The search has ended for a new dean for the Ontario Agricultural College. Here's the news release issued today by the University of Guelph.

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New Dean of OAC Appointed

March 13, 2008 – News Release

The University of Guelph has appointed a new dean of the Ontario Agricultural College.

Robert Gordon, a professor and dean of research at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) begins a five-year term August 1.

The announcement was made today by Maureen Mancuso, U of G provost and vice-president (academic), who chaired the search committee.

"Robert is known for his passion for agriculture, his enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and for his dedication to public service," Mancuso said. "He will bring energy and vibrancy to OAC, as well as a background as a researcher in environmental education and resource management. He has a vision for OAC that builds from the college's strong foundation of innovation and excellence, and we are delighted he is joining us as dean."

A U of G graduate, Gordon has been at NSAC for nine years, serving as a dean, department head and professor, as well as heading the environmental management section of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. He also previously served as the provincial climatologist for Nova Scotia. As dean, he managed multi-faceted research and outreach programs that supported the growth and innovation of the agricultural sector, in addition to administering technology transfer and outreach programs and creating new industry research chairs.

A leading authority on climate-related issues in Canada, Gordon holds the Canada Research Chair in Agricultural Resource Management, which focuses on identifying adaptive resource management issues at the farm level. He is also an adjunct professor of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and Dalhousie University, a member of the graduate faculty at U of G and an honorary research associate at the University of New Brunswick.

"I am truly looking forward to returning to the University of Guelph and the Ontario Agricultural College," Gordon said. "I have always recognized the important and evolving role that OAC plays in providing innovative educational programs, outreach services and research in globally supporting our environment, agriculture, food and rural communities. I am eager to work with my many new colleagues both within the university and externally in creating effective partnerships and programs which will help to forge a new and vibrant OAC."

He added that OAC's strong and active alumni networks have allowed him to stay well informed over the years, especially in terms of the significant growth U of G has experienced.

Gordon earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering and a master's degree in agricultural physics from McGill University and a PhD in land resource science from U of G. He also holds an engineering diploma from NSAC.

In 2007, he was presented with a Premier's Award of Excellence, the most prestigious award a Nova Scotia public servant can receive. He also received the Young Engineer of the Year Award from the Canadian Society of Agricultural Engineering, the Young Agrologists Award from the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists and the first Graham K. Walker Memorial Award for Excellence in Agrometeorology from the Canadian Society of Agrometeorology.

Gordon is the chief administrator of the Nova Scotia Environmental Farm Plan Program and chairs the science and the innovation chapter of the province's Agricultural Policy Framework. He also sits on a number of boards including Conserve Nova Scotia, the Berwick Energy Centre, AgraPoint and is active with NSERC and presently sits on a grant selection committee. He is also a former chair of the Canada Committee on Natural Resources under the Canadian Agricultural Research Council.