Irwin Goldman named CALS interim dean

At a special all-college meeting on Oct. 15, Chancellor Biddy Martin announced that Irwin Goldman, CALS vice dean and associate dean for research, will serve as interim dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Goldman will step into the position on Nov. 9, the day CALS Dean Molly Jahn begins her new appointment as deputy undersecretary of research, education and economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Chancellor Martin has granted Dean Jahn a one-year leave from her duties as dean. Goldman will serve either until she returns or a search for a successor is completed.

“While working in my current administrative position, I have had the chance to represent the college’s interests—to, as Molly often says, advocate with and for us—out in the larger community,” said Goldman, at the meeting. “I consider these core elements of the dean’s role, and ones that I will continue and deepen in the coming year.”

While Goldman serves as interim dean, Ray Guries, professor and former chair of the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, will serve as interim vice dean and associate dean for research.

Goldman joined the UW-Madison horticulture department in 1992. His research examines the intersection of plant breeding, plant genetics and human health, with the goal of improving crops for health and nutrition. He chaired the plant breeding and plant genetics graduate program from 2002-2005. From 2004-2006, Goldman served in several interim administrative roles at CALS, including assistant dean, associate dean and executive associate dean, before being named associate dean for research and vice dean in 2006.

Goldman earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences at the University of Illinois, a master’s in crop science at North Carolina State University and a doctorate in plant breeding and plant genetics from UW-Madison.

Go here to download a transcript of remarks by Dean Jahn at the Oct. 15 meeting

A video recording of the Oct.15 all-college meeting is posted below. It also available for viewing at