Virginia Tech has named Alan Grant, professor and head of the Department of Animal Sciences at Purdue University, the new dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Grant will start his position on Oct. 1, when he succeeds L.T. Kok, who has been interim dean since March after Sharron Quisenberry left to become vice president of research and economic development at Iowa State University.

“Alan Grant has an impressive record of teaching, research, outreach, and administrative accomplishments. I am excited about his vision for future growth and development of the college, which will ensure the college’s continued excellent standing among its peers. He will build on the organization’s strong foundation to further grow our programs for agriculture and the environment, food and health, life sciences, and learning. I look forward to his joining our leadership team,” stated Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee.

Recognized as a University Faculty Scholar at Purdue University, Grant has received several teaching awards, including the Teaching for Tomorrow Award, an enrichment program for recognizing and fostering teaching. Capital projects under his leadership as department head have included a $2.3 million swine environmental research building; $600,000 Ossabaw swine facility; major investments in manure management systems at the Purdue Research and Education Center; and renovations of several research laboratories.

“I am committed to Virginia Tech’s land-grant mission and believe the college is a natural leader in this area due to its strong assets – quality agricultural and life sciences programs and their integration with Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station. I am excited about the prospect of working with university colleagues on building the university’s future and expanding existing partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. Through these efforts, the college will continue to develop solutions to relevant problems in the agriculture, food, health, and natural resources sectors across its teaching, research, and Extension missions,” Grant said.

Grant’s research program has been focused on the study of animal growth that leads to strategies for increasing the efficiency of lean meat production and utilization. His discovery efforts have also been directed at understanding the relationship between muscle development and meat quality and have consistently encompassed collaborative partnerships and student involvement. His research program has been supported by more than $5.4 million in competitive funds from organizations like the American Diabetes Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, and the National Pork Producers Council.

Grant has published more than 150 refereed research abstracts and papers and has been invited to lecture at more than 25 international, national, and regional meetings. He is the author of three book chapters and co-author of a textbook on animal growth and development that is currently in its second printing.

He is a strong advocate of regionalization and multi-state activities to support land-grant missions and serves as a board member of a new Midwest Dairy Consortium. He has also provided leadership to the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence. A panel member and reviewer for the USDA National Research Initiative’s competitive grants program, Grant’s expertise has been recognized nationally and internationally. He served as an external referee for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Grants Program; and ad-hoc reviewer for the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund; and was a participant in the European Association for Animal Production Working Group on Boar Production. He was also a visiting scientist at the Medical Research Council in London.

Grant received his Ph.D. and master’s of science from Michigan State University in animal science and his bachelor’s of science in animal science from Cornell University.

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