Dec 072003
Authors: Seth Davis

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

rewarding challenge.

“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

the end.”

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

needs it.

“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.

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