Published on 11/29/07

New assistant dean named

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

A national search ended today with the announcement that Joe West will be the assistant dean for the Tifton, Ga., campus of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

West will oversee the college's research and extension operations and academic program on the campus and at its outlying centers in south Georgia.

"I'm very pleased that Dr. West has accepted this important position," said CAES dean and director J. Scott Angle. "Our Tifton campus is located in the heart of Georgia's agricultural community. We need someone who can provide seasoned leadership for such a demanding position, but will also be a good listener."

Angle said West is "the right person to keep agricultural research, extension and education in Athens connected to vital resources and producers in south Georgia."

Twenty-two years with UGA

A UGA animal and dairy science professor, West has been with the CAES for 22 years. He has spent almost all of that time working on research and extension programs on the Tifton campus. His work focuses mainly on dairy cow nutrition and heat stress management.

West holds degrees from Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee and Texas A&M University. He has served on editorial boards of the Journal of Dairy Science and as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Animal Science and other journals. He's on the planning committee for the Western Dairy Management Conference.

Row crop research

The CAES Tifton campus is a focal point for row crop farming in Georgia. What began in 1918 as the Coastal Plain Experiment Station is now an integral part of the college's teaching, research and extension programs.

The campus includes 7,000 acres with research farms and centers at Alma, Attapulgus, Camilla, Midville, Lyons and Plains.

UGA researchers in Tifton work closely with U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service scientists on the campus, a partnership that dates back to 1924.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to serve as the assistant dean of the University of Georgia's Tifton campus," West said. "This campus is a key component of the college. We have an excellent group of scientists and staff at Tifton. And with our USDA ARS partners, I believe the campus is well positioned to continue to make advances in agricultural and environmental issues."

The Tifton Campus Conference Center provides services that include classrooms and meeting facilities for educational and nonprofit organizations, including youth groups, farmers, homeowners and Cooperative Extension agents.

Graduate and undergraduate programs

The campus also has a growing teaching program. College level instruction on the campus is aimed at undergraduate and graduate level study. Students can earn a UGA Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree without leaving Tifton.

"With our teaching program, we're producing college graduates who will help meet the future needs of agriculture," West said. "I'm enthusiastic about working with Dean Scott Angle's administrative team as the college continually strives for excellence in our contributions to agriculture and the people of Georgia."

West has served on the UGA University Council, the CAES Faculty Council and the UGA President's Advisory Committee.

He assumes the assistant dean responsibilities from CAES entomologist Steve L. Brown. Brown was interim assistant dean for a year and a half after former assistant dean David Bridges was appointed president of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.