Announcement by Francine Conway, Chancellor-Provost, Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
July 21, 2022
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Laura Lawson as permanent Executive Dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) and permanent Executive Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES).
As our campus community well knows, Dr. Lawson is not new to these positions. She has served with great distinction as Interim Executive Dean of SEBS and Interim Executive Director of NJAES since July 2020.
Dr. Lawson’s many accomplishments as interim leader include strengthening our institutional relationships with the agriculture and food industries in New Jersey; the completion of a Chancellor-Provost-requested operational assessment of SEBS/NJAES and ongoing work to adopt its recommendations; completion of the SEBS/NJAES Diversity Action Plan and work to fulfill its many requirements; hiring of a new director for Rutgers Gardens and reprioritization of its outreach and education efforts to align with President Holloway’s priorities; and the successful transition to remote learning during the pandemic, among others.
Prior to serving in her interim roles, Dr. Lawson was Dean of Academic Programs at SEBS, during which she made significant contributions including the development of campus living labs, improving the student experience, enhancing out-of-state and international undergraduate recruitment, and contributing to the school’s strategic planning process. She also serves as Professor of Landscape Architecture, having joined Rutgers in 2010 as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and later holding roles as Faculty Director of Rutgers Gardens and Dean of Agriculture and Urban Programs.
Dr. Lawson is an established author and co-author and is well-regarded for her scholarship on urban agriculture, community gardens, neighborhood open space, and participatory design. As an active teacher, she has taught a range of community-based design studios and courses related to social and cultural aspects of design.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Lawson. I look forward to her continuing excellent leadership of SEBS and NJAES, which together include 12 departments, approximately 3,200 undergraduate and 420 graduate students, approximately 325 faculty and 485 staff, and a combined budget of approximately $207 million, and which uses its broad portfolio of teaching, research, and service to understand how human and environmental health can intersect to support a healthy and sustainable future.
Read more at Rutgers Today.