Officials at Alfred State College have announced that Dr. Terry Tucker has been hired as the new dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the College. He begins his duties Aug. 1.
“I am delighted that Terry has decided to return to Alfred State,” said Dr. John M. Anderson, college president. “Terry previously served as a faculty member and department chair during his first stint at Alfred State, where he was involved, even then, in international activities. With Alfred State’s re-invigorated focus on community service outreach as well as international education, Terry will be a perfect fit!”
Since leaving Alfred State in 1995, Tucker has initiated and managed several academic, outreach, and international development initiatives at Cornell University (Ithaca). He currently serves as associate director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) and director of Academic Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s International Programs unit. Much of his work in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa focused on building the capacity of higher education institutions for advancing community, regional, and national development.
Among Tucker’s many accomplishments while at Cornell, he developed, launched, and led a popular new interdepartmental major in international agriculture and rural development. He also coordinates Cornell’s International Studies undergraduate minor and the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program. He has organized and co-taught interdisciplinary field-based courses in Haiti, Honduras, India, Mexico, and the Philippines. Additionally, Tucker has managed and co-taught courses with colleagues from around the world using interactive videoconferencing technology. For example, a current joint course initiative links Cornell, Michigan State University, and higher education institutions in Chiapas, Mexico, for a year-long series of team-taught weekly classes and a three-week January field trip. Participating faculty and students come from a diverse set of fields, including development studies, agriculture, social sciences, and the humanities.
Tucker’s international development work began at Alfred State in the 1980s through work with non-governmental organizations in Haiti. Later he served as a curriculum consultant on the Alfred-led project for post-civil war strengthening of post-secondary education in El Salvador. During that time, he advised FEPADE, a private sector foundation for educational development in El Salvador, conducting program evaluations at the National School of Agriculture (ENA) and the Central American Institute of Technology (ITCA). Also, while at Alfred he initiated and secured funding for an overseas experiential learning initiative that enabled Alfred students to gain exposure to agricultural and rural development issues in Haiti and Bolivia. Tucker also served as a visiting lecturer and curriculum consultant in Hungary while on the Alfred faculty.
While at Cornell, Tucker has continued to serve Alfred State as an advisory committee member and as a collaborator on a Cornell-Alfred State partnership to engage international scholars (through the Humphrey Fellowship Program) with the ASC community.
“I am strongly attracted to Alfred’s emphasis on student learning. High quality teaching and advising are hallmarks of an Alfred State education thanks to the talents and dedication of this faculty. I am honored to re-join colleagues whom I consider to be among the world’s best classroom teachers,” says Tucker. “One of the attractive challenges before us is to create innovative new opportunities to integrate student learning with high impact community engagement – community being defined very broadly. Alfred State has long been an important asset to the region, but we are positioned to do even more.
“Also, Alfred State’s commitment to the nascent Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture (COSA) holds much interest for me,” says Tucker. “Returning to Alfred at a time when I might contribute significantly to more refined conceptualization and building of the Center is an exciting prospect. That said, I am also, of course, fully prepared to enthusiastically support and work tirelessly on behalf of all academic departments and programs within the School of Arts and Sciences.”
As dean, Tucker is responsible for leading more than 70 faculty and staff. The school, with an annual budget of about $3 million, includes six departments (Learning Center) offering 16 programs to approximately 975 students.
The dean also provides leadership in strategic planning and implementing a mission to assure that the school is an academic leader in the region and the nation.
Tucker has presented guest lectures and papers across five continents on the potential role of higher education institutions in development. His other scholarly interests include participatory research approaches, farmer-led innovations for sustainable agriculture, and diverse partnerships for community development.
Tucker holds a PhD in agricultural, extension, and adult education from Cornell University; an MEd in agricultural education from Pennsylvania State University, and a BA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.