Phillip Kaufman, Ph.D., will begin his appointment as head of the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University, starting July 1.
Kaufman joins Texas A&M from the University of Florida where he served as a professor in the Entomology and Nematology Department in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. During his 15 years at the university, he helped develop and implement research programs to support Florida livestock producers, taught courses on medical and veterinary entomology and forensic entomology, as well as provided support to Florida Extension faculty and livestock and companion animal stakeholders.
Kaufman’s appointment will include responsibilities in both administration and research. He aims to foster success in both basic and applied research with a plan to continue his own research in addressing current threats and evaluating potential threats to livestock.
“I am very excited to be joining the department’s world-class faculty,” he said. “I believe that it is a department head’s charge to foster faculty and staff professional development, and I look forward to working with everyone in our department to ensure that they feel they are appreciated and have every opportunity to be successful.”
With facilitating an environment where faculty may explore new, cutting-edge research avenues that improve the lives of Texans, Kaufman will also be seeking opportunities for global reach, he explained.
“I want faculty to feel confident in looking in new directions, experimenting with new techniques and areas of interest, so that they can offer the students that we are teaching at Texas A&M the opportunity to be at the forefront of scientific discovery,” he said.
“Dr. Kaufman’s background and experience in research, teaching and Extension will benefit the Department of Entomology and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” said Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “I look forward to his leadership of the department and the contributions he will make in this new role. I would also like to thank Dr. Pete Teel for his service as interim department head during the last year.”
Kaufman was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in Veterinary Entomology in 2014 at the 58th Annual Livestock Insect Workers’ Conference, and the Illinois 4-H Alumni of the Year award in 2013 by the Illinois 4-H Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal sciences from the University of Illinois, his master’s degree in entomology from the University of Wisconsin and his doctorate in plant, soil and insect sciences at the University of Wyoming.