Pritchett named Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences

James Pritchett has been named dean of the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station following a national search. Provost Rick Miranda announced the appointment on April 22.

“I’m delighted to be able to appoint James, who has shown remarkable leadership already in his recent roles as executive associate dean and interim dean of the college,” Miranda said. “I have every confidence that he will be an outstanding college and University leader in the coming years, and will in fact have state and national impact in this role.”

CSU President Joyce McConnell agreed.

“The College of Agricultural Sciences has a pivotal role in the education of our students and for Colorado’s economy, and we are fortunate to have James’ experience and leadership to guide the college,” she said. “James’ background in agricultural economics coupled with his passion and commitment to teaching will help CSU best serve our students and the citizens of Colorado.”

Pritchett had been serving as interim dean since October, when Ajay Menon became president and CEO of the CSU Research Foundation.

“Agriculture’s essential nature is at the forefront of today’s world,” Pritchett said. “In its many forms, the industry is nurturing the world’s population with courage, innovation, thoughtful stewardship and a commitment to a sustainable future. It’s a compelling time to work with producers, consumers, students and industry in meeting the needs of this and future generations.”

James Pritchett portrait

Dean James Pritchett

Significant investments

In addition to the global challenges, Pritchett will lead the Agricultural Experiment Station and its 10 research centers statewide, as well as the talented faculty and students found in the College of Agricultural Sciences on the CSU Fort Collins campus.

Significant investments on campus include the Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building, the home of the College of Ag for over 80 years. The building is undergoing a renovation that will not only double its size but also provide students and researchers modern classroom and lab spaces.

The college is also a major partner in the redevelopment of the National Western Center in Denver, which is underway and will open in 2022.

Originally from southeastern Colorado, Pritchett earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from CSU, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He joined the College of Agricultural Sciences faculty in 2001, with extensive teaching, research and engagement responsibilities. He has served CSU in many leadership roles including Assistant Vice President for Engagement as well as executive associate dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences.