Perspectives Online

Smith named to College’s top research position


David Smith
Dr. David Smith has been named associate dean for research for N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the College’s North Carolina Agricultural Research Service.

Smith, Philip Morris Professor and most recently head of N.C. State’s Department of Crop Science, succeeds Dr. Sylvia Blankenship, CALS associate dean for administration, who was serving as interim Research Service director. Dr. Steven Lommel, interim associate dean for research, also has administered the day-to-day operation of the Research Service.

The Agricultural Research Service is the research arm of the College, with oversight responsibility for close to $130 million in research expenditures annually.

Smith joined the N.C. State faculty in 1981 as a N. C. Cooperative Extension Service tobacco specialist in the Department of Crop Science. He was named interim department head in 2006 and permanent head a year later. Crop Science is the largest department in the College and the fourth largest at N.C. State.

Smith holds a Ph.D. in crop science from N.C. State, while both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in agronomy are from the University of Florida.

Smith said his overarching goal as Research Service director will be to provide an infrastructure that will allow individual faculty members to be successful.

“We have a diverse faculty in terms of the scientific disciplines that faculty members represent, yet all our faculty have one thing in common,” he said. “We are all here to support North Carolina citizens and to work toward improving the quality of life in the state and beyond.”

— Dave Caldwell