The Department of Poultry Science has been a model of consistency and performance for the university as it relates to both research and innovation and preparing undergraduate and graduate students for the workforce in an ever-evolving industry. Today, I want to share with you the university’s renewed commitment to the department and the initial steps we are taking to bolster the program through generous support from individual donors, trade groups and corporate partners.
More than $850,000 in financial commitments have been made to the department in the last few months, a number we hope to continue to grow in the future. The generous collective commitment will help us continue to recruit and retain the best faculty, grow the department’s research portfolio, provide graduate students with world-class training, and attract and expand the top undergraduate class in the nation who represent the skilled workforce needed to advance the industry in Texas, across the nation and around the globe.
Based upon the commitments received to-date, we are moving forward with the following phased initiatives:
- Immediately, we will open a national search for a department head.
- Funding for the named department head position was provided by an endowment gift from Bill and Barbara Huffman ‘53. The endowment will support the department head’s research, including laboratory space, a postdoctoral researcher, graduate research assistants and undergraduate research assistants, as well as professional development and domestic and international travel.
- We will also fill an open instructional assistant professor position and assess necessary infrastructure improvements.
- Financial commitments from Merck Animal Health, the Texas Poultry Federation and Affiliates, Aviagen and Calpris America will help initiate the university’s immediate efforts to provide world-class facilities and recruit the best talent.
- Additionally, we have three- and five-year phased plans to invest Texas A&M System and public and private dollars toward updated facilities, faculty positions and educational opportunities designed to solidify the poultry science department’s position as the premiere program in the nation for decades to come.
The poultry industry is strong and continues to expand. We believe a reinvigorated poultry department will spearhead its continued evolution through innovative science and by producing next-generation industry leaders.
I want to thank Dr. Audrey McElroy for guiding the department over these past few months. Her forward-thinking vision and input regarding the future of the department is very much appreciated.
We believe strongly that the poultry department is well-positioned to reach new heights through collaborative goals and the university’s collective mission.
Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research