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Executive Leadership

Andre-Denis Wright

André-Denis Wright

Dean

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Dr. Wright began his tenure as Dean of CAHNRS in June 2018. He comes to WSU from the University of Arizona, where he was an endowed Professor and Director of the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Before joining the faculty at UA, he served as Chair of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Vermont, and Director of the Vermont Dairy Center of Excellence.

For nearly two decades, Dr. Wright has been developing strategies to increase the efficiency of nutrient utilization in livestock and to raise the level of production of food in an ecologically sustainable way (i.e., decrease enteric methane). Several years ago, his research interests expanded to also include human gut microbiology. Dr. Wright’s internationally recognized research uses next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics to examine the gut microbiome of animals, including humans, to better understand the interactions between host genetics and immune responses with their gut microbiota.

Dr. Wright received his Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in Canada and holds several professional accreditations, including Member of the American College of Gastroenterology. He has published 110 peer-reviewed papers, contributed 18 book chapters, presented 100 conference papers, and delivered 34 plenary lectures in 10 countries. Dr. Wright currently serves on several national boards and has served on review panels for the USDA, NSF, and NASA. He has also served as an external scientific reviewer for the governments of Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan, Scotland, and Switzerland, and in 2008, he had a ciliated protozoan named after him, Apokeronopsis wrightii, in recognition of his contributions to microbiology.

Vicki McCracken

Associate Dean and Director, WSU Extension

Dr. Vicki A. McCracken is a Professor in the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University and is the previous Chair of the Department of Apparel Merchandising Design and Textiles. She received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University with dual majors in Economics and Home Economics (Human Nutrition track) and completed her MS and PhD degrees at the rival Purdue University in Agricultural Economics. She has spent her entire career since 1984 at WSU, serving as a faculty member and in various administrative leadership positions.

She has taught courses in quantitative methods, intermediate micro, and applied marketing and price analysis. Her research and extension interests are broad-based ranging from analyzing social and economic issues of importance in agricultural production contexts to alternative agricultural markets and human health to identifying determinants of student academic success. Dr. McCracken has a steady stream of external grant funding that has supported her research resulting in a steady flow of conference presentations and publications.

Dr. McCracken has been active in service throughout her career. She has wide-ranging committee service at WSU and for the agricultural economics profession. She has been honored with awards and leadership positions from numerous organizations including: National Research Initiative: Markets and Trade Panel Manager; W.K. Kellogg Foundation Collaborative Efforts – Partnership 2020; ESCOP/ACOP Leadership Program; Outstanding Teaching and Leadership awards at Washington State University; and Fellow of the Western Agricultural Economics Association.

Scot Hulbert

Scot Hulbert

Associate Dean for Research & Interim Agricultural Research Center Director

Dr. Scot Hulbert has been the Cook Endowed Chair in the Department of Plant Pathology since 2006, and, in 2018, he was named Interim Associate Dean for Research and Interim Agricultural Research Center Director. In his new roles, he’ll supervise the research being done in Pullman, as well as in CAHNRS research centers and field stations across the state.

Dr. Hulbert received a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from WSU and completed a Master’s and Ph.D. at the University of California-Davis. Before coming to WSU as endowed chair, Hulbert worked, taught and held leadership roles at Purdue University and Kansas State University. In 2002, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Phytopathology, and in 2005, as a Fellow of the American Society for the Advancement of Science.

For the past 12 years, Dr. Hulbert has worked alongside fellow CAHNRS scientists to find solutions to global and local threats facing farms, food, and the environment. As Interim Director of the Agricultural Research Center, Dr. Hulbert will preside over one of the leading drivers of research at WSU. CAHNRS and the Agricultural Research Center contribute more than 40 percent of the University’s extramural funding budget–$83 million in 2016.

Rich Zack

Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Dr. Rich Zack comes from the Department of Entomology at Washington State University where he serves as a professor and curator of the M. T. James Entomological Collection. Dr. Zack received his PhD degree in Entomology from WSU. Dr. Zack has taught numerous courses at WSU, but most of his efforts have been directed toward undergraduate, University Common Requirements (UCORE) courses designed for non-science students.

Dr. Zack’s research interests include insect taxonomy and systematics, biological diversity, and pest management. He is interested in “rare” and unusual environments such as Palouse Prairie remnants, as well as habitats provided by the national parks and federal reserves. He has conducted extensive studies on the insects of the Hanford Nuclear Site, and his studies were instrumental in the naming of parts of the Site as a national monument. He also has ongoing biological diversity and invasive species studies in Guatemala and Micronesia.

Dr. Zack has received numerous recognitions and awards including distinguished teaching awards from CAHNRS, the University, and his professional society. He was also named one of the Top Five Instructors as WSU as chosen by the students. Dr. Zack is very involved in outreach activities designed for K-12 students.