Jeff Edwards selected as next UA Bumpers College dean

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 532 views 

Jeff Edwards

The University of Arkansas has selected faculty member Jeff Edwards as the next dean of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. The UA shared details about Edwards’ appointment on Wednesday (Oct. 25).

Edwards is a UA professor and director of the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences.

He replaces Deacue Fields, who previously served as dean before assuming his current position as vice president for the UA System Division of Agriculture. Edwards will also assume the role of senior associate vice president for academic programs of the Division of Agriculture.

Both appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2024. Edwards was one of three finalists considered for the job.

“I am thrilled Dr. Jeff Edwards will serve as the next dean of Bumpers College,” Provost Terry Martin said in a prepared statement. “Since joining the U of A in 2022, Dr. Edwards has accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time. He has proven himself to be an exceptional leader, and he is known throughout the country for his work in improving agricultural systems and environmental sustainability.

“In this new role, he will continue to serve the U of A well, and I know he will help elevate the Bumpers College and its programs in the state, region and nation.”

Edwards joined the UA in 2022 as head of the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, which includes about 80 faculty and staff members, offers two undergraduate degree programs as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, serving approximately 240 students.

“I’m honored to be named the dean of Bumpers College and appointed as a senior associate vice president with the Division of Agriculture,” Edwards said. “Since earning my doctorate at the U of A, I have viewed Arkansas as my home. I’m glad I returned to Bumpers College as a department head about a year ago, and I’m grateful for this new opportunity to serve as the dean. I look forward to leading the college and raising its profile on both the national and international stage.”

The current enrollment for fall 2023 for the UA Bumpers College is 2,467 (2,158 undergraduates).

Read the full UA news release at this link.