Thomas Burr, a longtime Cornell University employee, has been named director of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva and associate dean of Cornellâ€™s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The appointment takes effect Jan. 1.
Burr replaces Robert Seem, who served as interim director for a year, and James Hunter, who retired after serving from 1990 to 2003. Seem plans to remain professor of plant pathology at the station and to continue as president of the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Parkâ€™s board.
â€œTomâ€™s demonstrated accomplishments in leading the plant pathology department at Geneva have provided him the experience and perspective he needs to set a new strategic vision for Geneva in collaboration with faculty, staff, stakeholders, and state and community leaders,â€ said Susan Henry, the Ronald Lynch dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Burr expects developments in molecular biology, genomics and associated technologies to provide opportunities for investigating agricultural issues and Web-based and video-conferencing technologies to be important to the facility.
Other developments that will contribute to the success of the station include the construction of the Ag-Tech Park next door, he said.
A member of the Cornell faculty since 1977, Burr has served as chairman of plant pathology at the station since 2001. He received his bachelorâ€™s degree in agricultural science and masterâ€™s degree in plant pathology from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of California at Berkeley.
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