OAC Grad Is New Dean
Nova Scotia research dean begins five-year term at Ontario Agricultural College Aug. 1
Robert Gordon, a professor and dean of research at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC), has been named dean of the Ontario Agricultural College. His five-year term begins Aug. 1.
“Robert is known for his passion for agriculture, his enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and his dedication to public service,” says Prof. Maureen Mancuso, provost and vice-president (academic), who chaired the search committee. “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.”
A graduate of OAC, 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 has managed multi-faceted research and outreach programs 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,” he says. “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 that will help forge a new and vibrant OAC.”
Gordon adds that OAC's strong and active alumni networks have allowed him to stay well-informed over the years, especially in terms of the growth that U of G has experienced.
He holds 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, sits on a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grant committee, chairs the science and innovation chapter of the province's Agricultural Policy Framework, and is a former chair of the Canada Committee on Natural Resources under the Canadian Agricultural Research Council.
In announcing the appointment, Mancuso thanked the search committee for their hard work and the University community for its participation in the selection process.