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K-State Today

February 14, 2012

Food scientist John Floros named dean of College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension

Submitted by April Mason

John Floros

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce Dr. John Floros, a renowned food scientist and academic leader with significant experience at top-ranked land grant universities, as Kansas State University's new dean for the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. He will officially begin his new role on Aug. 1, but will be in Kansas to begin getting acquainted with campus and research and extension offices in the state in early March. We had three outstanding candidates as finalists in this search, and my sincere thanks go to Dean Mike Holen and the search committee members who admirably performed this important task.

I want to express my deep appreciation for the outstanding contributions and service Dr. Gary Pierzynski provided as interim dean and director. Gary has been a strong stabilizing force in his interim role, leading the college through budget shortfalls, growing enrollment and new research partnerships. Dr. Pierzynski will continue to serve as interim dean and director until Dr. Floros arrives, then will assume his previous role as agronomy department head. Thank you, Gary.

Dr. Floros comes to K-State from Pennsylvania State University where he is a professor and head of the department of food science. He is no stranger to the Midwest, having spent 12 years teaching and conducting research at Purdue University. His experience at two top-ranked universities supports our aspiration to become a top 50 public research university by 2025. John received his doctoral degree from a land-grant university (University of Georgia) and has spent virtually his entire career working for land-grant institutions. His perspective and experience will be invaluable as we continue to serve the state through outreach and extension.

Two of our 2025 benchmarks revolve around funding, including increasing endowment levels and generating external funding. John brings a successful track record in these areas, which will be critical as public funding continues to decline. At Penn State he helped raise $46 million to build the largest food science building in the country. He also increased the average research funding in the department from approximately 1 million to about 5 million dollars.

As a department head he increased undergraduate student numbers in his program dramatically and doubled the size of the Ph.D. program. His research field is food process engineering and packaging.  He has written more than 120 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and other publications. Dr. Floros served as the president of the Institute of Food Technologists, an international organization of academics and industry members addressing the production, processing and distribution of safe food.

International markets are critical to the future of agriculture for our state; our students need exposure to the world so they can become well versed in how the global economy works. John is a highly respected researcher and has an expansive network of international contacts. One of the largest challenges we face as a global community is feeding a growing world population. K-State has played an important role in the past and we expect this to become even more important in the future.

Please join me in welcoming John Floros to the K-State family.