Perspectives Online

Dr. Johnny Wynne is named dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. By Dee Shore


Dr. Johnny Wynne (above) holds three degrees from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He previously served as head of the Department of Crop Science and as director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service.
(Photo by Daniel Kim)
On Dec. 1, Dr. Johnny C. Wynne began service as the 11th dean of N.C. State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Wynne had served as interim dean since May 2003, when James L. Oblinger was promoted from College dean to N.C. State provost. It was Oblinger, now chancellor of the university, who in late November announced the selection of Wynne for the post.

"The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has distinguished itself among the nation's best. Dean Wynne's leadership and management experience will help propel the College to even greater levels of interdisciplinary achievement," Oblinger said. "His personal and professional background, knowledge of the state and proven record as director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service during a time of increasing budgetary challenges make him the ideal person to lead the College."

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is one of N.C. State's largest units, with about 4,500 students in two-year, four-year and graduate programs. It is also the headquarters for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service (NCARS).

Dr. Johnny Wynne is shown hosting College events above and in photos below.
Dr. Johnny Wynne is shown hosting College events. (above and in photos below)
(Photos by Becky Kirkland)
"Given a world-class faculty, a dedicated staff and bright students, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is well-positioned to continue a proud tradition of teaching, research and extension in service to North Carolina," Wynne said. "We have made great strides in developing value-added crops, products and enterprises to sustain our state's leading industry, which is agriculture and agribusiness.

"At the same time, we have established ourselves as leaders in emerging life sciences that are the key to improving the health of plants, animals and people and to ensuring a better environment," he said. "It's an exciting time for our College. I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve our university in this role."

Wynne, a native of the Bear Grass community in Martin County, received a bachelor's degree in crop science from the College in 1965, a master's in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1974.

Dr. Johnny Wynne hosting College events.
Wynne has devoted his academic career to N.C. State, working in the College since 1965, when he became a graduate research assistant. He joined the faculty in 1968 as a crop science instructor, progressing through the academic ranks to full professor in 1983. In 1989, he became head of the Department of Crop Science; he then was named associate dean and director of the research service in 1992.

As associate dean, Wynne guided research efforts spanning the agricultural, environmental and life sciences. NCARS scientists conduct basic and applied research in university laboratories, at five field laboratories in the Raleigh area and at 18 research stations across North Carolina. Under Wynne's leadership, the College has taken significant steps in the emerging areas of advanced biological sciences such as genomics, proteomics and metabolomics. This focus on emerging sciences complements the research service's traditional emphasis on ensuring agricultural sustainability in North Carolina and beyond.

In outlining his vision for the College, Wynne said, "We are a premier land-grant college committed to excellence in teaching, research and extension as judged by those we serve and by our peers. We are already an outstanding college that has achieved and will continue to achieve with continuous quality improvements and by focusing on making the best better."

Dr. Johnny Wynne hosting College events.
To continue to achieve, he said, the College must provide the world-class education to produce society-ready graduates; scholarship to meet the needs of this century; innovation that drives economic development; a committed, inclusive community of scholars that serves all citizens; and organizational capability and effectiveness.

"There is always opportunity for improvement," he said.

Wynne intends to aggressively pursue initiatives such as recruiting and retaining faculty, supporting value-added and alternative enterprises and investing in life sciences teaching and research.