Dr. Richard Linton, a nationally recognized food-safety authority who serves as professor and chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology at The Ohio State University, has been named dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, effective Sept. 15.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have been able to attract Dr. Linton to lead the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” Provost Warwick Arden says. “He has a strong agricultural background and he’s led many successful collaborative efforts involving academia, industry and other important stakeholder groups. I’m confident that he’ll be a major asset to the college, the university and the state of North Carolina.”
An expert in food microbiology and in developing food-safety systems to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, Linton most recently chaired the largest food science and technology program in the country at Ohio State. Before that, Linton served as a professor of food science, center director and unit leader at Purdue University.
“The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has a rich tradition and long-standing reputation for excellence in research, teaching, outreach and international programs,” Linton says. “I am pleased and honored to be a part of such a great organization that is transforming and integrating science and education. I look forward to my new leadership role as dean. My family and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the NC State community.”
At Purdue, Linton directed the Center for Food Safety Engineering, which aims to provide knowledge to detect and prevent chemical and microbial food contamination. He doubled the center’s funding and built multidisciplinary research teams over 10 years. In his 17 years at Purdue, Linton also coordinated interdisciplinary and integrative efforts as an assistant and associate director with the university’s Agricultural Research Services unit.
A prolific author, Linton has literally written the book on food safety. Along with colleagues from Indiana University, Linton developed the leading food-safety textbook, Essentials in Food Safety and Sanitation, as well as a full training curriculum comprising a student’s guide, trainer’s kit, and supervisor’s guide. To complement the training curriculum, Linton and colleagues developed a nationally recognized retail food manager’s certification testing program.
Linton has also authored or co-authored 60 refereed publications and 50 extension publications in his field.
Noted for his outreach activities, Linton has made almost 150 presentations at workshops and conferences in the United States and around the globe.
Linton has received numerous awards for his work, including the Institute of Food Technologists’ Harold Macy Award in 2004, which recognizes an individual each year that has demonstrated leadership in developing effective research and outreach programs that include partnerships with many stakeholder groups.
Linton is an elected fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and a member of numerous scientific societies, including the International Association of Food Protection and the Conference for Food Protection.
Linton earned his bachelor’s degree in biology in 1988, and his master’s and Ph.D. in food science in 1991 and 1994, respectively, all from Virginia Tech.