for him.
“Watching the college faculty emerge as one of the premier
research faculties is something I have enjoyed being part of,” Dyer
Dyer said he looks forward to teaching primarily freshman
courses in the fall. Teaching, in Dyer’s opinion, provides a
“I have learned from students that all individuals are gifted,
and one of the challenges of being an educator is helping them
express those gifts,” Dyer said.
Dyer takes pride in the relationships with and the
accomplishments of his students, he said.
“Some of the students I’ve worked with have been wonderful
experiences. I’ve advised a number of students who have gone on to
good careers,” he said.
Peter Nicholls, provost for CSU, explained how Dyer’s
performance as dean has been exemplary.
“He has the sort of personality that makes people like and trust
him,” Nicholls said. “Even through the budget cuts last year, he
was able to get through it so that faculty morale was still good at
Nicholls described Dyer as an honest people person with no
hidden agendas. He also named Dyer’s community dedication as
something that will make replacing him difficult.
“He is a great university citizen. He’s not just concerned about
his college, but about the entire university,” Nicholls said.
Joyce Berry is an associate dean for the College of Natural
Resources and will serve as the interim dean during the search for
a new dean. She was also one of Dyer’s students and explained how
his teaching style helped her.
“Al was on my graduate committee and also one of my favorite
professors from 1974 to 1976. But Al’s teaching and mentoring was
not confined to the classroom or our immediate program,” Berry
said. “He often had us to his house and provided social and
professional opportunities where we were able to grow and become
more confident in both our professional and personal lives.”
Berry said that even though her relationship with Dyer has
changed from student to co-worker, he still helps her whenever she
“First and foremost, Al cares about people. If you have a
problem he is always there to help. He establishes a collaborative
and fun environment for all his staff,” Berry said.
Dyer has accomplished much during his time at CSU, Berry said.
Among those accomplishments are increasing the research
productivity of the college from $10 million to $34 million,
supporting important new research initiatives and developing
first-class computer facilities in the college.
Berry thinks Dyer’s leadership has made the college “one of the
most respected and successful in the country.”
Even after he has fully retired, Dyer said the college will
continue to gain the respect of the rest of the country.
“I think the future for the College of Natural Resources is very
bright. It has a very energetic faculty and the students are
especially dedicated and passionate about what they do. The
undergraduate programs will continue to be one of the best in the
country. Faculty and research will continue to be exemplary. It’s a
great time,” Dyer said.
Though Dyer will soon be busy with family and fishing, he said
he would still make time on Saturdays for one school-affiliated
“I have been a relentless fan of CSU football from the dark days
to the good days. You all might not remember, but there were some
dark days,” he said.