Seeds : Newsletter for Alumni of the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech : 2011
Greetings all alumni and friends! As always, it has been a very busy year around Saunders Hall. Fall semester began with a department-wide self study in preparation for an overall review by the federal government to be held in late January. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), part of the USDA, periodically reviews all aspects of departments in colleges of agriculture. Our last review was in 2003, so it was our turn once again! The review is made by a team headed by a NIFA employee and comprises several professors from approximately equivalent departments across the U.S. The team spends several days meeting with faculty, staff, and students to look at all our programs. Our team leader was Dr. Mary Peet (National Program Leader for Organic Agriculture and Horticulture at NIFA), and team members included Dr. Robert Augé (Professor and Department Head, Department of Plant Science, University of Tennessee), Dr. Robert Geneve (Professor of Horticulture, University of Kentucky), Dr. Cecil Stushnoff (Professor of Horticulture, Colorado State University), and Dr. Ted Bilderback (Professor of Horticulture and Interim Arboretum Director, North Carolina State University). The review basically affirmed our recent efforts in teaching, research, and extension/outreach and provided helpful suggestions on how we might better focus some of our programs.