George W. Sledge, a longtime administrator in the University of Wisconsin-Madison”s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, died Wednesday, Oct 20, of cancer. He was 71 years old.
Sledge joined the dean”s office at CALS in 1960. From 1966 until his retirement in 1993, he served as associate dean of academic student affairs. During that period, undergraduate enrollments quadrupled, and more than 14,000 students earned their bachelor”s degrees during Sledge”s tenure.
Dedicated to strengthening educational programs, Sledge developed awards to recognize the outstanding teachers and advisors in the college each year. Under his guidance and with the help of faculty and staff, the college initiated a new honors degree program and internship program for students, and it greatly expanded its scholarship program, personal advising program, and career advising and placement service.
Under Sledge”s supervision the college revised and expanded its curriculum twice and enhanced its reputation for individual attention to the needs of undergraduates.
Sledge helped to organize WALSAA (the CALS alumni organization) and strongly supported the Farm and Industry Short Course.
Between 1966 and 1980, Sledge served as a consultant on agricultural education to the governments of the People”s Republic of China, Indonesia, Zambia and Nigeria. He advocated broadening the college”s curriculum to include international aspects of agriculture and natural resources. He also helped mold the college”s international student exchange programs with The University of The West Indies, Trinidad, and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
Sledge served for five years as a member of the USDA Joint Council on Food and Agricultural Sciences and held many responsibilities in the agricultural division of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. He also served on many UW-Madison and CALS committees.
A native of North Carolina, Sledge earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in agricultural education from Michigan State University. He joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1954. Sledge taught in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education (now the Department of Continuing and Vocational Education) before moving to the dean”s office.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, of Madison; their two sons, George Jr. (Carolyn) of Indianapolis, Ind. and Jeffrey of Madison; three grandsons; and sisters Sallaine Upchurch, Joyce Griffin, Mary Edith Oriez, and Lois Brown.
The family suggests that memorials be given to the George W. and Dorothy D. Sledge Quality Education Fund at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, or to the First Baptist Cburch, 518 N. Franklin St., Madison, WI 53705.