Auburn University Provost Thomas Hanley has announced the appointment of Michael J. Weiss, a career entomologist, as dean of AU's College of Agriculture and director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.

Weiss comes to Auburn from the University of Idaho, where he is a professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences. He had also been interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Idaho.

“Weiss' background in agriculture sciences and research are impressive,” said Hanley. “Among the things that resonated with me were the volume and quality of his scholarly works and his ability to attract external funding.

Weiss, 49, will succeed interim Dean John Jensen. He said he looked forward to working with Jensen “to assist me in becoming familiar with Alabama and Alabama Agriculture.”

A native of St. Paul, Minn., Weiss got his bachelor's degree at Purdue University, a master's degree at Ohio State and his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska — all in entomology.

Funding for AAES has been an ongoing issue at Auburn the past several years, a problem that Weiss says he understands.

Weiss said AU and AAES should continue to work with its existing partners, Alabama A&M University and Tuskegee University, while developing new partnerships “to allow us to help all Alabamians improve their lives and economic well being.”

“I was attracted to Auburn for several reasons, the outstanding reputation of the faculty in the College of Agriculture and their commitment to the land-grant mission of teaching, research, and Extension-outreach, very strong support from Alabamians for the university and in particular the College of Agriculture and Agricultural Experiment Station, the opportunity to lead both the College and the Experiment Station, and a chance to contribute in moving both the College and Experiment Station to the next level of excellence,” he said.