My Inspiration

Dec. 10, 2017

By Shane Burgess, University of Arizona Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension

I gain inspiration daily from all of our employees who come together to aid colleagues who are in a pinch and who lead through contributing innovative projects in their units.  I’m lucky because where I sit centrally allows me to see and hear these stories.  As the semester draws to a close, I want to share some examples of my luck with you.

  • Midway through the semester when a resignation left three courses without an instructor, three faculty members in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences stepped up with no thought of recompense to teach the remaining lectures for each of the courses.  Thank you, Margarethe Cooper, Ben Renquist and V.K. Viswanathan.  You made a tremendous difference to our students.
  • Thank you to the Research Administration team for putting together new agency-specific discussion panels to assist junior faculty, in particular, when writing grants.  There is such great expertise already present among our senior faculty who have served on study sections and grant review panels for the major funding agencies.  And thank you to those of you who are committing to participate in these discussions.  Your insights will make a transformative difference for your colleagues.  Gayatri Vedantam and V.K. Viswanathan were also of an especially great help in planning this discussion panel program.
  • The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics is launching an Introduction to Statistics course suited to all of CALS’ majors – as well as to majors outside of CALS.  My sincere thanks to Satheesh Aradhyula for preparing the syllabus, to AREC's undergrad committee (Na Zuo, Dan Scheitrum, Satheesh Aradhyula and Paul Wilson) and Jim Hunt (Career and Academic Services) who made certain the proposal and syllabus were compelling enough to be approved, and to Danielle Buhrow, AREC’s student advisor, who provided counsel about existing statistics courses taken by CALS' majors and helped shepherd the proposal through the approval process.  And special thanks to Gary Thompson for his leadership.
  • Scott Going, head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, wishes to join me in thanking Sangita Pawar, assistant dean of research, for developing the Frontiers in Life Science seminar series and Jeffrey Ratje, associate dean of finance and administration, for organizing CALS service days.
  • Jon Chorover, head of the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, would like to acknowledge the time that the leaders in Research Administration and Career and Academic Services have recently invested in attending SWES faculty/staff meetings this semester for open discussions about issues of interest to all parties.

Through all these efforts – and more I may never hear about (but I need to, so please let me know), you are all truly making the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences the most sought-after place to be a part of.  You are my inspiration.

With best wishes for a fulfilling winter break focused on you and yours.


Media contact:
Bethany Rutledge, director of administration and communications
520-621-7198, rutledge@cals.arizona.edu