Cornell's agriculture college names Donald Viands as associate dean and director of the college's academic programs

Donald R. Viands has been named associate dean of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the college's Office of Academic Programs. Viands, whose appointment became effective Jan. 1, succeeds H. Dean Sutphin, who left Cornell in December to assume a leadership position at his alma mater, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va.

In his new position, Viands is responsible for the administration of the college's curriculum, instruction, support services and teaching and learning environment. He oversees the key areas of the Office of Academic Programs, which are undergraduate admissions, registrar, counseling and advising, career development, and minority programs. Also, Viands directs the college's Master of Professional Studies program.

"I am very happy that Don is an associate dean and that he directs the academic programs. He has a wealth of experience in developing a collegewide curriculum and a deep understanding of advising issues," says Susan A. Henry, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "He is truly dedicated to the students and academic mission of the college and the university."

Viands was formerly the associate director of academic programs, responsible for facilitating curriculum development, faculty development and undergraduate research. He also was instrumental in driving the college's academic program review, conducted from 1998 to 2000, and the subsequent implementation of new policies.

Viands joined Cornell in 1979 as an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Breeding. He became an associate professor in 1985 and a professor in 1992. He was appointed associate director of academic programs in 1995. Viands earned his bachelor's degree in agronomy from the University of Maryland in 1974, and he earned a master's degree (1977) and a doctorate (1979) in plant breeding from the University of Minnesota. Viands is a member of agriculture societies Alpha Zeta and Gamma Sigma Delta . His areas of expertise lie in forage breeding to improve yield, quality, and persistence. Viands focuses primarily on breeding and genetic research of alfalfa and on evaluating legume and grass cultivars for forage yield and quality. Since 1979, Viands and his research project have successfully developed and released 11 alfalfa cultivars and a birdsfoot trefoil cultivar to the dairy industry.

This press release was written by Kelvin Tan of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.



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