Rollin Richmond, Provost, (515) 294-9591
John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6137


AMES, Iowa -- Richard Ross, dean of the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named interim dean of the ISU College of Agriculture.

Ross will assume the interim position by Feb. 1, ISU Provost Rollin Richmond announced Friday, Jan. 7. Ross will also continue his duties as College of Veterinary Medicine dean.

Ross replaces David Topel, dean of the ISU College of Agriculture since 1988. Topel announced in 1998 his intention to step down as dean to return to the faculty.

Topel led the College of Agriculture in revamping the undergraduate curriculum to give students better communications and problem-solving skills. He put new emphasis on biotechnology, sustainable agriculture, rural development, developing new uses for crops, and creating international connections for the college.

"During more than a decade as dean, David Topel has helped keep the College of Agriculture strong and growing. His work for Iowa agriculture both within ISU and for the state and nation will stand as a valuable legacy," said Richmond.

"We deeply appreciated David's willingness to stay on as we search for new dean, and understand his desire to move on at this point."

Iowa State's national search for a new dean of the College of Agriculture will continue. Six candidates for the position have been interviewed.

"The candidates who went through the interview process all had strong credentials and could have brought individual strengths to the position. However, based on the responses from the various groups that met with the candidates, no consensus emerged as to who would be the best leader for the College of Agriculture," said Richmond.

"Given the importance of the position to Iowa State University, the state of Iowa and, indeed, agriculture world-wide, I have decided not to make a permanent appointment at this time. We will continue our search for a permanent dean," he said.


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