We said farewell to our friend and colleague, Dr. Francisco Diez, who has served us so well the last two years as Department Head, and has been an active and engaged member of the Department for over 17 years. We will miss him greatly, but we wish him all the best in his new position as Director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia.
As I begin my tenure as Interim Department Head, I look forward to several exciting additions to the faculty. We will soon welcome Dr. George Annor into the position of Professor of Cereal Chemistry and Technology and look forward to his contributions in this important area. Searches are well underway for new faculty in the areas of food safety microbiology and in nutrition. In addition, the search for a permanent Department Head is progressing briskly, as three candidates have been identified and will be coming to campus to interview later in July. Together, these new faculty and Department Head will bring renewed energy and a different perspective to the Department, as new faculty and leadership always do.
We also celebrate the completion of the Departmental Strategic Plan, and thank Maggie Adamek, our facilitator, for her guidance and considerable effort in bringing this plan into reality. I also wish to thank all the faculty and staff who devoted considerable time into formulating this new common vision for the Department. This plan, which reaffirms our departmental values and articulates a clear mission, will serve to guide us for years to come as we meet the challenges that will inevitable arise in the future.
Regardless of the recent transitions, we remain a strong Department, housed in a strong College. We continue to recruit excellent students, our faculty continue to be successful in gaining funding and in publishing in high quality journals, and we have dedicated staff. We have much to be grateful for.
In closing, I wish you all an eventful and enjoyable Minnesota summer!
Daniel D. Gallaher, Ph.D.
Interim Head and Professor