W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation Dean News

December 10, 2019

To the campus community:

Thomas H. DeLuca (Tom), dean of the W. A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Forestry at Oregon State University and plans to leave the University of Montana sometime after the end of spring semester 2020. This was an exceptionally difficult decision for Tom (his words) as he deeply believes in UM and the FCFC, but felt that this was a unique and exciting career opportunity that he could not ignore. Please join me in congratulating Tom on his future appointment!

Tom will have served as dean of FCFC for almost three and a half years. The following highlights a few of Tom’s accomplishments and activities as dean of FCFC:

  • Built a culture of trust, a sense of unity and shared purpose in the College with an emphasis on sustainable resource management;
  • Working with staff and faculty, addressed a large structural deficit and finished the last two years with a balanced budget;
  • Initiated the conceptual design and narrative for a new Forestry Building;
  • Worked with staff and faculty to meet UM capital campaign priorities for the College;
  • Oversaw the College during a period of record research grant award and fundraising success;
  • Re-established a purpose and utilization of Bandy Ranch with a ranch-to-table program, providing grass-fed, grass-finished beef to Campus Dining so UM students and employees can eat healthy, humanely raised beef and learn about sustainable ranching in western Montana;
  • Served on numerous University committees as chair (Montana State Arboretum Committee, search committees for the Davidson Honors College dean and Executive Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center), co-facilitator (UM’s Environment and Sustainability Community of Excellence) and active member (Academic Program and Administrative Services Prioritization Task Force, the University Planning Committee, the Academic Officers Council, Sustainable Campus Committee, University Budget Committee);
  • Served on the Governor-appointed Forest Action Council and on the Council Advisory Board to prepare the 10-year state forest plan;
  • Directed the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit – Rocky Mountain Region 2017 – present;
  • Conducted research in the U.S. and abroad, advised graduate students, and published an average of six refereed publications per year (current Scholar H-index 56)
  • Reestablished and taught the FCFC Graduate Seminar each fall semester;
  • Oversaw the integration of the Department of Geography to FCFC;
  • Initiated internal recruitment and retention committees that apply best practices in recruitment techniques and integrate efforts across the College;
  • Expanded fundraising efforts for FCFC’s Native American Natural Resource Program, Bandy Ranch, Lubrecht Experimental Forest, Mass Timber Building Project; and
  • Coordinated with three other western universities to provide national recommendations for fire and forest management to the USFS leadership and western congressional delegation staff.

Planning for Tom’s successor is underway and I will share details with the campus community shortly. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Tom for his outstanding service to the University of Montana and the state of Montana.

Jon Harbor, Provost