University of Minnesota Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Hanson today announced the appointment of Brian Buhr as dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and director of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
Buhr has been interim dean and director since August 2013. As dean of CFANS, Buhr will oversee the college's administration and academics and will work to advance the college as one of the world's premier research and educational centers dedicated to agricultural and food productivity, biodiversity, forestry, and the preservation of natural resources.
He also will collaborate with key stakeholders to help address critical challenges in agriculture, food systems, and environmental and natural resources sciences.
As director of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, he will oversee funding for researchers in five U of M colleges focused on cross-disciplinary problem solving to help improve the lives of Minnesotans.
"I am confident, as are his colleagues, that Brian has the visionary leadership, administrative experience, and academic strengths to provide superb leadership for CFANS and the Experiment Station," Hanson said. "He has an impressive record of accomplishments as an agricultural economist and as an administrator, as well as broad experience collaborating across the University and around the world."
"CFANS is uniquely positioned to address the most pressing issues confronting the world today - that of sustaining our food productivity and our natural resources in the face of growing populations and pressures from climate change, and water and energy depletion," Buhr said.
"This is no longer an 'either/or' proposition - our extraordinary faculty, students and staff will need to work across disciplines to find the solutions that can accomplish food security and enhance the health of our resources. I'm looking forward to assisting in that work, not only with our resident faculty and students but with our broader partners and supporters across the state and world, engaging with public and private sector organizations to collectively achieve this goal."
Buhr is a professor of applied economics who joined the University's faculty in 1992 and became head of the applied economics department in 2008. His expertise is in commodity marketing, with an emphasis on livestock markets.
He has worked extensively with commodity groups and industry on risk management, value-added marketing and the economic impacts of policy and technology. An Iowa native, Buhr earned his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University; he also holds bachelor's degrees from Iowa State in animal science and agricultural business.
As interim dean for the last nine months, he has been engaged in public and legislative advocacy for the college and University.
Working with college and U of M leaders, he successfully advocated for legislative support of key laboratory renovations on the St. Paul campus as well as funding for a new Terrestrial Invasive Species Research Center. He's also a co-leader of the University's MnDRIVE global food initiative, and recently renewed a partnership with Brazilian agricultural leaders to advance global food and natural resource research exchanges.
Buhr will be the second dean of CFANS since the college was created in 2006. His appointment is effective June 16, pending approval by the University's Board of Regents.