Ohio State’s longest-serving dean under President E. Gordon Gee announced his retirement as of Sept. 2 after a 20-year term.
Bobby D. Moser, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and vice president for agricultural administration, will continue his work throughout the 2011-2012 school year until a replacement is found.
“I will be 68 years old (this week), and that’s a time where I think I need to be moving on and new leadership needs to be coming into the college. I’m ready to do different kinds of things,” Moser said.
The search for a new dean will take place during a year-long transition period, to be completed by spring 2012, said Joseph Alutto, executive vice president and provost for the Office of Academic Affairs. It has not been decided whether the hire will be internal or external.
“I think those that have known him know that he’s reached a point in his career that it just makes sense,” Alutto said.
Moser said he will stay and assist a new dean until he feels things are running smoothly, and then he will retire.
During the 20 years Moser has been dean, the college has seen growth and accomplishments, including a reorganization of the college from the College of Agriculture to the CFAES, which expanded areas of education and research.
“That really reflected more on what the college was and what I thought the college would be in the future,” Moser said.
According to an independent Battelle study, the college, including OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, adds more than $1 billion to the economy and cost savings of Ohio and the U.S. through research.
Moser also helped develop an ecological paradigm for the college, integrating areas that would form a sustainable food system for Ohio. This paradigm includes food security, environmental quality and sustainability, advanced bio-energy and bio-based products in which energy comes from agricultural feed stocks instead of petroleum.
He has been associated with numerous international, national, state-wide and university leadership activities.
In 2007, he was requested by governor-elect Ted Strickland to serve for the Ohio Department of Agriculture to protect producers, businesses and consumers. He also promoted agriculture products nationally and internationally and educated citizens.
His presence on the international level has also included his work on the U.S.-India Knowledge Initiative on Agricultural Education, Teaching, Research, Service and Commercial Linkages to which he was appointed by former President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009.
The absence of not only his success but also his personality is something faculty members say they are not looking forward to letting go.
“I think what I’ll miss most about him is just who he is. You can always approach Dr. Moser, but usually you didn’t have to approach him. He would approach you,” said Karl Danneberger, horticulture and crop science professor and adviser.
Students are also upset about his future departure as dean for the college.
Andy Vance, dual graduate student in agricultural economics and public affairs said it’s sad to see him go because of his impact on OSU and the agriculture community. Vance said Moser’s work at OSU has brought much success to Ohio’s industry.
“It’s kind of like how there will never be another Elvis or another Dave Thomas. There will never be another Bobby Moser,” Vance said. “I feel bad for whoever has to take his place because those are very big shoes to fill.”
Prior to his time as dean, Moser was associate dean for CFAES and director of Ohio Cooperative Extension Service.
“Most importantly, I’m proud of the people in our college — the faculty, staff, students and the quality of the staff that we have in terms of representing us extremely well in this industry,” Moser said.
Moser plans to continue his support of both the college and university as well as spend time with his family, including his wife, two sons and seven grandchildren.
“We plan to stay around and we’re not going anywhere,” Moser said.