Natural Resources dean announces resignation plans

Pamela Steinle

College of Natural Resources Dean Alfred Sullivan has announced his plans to resign in September 2002.

Sullivan said he plans to take a year off and return to the University as a faculty member.

The dean said he decided to leave so he could spend more time with family and friends. Sullivan is also looking forward to reading, reflecting and retooling during his leave.

“I was bumping up against 10 years,” Sullivan said. “I thought it was time for somebody else to have the fun of this job.”

Sullivan said he knew from an early age that he wanted to go into natural resources. He said fishing, hunting and camping expeditions instilled in him a passion for the outdoors.

Sullivan grew up in New Orleans, La., and got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Louisiana State University. He later earned his doctorate in forest biometrics from the University of Georgia in 1969.

Prior to coming to Minnesota in 1993, Sullivan served as director of the School of Forest Resources at Pennsylvania State University for five years. He was also a faculty member for 15 years at Mississippi State University and Virginia Tech.

Sullivan credits his parents for much of his professional success. His father, who didn’t finish high school, was determined that his two children attend college.

Besides his work mentoring, improving interdisciplinary communication and refurbishing the Cloquet Forest Center, Sullivan is also happy with the lasting friendships he has made at the University.

He said he looks forward to spending time with colleague and friend Bob Bruininks, University executive vice president and provost, who is also stepping down and returning to a faculty position.

“Bob and I had been kindred souls as deans together,” Sullivan said. “We look forward to taking canoe trips.”

Bruininks served as dean of the College of Human Development.

Bruininks said although Sullivan is quick to give credit to others, many projects could not have been done without his leadership.

“He leaves with a very proud record of accomplishments and a strong legacy of achievement,” Bruininks said.

Sullivan said Bruininks and an earlier boss, Gene Allen, were very helpful during his term as dean.

Melvin Baughman, College of Natural Resources assistant dean, joined the administrative team a year and half ago with 23 years experience in extension and said Sullivan has been an invaluable mentor.

“I had an awful lot to learn about administering academic plans,” Baughman said. “Al’s been a great guide in the process of finding my capabilities and interest.”

Baughman said he was also impressed with Sullivan’s character.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the guy angry,” Baughman said. “It’s hard to imagine a person in administration as nice as he is.”

Pamela Steinle welcomes comments at [email protected]