College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Richard Linton to Step Down
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Dean Richard Linton has announced that he will step down from his position at NC State in mid-February 2022 to become the president of Kansas State.
“I want to thank Rich for his outstanding leadership of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and his efforts to prepare faculty, staff and students to address global challenges in regard to food, agriculture, energy and the environment,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden. “His presence and character will be greatly missed, but he leaves the college in a position to continue to grow and thrive as it sets the standard for agricultural and life sciences education and innovation.”
Linton joined NC State as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2012. Since that time he has grown the college to 294 faculty in 12 different departments, more than 2,700 undergraduate students and over 1,000 graduate students. Under Linton’s direction, CALS developed a strategic plan focused on building people, programs and partnerships.
His strategic leadership has increased engagement with industry and government and formed valuable collaborations that will lead the college well into the future. These partnerships led to the NC Plant Sciences Initiative, the Food Manufacturing Initiative and the Food Animal Initiative, all of which will spur job growth, support farmers and solve today’s most pressing agricultural issues.
“Rich has long been an advocate for experiential education that takes knowledge developed in the lab and classroom into the field, impacting agricultural practices and positively impacting communities,” said Arden.
Prior to joining NC State, Linton served as department chair of food science and technology at the Ohio State University from 2011-2012, and as a faculty member of the Department of Food Science at Purdue University from 1994-2011. While at Purdue, Linton was a founder and director of the Center for Food Safety Engineering and the associate director of agricultural research programs.
Linton’s research interests include modeling the growth and inactivation of foodborne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella spp.) within different food systems, and development of rapid detection technologies for biological and chemical foodborne hazards.
During his more than 20-year career, Linton has published more than 60 journal articles, 11 textbooks and 75 extension publications. He has also presented more than 250 invited talks at state, national, and international meetings, and has received more than $25 million in research funding. Linton earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in food science and a Ph.D. in food science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
“NC State has been a magical place for me and my family,” said Linton. “I am blessed and honored to have led this college for the past decade. It has been the most exciting, rewarding and challenging time of my career. I will miss this place and all of the people that are connected to it.”
An announcement will be made soon about the appointment of an interim dean, and a national search for a permanent dean is expected to begin in fall 2022.