Auburn University names Patterson dean of College of Agriculture

Published: February 19, 2016
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Paul Patterson, associate dean for instruction in Auburn University's College of Agriculture, has been named dean of the college, effective immediately, announced today by Provost Timothy Boosinger following a national search.

Patterson will also serve as director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, a position that requires approval by the Board of Trustees. The board approved the appointment in a special meeting today.

"Dr. Patterson has an excellent connection with students both in the classroom and in the field," Boosinger said. "His background in agricultural economics, especially in international research and marketing, will help Auburn continue its role as a leader in food production for the world. We look forward to his leadership."

As dean, Patterson will report to Boosinger, while, as director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, he will report to President Jay Gogue. Patterson succeeds William Batchelor, who returned to a teaching and research role last May, and Arthur Appel, interim dean. Patterson also served briefly as acting dean.

Patterson joined the College of Agriculture faculty in 2009, overseeing all academic programs in the college's eight academic departments, nine undergraduate programs and 19 graduate programs, including distance education programs.

"I am honored and humbled to be selected as dean and director," said Patterson, a professor of agricultural economics. "The College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station have very important legacies at Auburn University and across the state and nation.

"We are at a pivotal point in history, where we must build for the future. I look forward to working with the faculty and staff, our university partners and our stakeholders to strengthen the college and experiment station. It is my goal to make sure that Auburn is among the premier colleges of agriculture."

An Auburn native, Patterson earned a bachelor's degree at Auburn University in 1985 and master's degree at Purdue University in 1987, both in agricultural economics. He worked as a cotton analyst for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service for two years, and then returned to Purdue as a USDA National Needs Fellow in International Marketing to pursue his doctorate in agricultural economics, which he completed in 1994.

In 1995 he joined the faculty at Arizona State University's Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness. He was named interim dean in 2006 and dean in 2007, serving in that role until returning to Auburn.

He is the son of the late R.M. and Jean Patterson. His father was a long-time College of Agriculture faculty member who served as head of Research Data Analysis until his retirement in 1985. His mother worked for many years as Auburn High School librarian.