Purdue University: Plaut Chosen to Lead College of Agriculture

Karen Plaut. Photo, Purdue University

Karen Plaut is the new Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture at Purdue University.

Plaut was selected from a group of three finalists after a national search. She succeeds Jay T. Akridge, who became Purdue provost and chief diversity officer in November 2017 following an interim role in that position that began in July.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that our search committee, after a very thorough process, has chosen Karen Plaut,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “Purdue’s College of Agriculture is known around the world for its leadership in food, agricultural, life and natural resources sciences, and Karen’s work in multiple capacities has certainly helped make that so.”

Plaut has served as interim dean of the College of Agriculture since July 2017. She came to Purdue in 2010 as associate dean and director of agricultural research and in 2013 was named senior associate dean of research and faculty affairs.

Plaut received her Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from the University of Vermont. She went on to receive a Master of Science degree in animal nutrition from Pennsylvania State University and a doctoral degree in animal science from Cornell University.

She completed her postdoctoral studies at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and was a faculty member at the University of Vermont and Michigan State University, serving as chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at both institutions.

She also worked with NASA as lead scientist for the International Space Station Biological Research Project.


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