Apr 142009
Authors: Scott Callahan

Leading the Agricultural Sciences Department as its newly hired dean, Craig Beyrouty said his primary goals are to familiarize himself with CSU’s new administration and faculty and then hit the ground running with the economic and budget issues.

The former Purdue University department chairman will take office on July 10, filling a hole left by the former dean Marc Johnson, who left the university in June 2008 for a position at the University of Nevada-Reno.

“Reductions in the budget should protect our academic programs so that both undergraduate and graduate students continue to receive an outstanding education,” Beyrouty said in e-mail to the Collegian.

“Our intent also is to minimize the impact of budget reductions on people and programs so that we continue to address the needs of the state and nation,” he said.

He said he is trying to avoid budget cuts that affect personnel.

The new dean’s agenda focuses on the improvement and development of the agricultural industry and community. He said that a strong college can build an educated workforce, contributing to and ensuring sustainable agriculture not only in the state, but also in the nation and internationally.

Beyrouty said that maintaining a strong and productive agriculture industry in the U.S. is necessary because of now-developed expertise in global issues such as environmental sustainability and world hunger.

“Our ability to deliver on these issues through animal and crop production makes a strong case for sustained state and national support of our research programs,” Beyrouty said in his e-mail.

Beyrouty received his doctoral and master’s degrees in soil sciences from Purdue University and his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly State University. Before joining CSU, Beyrouty maintained his position as head of the Department of Agronomy, a derivative of agricultural sciences, for eight years.

There, he had administrative rank over 51 faculty and 310 staff members and students.

Throughout his 30 years in the industry, Beyrouty worked for land grant universities. He said he was “passionate about land grants” and the fact that CSU is a land grant university contributed to his interest in the position.

A land grant university is a federally controlled area of land that is granted to states for the purpose to teach agriculture, science and engineering as part of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, according to a West Virginia University study on land grant regions.

“CSU and I are in sync with our land grant philosophy and our sense of responsibility to serving the needs of the citizens of Colorado,” Beyrouty said.” This was another compelling reason for my attraction to CSU.”

Lee Sommers, the current interim dean of Agriculture Sciences, said that Beyrouty’s experience with land grants added to the strength of his resume.

“(Beyrouty) is an excellent choice. He has a strong background and experience working in a couple of universities with land grants,” Sommers said. “He is familiar with the issues, challenges and opportunities for land grant schools and colleges of agriculture.”

Marshall Frasier, a CSU agriculture professor, said that Beyrouty’s “track record” provided strong credentials. Frasier said he had a sense that Beyrouty would be energetic but sensible enough to get familiar with his surroundings before making major changes to the department.

“I was impressed with his presentation,” Frasier said. “(Beyrouty) seems like a forward-looking candidate and should make a fabulous dean.”

Beyrouty said that his new position as dean would allow him to be an “advocate” for agriculture and environmental issues not only in Colorado but also throughout nation. With all of the issues and challenges Beyrouty faces, he said he is optimistic and ready to get started.

“I am excited about being at CSU and excited about being a Ram,” Beyrouty said. “I’m looking forward to working with people in an out of the college to integrate the college.”

Staff writer Scott Callahan can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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