Graduate School names plant pathology prof as associate dean
After a competitive internal search, Graduate School Dean Suzanne Barbour has named Ron Walcott associate dean of the Graduate School, a position in which he will provide administrative oversight and strategic vision during the next phase of the Graduate School's evolution.
Walcott, a professor of plant pathology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has demonstrated a strong commitment to training the next generation of scholars and has secured eight grants to enhance the training of women and underrepresented minorities in his discipline. His research on the biology of seedborne bacteria and fungi has earned him an international reputation, and he has secured nearly $5 million in grant support.
He brings extensive administrative experience to the Graduate School, and his honors include recognition as a UGA Senior Teaching Fellow and as a member of the UGA Teaching Academy.
"I am honored to be selected to serve as the next associate dean of the Graduate School," Walcott said. "Graduate training is inextricably linked to UGA's tripartite mission of research, teaching and service, and graduate students contribute substantially to these endeavors. I eagerly look forward to working with faculty and administrators to enhance the quality and competitiveness of our graduate programs, as this is directly linked to UGA's overall success."
The search committee lauded Walcott for his achievements in mentoring and training graduate students and securing extramural dollars for their support. They also noted his commitment to increasing the quantity, quality and diversity of graduate students at UGA.
"Dr. Walcott's experience with the CTL Lily Teaching Fellows Program has provided him with academic expertise that transcends his discipline and makes him ideally suited to collaborate with faculty and students across campus," Barbour noted.
Provost Pamela Whitten emphasized that graduate education plays a vital role in keeping Georgia and the nation as a whole at the forefront of innovation and discovery.
"I am delighted that Dr. Walcott has been appointed to this important leadership position," Whitten said. "His commitment to students is exemplary, and he will be an invaluable partner for colleagues from across the university."