Ohio State Hort and Crop Welcomes New Chair

October 3, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A plant breeder and geneticist of Louisiana’s ‘Beauregard’ sweet potato and Georgia’s Vidalia sweet onion will soon take the helm as the new chair of Ohio State University’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

 

Bill Randle, a horticulture professor from the University of Georgia, will begin his new appointment on Nov. 1, 2006. His term will run until June 30, 2010.

“An accomplished researcher and educator, Randle brings a wealth of valuable experience, insight, and enthusiasm to this position that will serve us well in leading the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science’s quality teaching, research, and outreach initiatives into the future,” said Bobby Moser, Dean of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Randle is excited about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as the new chair.

“Ohio State has always been on my radar because of its excellent reputation for high quality education, extension and research. As I went through the process of becoming the next chair, I found balanced research within the department, viable educational programs, a dedicated staff, and a diversified state industry which the department supports,” said Randle. “All of these aspects were very attractive to me. At the same time, 21st century demands continue to put pressure on colleges of agriculture, and I am looking forward to participating in the challenges and opportunities the department faces as we adapt to become even better.”

Randle has worked with most of the 28 major vegetables produced in the United States. He has experience and expertise in plant biochemistry and plant secondary metabolic activity, especially as it relates to flavor and therapeutic compound accumulation. During his time at the University of Georgia, Randle has worked with the Vidalia onion industry, seeking solutions to help grower produce the sweet and mild Vidalia onion.

Early in his career, Randle was a sweet potato and tomato breeder at Louisiana State University. He is the breeder of record for the ‘Beauregard’ potato, which continues to be the most popular sweet potato cultivar grown and consumed in the United States. Randle also brings industry experience as director of variety development for Basic American Foods in California -- a leading food service company of potato and bean products.

Despite his research and industry accomplishments, teaching has been a main focus of Randle’s career. To teach at the college level was a main reason he pursued graduate education in horticulture. Randle enjoys the responsibility of training the next generation of scientists and feels fortunate to have educated many excellent graduate students.

“It is most satisfying to open the world of science to a young person, see them grow and develop, and then excel. Now I am at a stage in my career where I am ready to take on administrative responsibilities and contribute to agriculture and academia in a leadership role,” he said.

Randle earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona, Master’s at Michigan State University and doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

 

For more information on Ohio State's Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, log on to http://hcs.osu.edu.

Author(s): 
Victor VanBuchem
Source(s): 
Bill Randle