Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

January 12, 2007

New Ridgetown Director Named

The University of Guelph has appointed Art Schaafsma as the new director of its Ridgetown Campus. His five-year term begins Jan. 15.

“Dr. Schaafsma is an accomplished leader with a demonstrated commitment to the success of our research, teaching and outreach programs,” said Craig Pearson, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). “He also has superb connections with the industries and communities of rural Ontario. I am delighted that he has agreed to lead the Ridgetown Campus through what promises to be an exciting period of growth over the next few years.”

Schaafsma, a professor of plant agriculture since 1986, has years of experience in teaching, research, extension and industry. He is known for his work in field crop pest management, particularly for developing weather-based forecasting models for wheat and other crops.

As Ridgetown’s ninth director, Schaafsma will oversee about 150 faculty and staff and an annual budget of $11.5 million.

“It will be my privilege to work with our students, staff, alumni and industry stakeholders, all of whom play an important role in the programs and services we provide at Ridgetown,” he said. “I am excited about the future of new initiatives and look forward to working closely with our many rural community clients.”

Schaafsma succeeds Gary Ablett, who has served as director since 1997. Ablett will continue to teach and conduct research on soybean breeding at the Ridgetown Campus and be engaged in special projects with the University.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with a number of exceptional people in this position,” Ablett said. “As I leave this administrative role, I am confident that Art will provide visionary leadership for both this campus and the University.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

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