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Named Associate Dean, Scot Hulbert leads CAHNRS research for safe, sustainable world

Scot Hulbert stands outside the WSU main greenhouse.
As Associate Dean for Research in CAHNRS, Scot Hulbert is leading discovery at WSU’s Agricultural Research Center.

An alumnus who has led agricultural research at Washington State University for more than a decade, plant pathologist Scot Hulbert has been named Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, and Director of the university’s Agricultural Research Center.

Serving for the past year as acting head of research for CAHNRS, Hulbert was selected as full associate dean following a search for candidates.

Solving challenges for Washington

As the Cook Endowed Chair in the Department of Plant Pathology, Hulbert led research into disease-resistant crop varieties—the key defense against fast-evolving pathogens that can devastate Northwest agriculture.

Today, Hulbert supervises scientific efforts college-wide toward a safe and abundant food supply, energy innovation, better health for families and communities, and strong environmental stewardship.

“For the past year, as interim associate dean, I’ve had the privilege to travel the state, meeting growers and industry partners for nearly every crop we grow—from apples to dairy to wine and grain,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot about the challenges that face our farms, food, and environment. I look forward to building on those conversations, ensuring CAHNRS scientists and Extension experts have the support and strengths to solve challenges and grow a better future.”

Proven scientist and leader

A down-to-earth scientist who enjoys collaborating with faculty and student researchers, growers and professionals, Hulbert has proven himself through 36 years of cross-disciplinary research, industry partnership, and national professional involvement.

“As an expert scientist, a native Washingtonian, a Cougar alumnus, and a dedicated leader and partner with growers, Scot stands out,” said André-Denis Wright, Dean of CAHNRS. “He’s ideally placed to support and improve the college’s research and industry partnerships that ultimately improve lives for the people of Washington State and the world.”

Childhood experiences on a family farm in western Washington led Hulbert to earn a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from WSU in 1980. Advanced degrees followed in vegetable crops and genetics from the University of California-Davis.

Before coming back to WSU as endowed chair in 2006, Hulbert worked, taught and held leadership roles at Purdue University and Kansas State University.

In addition to research and teaching, he has held several service roles, and been elected as a Fellow to the American Phytopathological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Research that spans the state

CAHNRS and its Agricultural Research Center are leading drivers of research at WSU, contributing to more than 40 percent of the university’s extramural funding budget. For the past two years in a row, Washington State University has topped the list of U.S. Department of Agriculture research and development expenditures, with CAHNRS responsible for the lion’s share of that investment—nearly 76 percent, more than $37 million, in 2017, the most recent year available.

With 15 academic units, four research and Extension centers, and 40 county and Tribal Extension offices, as well as 550 faculty, 700 staff, and roughly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students, discovery at CAHNRS reaches every corner of the state. Research in the college is as diverse as the communities, businesses, agriculture systems, natural resources, and landscapes of Washington.

Learn more about the CAHNRS Office of Research and Agricultural Research Center here.