By Clint Thompson
The University of Georgia (UGA) Tifton Campus has a new leader for its next century of service.
Michael Toews, a professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Entomology and co-director of the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, will move into his new role as assistant dean at UGA-Tifton on March 1.
Toews joined UGA in 2006 as a research entomologist with responsibilities in applied insect ecology and pest management. His program has secured $14.9 million dollars in competitive grant funding. He has published more than 60 research papers.
“Leadership development has been an important part of my professional journey. I’m excited to be able to apply some of the same skills I’ve learned as a researcher in the leadership arena and lead a fantastic campus,” Toews said.
Toews will replace Joe West, who will retire after serving as assistant dean for 12 years. West oversaw the renovation work on the front of the UGA-Tifton campus, including the restoration of the historic Tift Building and Agricultural Research Building; both totaling $10 million in funding.
West also orchestrated the construction of the new Centennial Garden, located at the center of campus, which was a featured piece of the UGA-Tifton centennial celebration in 2019.
“Dr. West has just done an outstanding job leading our campus for the last 10-plus years. His legacy is the trajectory that we’re on now and will continue to be on,” Toews said.
According to Toews, his biggest challenge moving forward is finding space for new faculty that will be housed on campus.
“We’ve got new faculty headed in our direction. My challenge is to find space to accommodate and to continue to make Tifton the powerhouse that it’s always been,” Toews said. “We’ve got a great partner with USDA-ARS that we’re co-located on the UGA-Tifton campus. Together, we’re going to work to get new buildings and to renovate existing space to allow us to thrive in the next 100 years.”
For additional information about the UGA Tifton campus, see UGA-Tifton.