|From the Chair
AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF HISTORIC POLITICAL PROTESTS THAT ENGULFED MADISON AND THE STATE last winter, the university and the college both saw changes in leadership. Kate VandenBosch, from the University of Minnesota, will replace Molly Jahn as dean of CALS, and David Ward started a two-year term as interim chancellor following the departure of Biddy Martin. Amidst these changes, we look forward to Brad Barham's leadership as chair of the University Committee, the premier faculty governance body.
Madison is no stranger to political activism, but the intensity of participation in protests to the state budget bill, which in addition to many other changes delivered a massive budget cut to the university, rose to historic levels. Steve Deller took an active role analyzing the effects of state budget cuts and changes to public employee earning power and was widely quoted in the press last spring and summer.
In the midst of the turmoil, our faculty have been successful in a variety of new competitions and alliances to sustain the department's growth and renewal. We hired four new faculty in the past two years and are running a search for a fifth this winter. The result is great strengthening of our resource and environmental economics programs. Please see Comings and Goings for details. The campus launched the Global Health Institute with a series of competitive research seed grants, three of which were won by our faculty: Barham, Coxhead, and Foltz.
Jean-Paul Chavas has been honored with a WARF named professorship, which he has designated in the name of our Nobel Laureate alumnus, Theodore Schultz. Paul Mitchell received quite a lot of press following publication of his article in Science about benefits of GMO corn to non-GMO plantings.
On the staff side, we welcomed Terri Wipperfurth as our new department administrator. Our students continue to be a delight, and our alumni have been receiving new honors. Please see Alumni and Students, and don't miss the THC's Greatest Hits, including a wonderful send-up of Dan Bromley.
All in all, I am pleased to report that your department continues to thrive, even in these difficult times. We look forward to staying in touch. Please let us hear from you.
- Ken Shapiro