CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University has named a new dean for the College of Forestry.
Thomas DeLuca, who currently is dean of the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation, will make the move to Corvallis beginning June 30. DeLuca replaces Anthony S. Davis, who has been acting dean since January 2018.
In an announcement Monday, Ed Feser, OSU provost and executive vice president, said DeLuca is “a highly accomplished researcher and leader who understands Oregon State’s commitment to building and enhancing healthy communities, economies and ecosystems.
“His national and international experience in working collaboratively with other universities, a range of forestry professionals and an array of stakeholders will help advance the great success and contributions occurring within Oregon State’s College of Forestry,” Feser said.
At OSU, DeLuca will oversee a college with six undergraduate programs, four graduate programs and more than 1,200 students. He has spent the last three years as dean of the forestry college at the University of Montana, with six undergraduate programs, nine graduate programs and 900 students.
DeLuca is also director of the Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, and a member of the governor’s Montana Forest Action Council.
“I wasn’t looking at any other options or moves, but this is the sort of opportunity that occurs once in a lifetime,” DeLuca said. “I feel strongly that this is a unique position at a time in which forestry has the potential to take a front seat in both conservation and commerce.”
DeLuca holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and master’s degree from Montana State University, both in soil science. He earned a doctorate in soil science and biochemistry from Iowa State University in 1993.
DeLuca’s career includes more than a decade overseas in Sweden and the United Kingdom. He has held research positions at the University of Montana, the Wilderness Society in Bozeman, Mont., Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pa., and five years as director and professor at the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.
The OSU College of Forestry recently celebrated the grand opening of the A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory in October, part of a new $79.5 million forest science complex that will also include the George W. Peavy Forest Science Center, slated to open next spring.
The 17,500-square-foot advanced wood products laboratory is dedicated to researching and testing mass timber products, such as cross-laminated timber, in commercial buildings. It is now home of the TallWood Design Institute, a partnership between OSU’s College of Forestry and College of Engineering, and the University of Oregon’s College of Design.
With DeLuca on board, Davis will return to his previous role as executive associate dean, which he held under former Dean Thomas Maness, who died in July 2018 following a lengthy illness.
“Dean Maness had a broad, inclusive and inspiring vision, and while the unique capacity of this individual will not be duplicated, there is much that he set in motion that I’m excited to help push to fruition,” DeLuca said.