Dean Search


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has selected Thomas H. DeLuca, a higher education leader with deep experience in both natural resource and environmental issues, as the next Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Dean of the OSU College of Forestry.

DeLuca, a forest soil scientist whose long research career includes more than a decade in Sweden and the United Kingdom, comes to OSU from the University of Montana, where he is the dean of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation.

He will start at Oregon State on June 30, 2020, overseeing a college with six undergraduate programs, four graduate programs and more than 1,200 students.

“Tom is a highly accomplished researcher and leader who understands Oregon State’s commitment to building and enhancing healthy communities, economies and ecosystems,” said Edward Feser, OSU’s provost and executive vice president. “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.”

DeLuca will replace Anthony S. Davis, who has been interim dean since September 2018 after serving as the acting dean of the college since January 2018. Davis will return to the role of executive associate dean that he held under Dean Thomas Maness, who died in July 2018 following a lengthy illness.

DeLuca holds a Ph.D. in soil science from Iowa State University and has been the University of Montana’s forestry dean for three years.

“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. It is an opportunity to work with an inspiring group of scientists and educators to forward the mission of the College of Forestry and help secure a more sustainable future.”

At the University of Montana, DeLuca oversees six undergraduate programs and nine graduate programs together encompassing 900 students. He is also responsible for a 28,000-acre research forest, a 3,600-acre cattle ranch and multiple on-campus research centers.

DeLuca also serves the state of Montana as the director of the Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station and is a member of the governor’s Montana Forest Action Council.

Prior to becoming forestry dean at Montana, DeLuca spent five years as director and professor at the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Before that he held research positions in Europe; at the Wilderness Society in Bozeman, Montana; at the University of Montana; and at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

DeLuca holds a master’s degree from Montana State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, both in soil science.

“The College of Forestry at OSU has a deep and rich history, has demonstrated incredible resilience and is poised for a phenomenal and influential future,” DeLuca said. “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.”

In October the college celebrated the grand opening of its A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, a facility dedicated to furthering research and collaboration in the timber design, engineering, fabrication and construction sectors. The lab is part of a new 95,000-square-foot forest science complex that will also include the George W. Peavy Forest Science Center.

The college broke ground in October 2016 on the complex, and the Peavy Forest Science Center is scheduled to open in spring 2020. The complex showcases innovative uses for wood in building construction and design, including advanced wood products such as cross-laminated timber.


About the OSU College of Forestry: For a century, the College of Forestry has been a world class center of teaching, learning and research. It offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sustaining ecosystems, managing forests and manufacturing wood products; conducts basic and applied research on the nature and use of forests; and operates more than 15,000 acres of college forests.


About the Search for the Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Dean of the College of Forestry and Director of the Oregon Forest Research Laboratory

Oregon State University, Oregon’s land-grant and premier research university and the state’s only institution to hold the Carnegie Foundation’s top designation for research institutions and its prestigious Community Engagement classification, seeks an inspiring, collaborative, and experienced leader to serve as the Dean of the college of Forestry and Director of the Oregon Forest Research Laboratory.

It is an exciting time to join OSU. With campuses in Corvallis and Bend, the University continues to climb in excellence by keeping a clear focus on advancing and disseminating knowledge, valuing student success, and serving the people of the state of Oregon and beyond. OSU is one of only two universities in the country to hold the Land, Sea, Space and Sun Grant designations.

Ranked as one of the premier forestry schools in the world, the College of Forestry plays a significant role in honoring the University’s land-grant mission and goal to address the grand challenges of our time. The Dean will build on the College’s strong legacy of research, teaching, outreach and engagement while developing an innovative vision for forestry education in the 21st century. The Dean will lead a group of exceptional faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders to further prominence in education, research, and outreach to drive society to collaboratively use forests to preserve cultural values while expanding local economies, improving life for all.

The successful candidate will be a collaborative leader prepared to serve as an advocate and spokesperson for the college. The Dean will engage internal and external stakeholders to create cohesion and build common purpose, possess the ability to advance excellence in the fields within the college, and strengthen and grow mutually beneficial partnerships across the State of Oregon, the country, and the world.

The college of Forestry prides itself on providing students a variety of programs that offer broad education, rigorous depth, and professional focus. Caring faculty work with students to provide instruction, advising, mentoring, research experiences, study abroad opportunities, field labs, exposure to real-world practice and the latest scientific findings.

To support its mission, the college owns 15,000 acres of research forests across the state where students learn, study and work. Cutting-edge research on working forests and ecosystems is conducted throughout the eight individual forests as timber sales are used to support college programs.

OSU’s main campus is located in Corvallis, a community of 58,000 people in the heart of western Oregon's Willamette Valley, located about 90 miles south of Portland, 36 miles south of Salem, the state capital, and one hour from the Pacific Coast and the Cascade Mountains. Corvallis is a vibrant college town, and is consistently ranked among the best and safest cities to live in the United States. Corvallis sits within easy access to Oregon’s finest recreational and scenic areas: ocean beaches, lakes, rivers, forests, high desert, and the rugged Cascade and Coast Ranges are all within a short driving distance. OSU has a presence in every county of the state, including 15 Agricultural Experiment Stations, 36 county extension offices, the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport and OSU-Cascades in Bend.

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