Dr. William (Bill) R. Raun has been named as the Nutrients for Life Foundation Professor of Soil and Food Crop Nutrition at Oklahoma State University (OSU). The professorship, which is funded in-part by the Nutrients for Life Foundation, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), will explore the linkages between fertilizer use and the nutritional quality of food. Dr. Raun accepted the professorship duties on July 1, following the OSU Board of Regents’ recommendation.
“I believe ours is the most progressive nitrogen management program in the world,” said Dr. Raun. “This is the result of a team effort that has been ongoing since I arrived with Dr. John Solie (Mechanical Engineer), Dr. Marvin Stone (electrical engineer), and a host of incredibly dedicated graduate students.” The Nutrients for Life Foundation Professor of Soil and Food Nutrition is in the Department of Plant and Soil Science located within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The cross-disciplinary position will work closely with the college’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center. Dr. Raun will teach a class each semester about fertilizer’s role in healthy food, while also researching this important issue.
The industry pooled its resources to donate $250,000 to OSU. Through a rare matching program made available from oil and gas executive and OSU alum T. Boone Pickens and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the fertilizer industry’s $250,000 will translate to $1 million to fund a professorship in perpetuity. This position brings the strengths of three organizations together to address fertilizer’s affect on food nutritional quality.
“In Dr. Raun’s 17-year career at OSU, he has developed into an outstanding faculty member who has brought national and international recognition to Oklahoma through his total commitment to teaching, research and extension components of the land-grant mission,” said Robert E. Whitson, Vice President, Dean and Director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. His research is focused on making a difference in the lives of people and the environment in which they live.”
Endowed professorships and chairs are academic designations which provide support for faculty salary, graduate assistantships, equipment and research needs, as well as other support. These endowed faculty positions allow a university to attract and retain the best and the brightest academic minds in the world.