October 25, 2018
Dear Colleagues — Faculty, Staff and Students:
I am honored to be selected as your next Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. My wife, Julie, and I look forward to getting to know each of you and becoming part of the Cyclone family. Thank you for having me join your team!
For those who did not get a chance to visit with me when I interviewed on campus last month, I would like to share a little about myself and my family.
I grew up in New Jersey, where my dad was a pharmaceutical research microbiologist and my mom a nurse and school teacher. I have one older brother and growing up, we did everything together — from Boy Scouts to working on a dairy farm in upstate New York. I completed my first two degrees in forestry at the State University of New York – College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) and then a Ph.D. in entomology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In Wisconsin, I met my wife, Julie, and we set out on our life adventure. Julie is an urban planner by trade, having worked extensively in the public administration field and, more recently, in university administration. She’s a Wisconsin native, and her father’s family is from Cresco, Iowa, where she spent many summers growing up.
Early in our careers, we spent two years in Ivory Coast, West Africa, working for international development organizations. From there, I worked as a senior research scientist from 1993 to 1997 in biomass and forestry research at SUNY in Syracuse. My career since has been entirely with land-grant universities. In 1997, I joined the faculty at North Carolina State University, serving 16 years, with my last position being Associate Dean of Research in the College of Natural Resources. In May 2012, I was named Dean of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design at West Virginia University.
Julie and I have two wonderful daughters, Sophia and Hannah. Sophia is 24 years old and is a neighborhood planner with the City of Pittsburgh. Hannah is 22 years old and a first-year graduate student at Indiana University in Bloomington.
I will begin my service with you as Endowed Dean by March 31, 2019. You’re likely to see me on campus a few times before that date — starting this week. Julie and I will be back in Ames this Friday, October 26, to learn more about the community and the campus. I understand CALS is organizing for us an informal meet-and-greet opportunity for CALS faculty, staff and students from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. this Friday in the Harl Commons of Curtiss Hall. I hope you’re able to drop by and say hello. On Saturday, we plan to take in some ISU Homecoming activities, including the football game and another ISU win!
I am excited to join your extraordinary, world-class College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am grateful for the opportunity and am eager to learn more about what you do and how we can work together to have a great and even more positive impact on the people, landscapes and communities of Iowa and beyond.
My best and with appreciation,
Daniel J. Robison