Illinois State University’s Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) Jeffrey Wood announced that he will retire from the University, effective August 31.
A retirement reception will be from 3-5 p.m. Monday, August 31, at the Club House of the Hancock Stadium, with remarks at 3:30 p.m.
Wood joined Illinois State in 1985 as an assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture, and earned the rank of professor in 1994. He served as an associate dean for CAST from 2002 until 2006, when he was named dean.
“Dr. Wood has dedicated his career to Illinois State, and the college has seen great advances under his leadership,” said Provost Janet Krejci, who will appoint an interim CAST dean in the coming days. “We are grateful for all he has done and wish him a long, happy, and healthy retirement.”
Wood earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a bachelor’s degree with honors from Southern Illinois University.
Honored for his work in the classroom, Wood received the Illinois State University Outstanding Teacher Award as well as awards from CAST for outstanding teaching and service. He won the USDA Teaching Award of Excellence, Central Region; and a Teaching Award of Merit from the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.
Several university-wide initiatives emerged under Wood’s tenure as dean of CAST, notably the development of the Washington, D.C. internship program, the Horticulture Center, the Center for Renewable Energy, the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy (SMART) Clinic, and Science and Technology Week.
He advocated for renovation of the Ropp Agriculture Building, facility improvements at the Illinois State University Farm, and renovation of labs in Information Technology, Kinesiology and Recreation, Technology, Health Sciences, Military Science, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Criminal Justice Sciences. Under his leadership, the college has grown to more than 4,300 students and more than 20 accreditations.
Along with overseeing CAST’s 27 major fields of study throughout eight different academic units, Wood maintained his research interests in curriculum adoption and assessment. He authored two national curricula for adoption at high school and community college programs in agriculture. Wood wrote “No-Till Conservation Farming” and “Beef Marketing,” both widely adopted throughout the country.
Wood served a term on the Governor’s Committee on Agricultural Education, served as a trustee for the Illinois Future Farmers of America, and was the University’s faculty representative to the NCAA from 2000 to 2006. His service also extended to numerous University committees and boards, including the Academic Senate, the Institutional Review Board, and several University search committees. Wood also chaired the Academic Affairs Committee, the Academic Planning Committee, and the CAST Curriculum Committee. He currently serves on the ISU Foundation Board as the Dean’s and Chair’s representative.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Illinois State University for more than 30 years,” Wood said. “I retire with the satisfying knowledge that Illinois State is in a great place to learn and teach and there is a bright future ahead.”