UF/IFAS Dean of Research

Published: September 23rd, 2014

Category: Memos

Jack M. Payne, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources

I am pleased to announce that Jacqueline K. “Jackie” Burns, Ph.D., has accepted the position of UF/IFAS dean of research.

Dr. Burns is a preeminent scientist with 89 research publications and an outstanding administrator at the Citrus Education and Research Center in Lake Alfred.

Her research and administrative experience have largely been focused on the Florida citrus industry, and her appointment as research dean comes at a time when the $9 billion industry is threatened by a disease she has been front and center in combating. With 25 faculty and 200 staff positions, CREC is among the world’s largest public research facilities dedicated to a single commodity.

Dr. Burns assumes leadership of a research operation that brought more than $100 million in grants and contracts into the university last year.

Her career with UF/IFAS spans 27 years, all of them at CREC. She started as an assistant professor of professor of horticulture and advanced to associate professor and professor before taking on administrative duties. She became interim director of CREC in 2009 and director in 2011. For part of that time she simultaneously served as director of our Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee.

In addition to those jobs, she has since 2009 served as executive director of the Citrus Research and Education Foundation, during which time its net worth has grown from $692,000 to $1.25 million. She has also been the IFAS citrus programs coordinator since 2009.

Dr. Doug Archer and Dr. Mary Duryea have done stellar service as co-interim deans since June 1. My thanks to them for a job well done. I’d also like to thank Dr. Nick Place, UF/IFAS dean of extension, for leading the national search that identified Dr. Burns as the best person to lead our research operation.

Dr. Burns will bring with her to Gainesville strong relationships with USDA and other partner agencies that will be essential in continuing to garner support for research on citrus greening and the search for solutions to other challenges facing Florida’s agricultural and natural resource industries. She will help guide our efforts to continue recruiting world-class scientists to contribute to our efforts on a food systems hub, plant genomics and other UF preeminence initiatives.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Burns to Gainesville when she starts on Nov. 1.

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