Kennedy selected to lead College of Applied and Natural Sciences

Mar 27, 2015 | Applied and Natural Sciences

Louisiana Tech University has selected Dr. Gary A. Kennedy, professor and head of its agricultural sciences department, as the new dean of the College of Applied and Natural Sciences.
Pending approval from the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, Kennedy assume leadership of Louisiana Tech’s College of Applied and Natural Sciences on June 1. He was selected following a nationwide search and brings 17 years of academic and administrative experience to this leadership position. Kennedy replaces Dr. James Liberatos, who retired as dean in December 2014.
Dr. Gary Kennedy

Dr. Gary Kennedy

“I am excited and looking forward to working with the excellent and talented students, faculty, and staff that we have in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences,” says Kennedy. “I think back to my days as a freshman here at Louisiana Tech in the late 1970s and never would have dreamed that I would someday be a faculty member, much less a dean.
“While I was unsure of my career goals as a freshman, Louisiana Tech faculty and staff played a critical role in shaping my decisions and developing the confidence that would place me on a career path that I would have never envisioned.”
Kennedy’s relationship with Louisiana Tech goes back over 35 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1983 and an MBA in finance in 1990. In 1995, he completed his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Louisiana State University before returning to Louisiana Tech in 1997 as an assistant professor in agribusiness.
During Kennedy’s tenure as department head of agricultural sciences, enrollment in animal science and agricultural business degree programs increased from 136 students in the 2001 to 245 students in the 2014 – an increase of 80 percent. He also serves on a number of university committees including the Intellectual Property Committee, Athletics Council Personnel Subcommittee and Quality Enhancement Team Advisory Board.
“Dr. Kennedy will provide insightful and strong leadership to the College of Applied and Natural Sciences,” said Dr. Terry McConathy, vice president for academic affairs. “He brings significant expertise to the College, its students, faculty, and staff, drawing from his experience as an educator and administrator and from his highly successful advancement and community service activities. I am looking forward to working with him as Dean.
“I’d also like to thank Dr. Bill Campbell for his work as interim dean during the transition to Dr. Kennedy’s leadership.”
Kennedy’s vision for the College of Applied and Natural Sciences includes strategies such as fostering an environment of teamwork within the college, development of resources, especially scholarships, through alumni and external relations, increased and innovative emphasis on student recruiting, and development of an explicit plan to retain productive faculty and staff.
“I am committed to the advancement of all units within the College of Applied and Natural Sciences, and I am excited to have the opportunity to help move our college forward,” Kennedy said. “We are a diverse college with schools or departments in agricultural sciences, biological sciences, forestry, health informatics and information management, human ecology, and nursing. I committed to developing opportunities for all of these units.”