Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- July 03, 2001

Wehner to Lead Cal Poly Agriculture When Jen Appointment Final

David Wehner, an associate dean of Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, has been named the interim dean pending Dean Joe Jen's expected confirmation as U.S. undersecretary of agriculture for research, education and economics.

Jen's appointment is expected to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate by the end of July.

Wehner would serve while Cal Poly conducts a national search to select a new permanent dean. Wehner's appointment is through June 30, 2002, or until a new dean is installed.

"We're fortunate to have an individual with Dave Wehner's administrative abilities and grasp of our agriculture program available to lead the college at this time," said Provost Paul Zingg. "Dave has proven he's capable of providing the leadership necessary to keep the college moving ahead in preparing students for the demands of a dynamic agriculture environment in California."

Wehner has served as associate dean since 1997, responsible primarily for the operation of the undergraduate program, including curriculum development, student progress, advising and outreach. He has also worked with many of the college's 11 departments on staffing, faculty evaluations and operation issues and has directed the college's Multicultural Agriculture Program Center.

Another of his responsibilities has been to oversee an initiative to introduce agricultural topics into middle and high schools with large numbers of underrepresented students.
Before his appointment as associate dean, Wehner served a year in a half-time position as interim assistant dean, coordinating the college's graduate program and aiding faculty members with research and public-service programs.

After teaching at the University of Illinois and University of Maryland, Wehner joined the Cal Poly faculty in 1994 as head of the Environmental Horticultural Science Department and a professor of turfgrass science.

He earned a doctorate in agronomy with a minor in biochemistry in 1979 from Penn State University, where he had earned his master's degree. As an undergraduate he majored in chemistry at the University of Notre Dame.

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