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Ken Blemings appointed interim dean of Davis College

Ken Blemings and Sasha West Virginia University’s current Honors College Dean, Dr. Ken Blemings, will be named interim dean of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design when current dean Dan Robison departs WVU in early 2019 for a new role.

Robison was recently appointed dean of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Experiment Station.

To ensure a smooth administrative transition for the College, Blemings will begin to work closely with Robison in the Davis College dean’s office on November 19.

“Ken began his WVU career in the Davis College and maintains a deep affiliation with its mission and values,” said Provost Joyce McConnell. “He was an award-winning researcher and teacher before he took on the dean role in Honors, and I am excited that he will have the opportunity to bring his leadership skills back to his disciplinary home. Guided by his thoughtful and deeply humane approach, the entire Davis College community will flourish in this transition period.”

Blemings came to WVU in 1999 as an assistant professor of nutritional biochemistry and of genetics and developmental biology in the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences. In 2010, he was named assistant director of academic programs for the division. He was a 2012 WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher and a recipient of an APLU/USDA regional teaching award the same year. He became chair of WVU’s intercollegiate undergraduate program in biochemistry in 2013.

He was named dean of the Honors College in 2015, following a year as interim in the role. As dean, Blemings has overseen a significant increase in the size of the College (from 580 incoming students in 2014 to 1020 in 2018) and expanded the Honors College staff to improve student services. He has also successfully launched two comprehensive programs designed to enhance the academic experience of Honors students at WVU.

Blemings noted, “I am proud of the strong team and students at the Honors College and so will be sad to temporarily leave them. They have accomplished great things and are poised to continue to do so. But I am also honored that Provost McConnell has entrusted me with the leadership of the Davis College. I look forward to working with the College’s faculty, staff and students to move the university’s oldest academic unit forward.”

Blemings’ interim appointment will extend through the 2019-2020 academic year. McConnell said that the University will announce plans for a permanent dean search at a later date. Her office also expects to appoint an interim dean of the Honors College shortly.


CONTACT: Ann Claycomb
Assistant Vice President for Strategic and Academic Communication; 304.293.9919