N.C. State names agricultural research director

Posted January 11, 2010 10:23 a.m. EST

— A longtime North Carolina State University faculty member has been named associate dean for research for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the college’s North Carolina Agricultural Research Service.

David Smith, Philip Morris professor and formerly head of the Department of Crop Science, succeeds Sylvia Blankenship, CALS associate dean for administration, who was serving as interim Research Service director.

The Agricultural Research Service is CALS' research arm, with oversight responsibility for close to $130 million in research expenditures annually.

Smith joined the N.C. State faculty in 1981 as a North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service tobacco specialist in the Department of Crop Science. He was named interim department head in 2006 and permanent head a year later. Crop science is the largest department in CALS and the fourth largest at N.C. State.

Smith holds a Ph.D. in crop science from N.C. State and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in agronomy from the University of Florida.

He said his overarching goal as Research Service director will be to provide an infrastructure that will allow individual faculty members to be successful.

“We have a diverse faculty in terms of the scientific disciplines that faculty members represent, yet all our faculty have one thing in common,” he said in a statement. “We are all here to support North Carolina citizens and to work toward improving the quality of life in the state and beyond.