Robert D. Steele, associate dean for research and executive director of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Wisconsin-Madison”s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, has been named Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University. Steele will begin his duties at Penn State July 1.
“Bob has made significant contributions to the College, both as a faculty member and as an administrator,” said Roger Wyse, CALS dean. “He has demonstrated excellent administrative skills as research dean during a difficult period of downsizing and reallocation. He has a broad appreciation for all of the College”s disciplinary areas, as well as for both basic and applied research efforts.
“We wish him well as moves on to a new and important advance in his career,” Wyse said.
As associate dean and executive director, Steele administered all state, federal and private research funds for CALS ($70,000,000 in 1996), as well as overseeing all external research support for the College. As part of the Wisconsin land-grant partnership with USDA, Steele coordinated college research activities with federal and North Central region work in the agricultural sciences.
Trained as a biochemical nutritionist and physiologist, Steele”s research interests include the role of nutrients such as folic acid in health and metabolism, and the transport of nutrients into the brain. As a teacher, he was involved with Biocore, the Center for Biology Education, undergraduate minority research initiatives, the undergraduate Ways of Knowing series, and other programs.
Steele, a native of Pennsylvania, received bachelor”s and master”s degrees from the University of Arizona, and earned his doctorate in nutritional sciences at UW-Madison in 1978. Following four years at Rutgers University, Steele joined the faculty of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at UW-Madison in 1982. He was named associate dean at CALS in 1993.
The College will begin as soon as possible a national search for Steele”s replacement. “We will seek an individual with exceptional scientific credentials, a broad appreciation of the work performed by our highly ranked departments and programs, and extensive administrative experience. We hope to complete a national search and selection process by July 1,” Wyse said.