Hal Salwasser, a professor and dean of the College of Forestry at Oregon State University for the past 12 years, announced Friday that he will step down as dean at the of the 2011-12 academic year in June.
A press release from OSU indicated that Salwasser will remain on the faculty even after he leaves as dean.
In the press release, OSU did not provide a reason for the change.
Salwasser also serves as the executive dean of the Division of Earth Systems Science and the director of the Oregon Forest Research lab.
OSU’s College of Forestry is considered one of the nation’s best.
The search for Salwasser’s successor soon will begin.
Until he leaves his post as as dean, Salwasser will hold the first newly created endowed chair to fund the position of dean, the Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Deanship of Forestry. (See right).
Under Salwasser’s tenure, the college has revamped degree programs to better meet employer needs, raised more than $39 million during the Campaign for OSU, created five faculty endowments, developed new distance education degree programs and grew enrollment by more than 50 percent. Demand for its forestry graduates is continuing to increase.
The traditional forest products industry has been under enormous pressure in recent years, with mills closing, ownership of forest lands changing and new products emerging. At OSU, programs in forest engineering and management have been joined by new research initiatives in climate, forest ecosystem protection and renewable material science.
“Going forward, there will be continuing changes in the forest industry, as companies strive to maintain markets and competitiveness,” Salwasser said. “The college will have to continually adapt its education, degree and research programs to meet these changing needs. And as state and federal funding for research continues under pressure, we’ll have to forge stronger partnerships with industry.”
Before joining OSU, Salwasser held many positions in the U.S. Forest Service, culminating as regional forester in the northern Rockies and research station director in California in the 1990s. An expert in wildland resource science, he published more than 80 professional papers during a long career, is a member of the board of directors of the World Forestry Center, and is a fellow of the Society of American Foresters.