Huntsville, Ala. ---- A professor of soil and environmental sciences at Alabama A&M University will head the agriculture college of one of the largest historically black universities in the country.
Dr. Robert W. Taylor, an educator, prolific researcher, and two-time fellow, will retire from AAMU on August 1 and launch a new phase as dean of the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences and Director of Land-Grant Programs at the 10,000-student Florida A&M University. The internationally noted professor also served five years as agriculture dean at AAMU, all part of a 31-year affiliation.
“AAMU will always be in my thoughts and dreams,” said Dr. Taylor. “The experiences encountered here will never be forgotten.”
A native of the Bahamas and a graduate of Tuskegee University and Michigan State, Taylor served AAMU and even federal agencies in a number of other capacities. These include the position of director of the National Science Foundation CREST Center for Forest Ecosystems Assessment; director of the Center for Environmental Research and Training; and acting deputy division director, Division of Biological Infrastructure, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Va. He currently serves on the National Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Economics Advisory Board.
Taylor’s most recent appointment at FAMU further underscores the academic powerhouse assembled over many decades that best describes Alabama A&M’s agriculture program.
Taylor’s most recent appointment at FAMU further underscores the academic powerhouse assembled over many decades that best describes Alabama A&M’s agriculture program. In addition to Taylor, the AAMU agriculture school—and its plant and soil sciences program in particular—has spawned at least four former professors who have secured deanships, often at significantly larger institutions.
For instance, Dr. Caula Beyl, following a 26-year affiliation with AAMU, serves as dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the 28,000-student University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Dr. Chandra Reddy, also a two-time fellow, served AAMU as professor of agronomy, graduate studies
dean and faculty senate president before becoming dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences at 9,000-student Tennessee State University; and Dr. Teferi Tsegaye
became dean of the College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems in 2011 at Kentucky State University, where he also heads land-grant programs.
Taylor will assume his new duties at FAMU on August 13.
- Jerome Saintjones