After 20 years as director of the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station and a valued administrator at Utah State University, Dr. H. Paul Rasmussen will retire May 1, 2009. His career of advancing agriculture and higher education has taken him to many parts of the United States and included international work as well, but the last 20 years of his professional expertise have been devoted to Utah agriculture and strengthening the nation's land-grant university system.
In addition to directing the UAES--which supports researchers in all of USU's colleges--Rasmussen has served as associate dean for research in the College of Agriculture and as a USU associate vice president for research. He has been instrumental in negotiating and securing funding for many programs and facilities that will have a lasting impact on the university and agriculture in Utah, including creation of the Utah Botanical Center and USU's Center for Integrated BioSystems, and construction of new Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories in Logan and Nephi.
Rasmussen attended the College of Southern Utah and earned a bachelor's degree in botany and plant pathology at USU. He completed graduate studies, earning M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in horticulture at Michigan State University. He was on the faculty of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and Michigan State University. He did extensive research and was widely published on topics related to horticulture and electron microscopy. He chaired the Department of Horticulture and Landscape at Washington State University for seven years prior to returning to USU as associate director of the UAES. In 1989, Rasmussen became the 15th UAES director in the history of USU, just over 100 years from the experiment station and university's founding.
In 2004, Rasmussen was recognized by the university with the Leone Leadership Award, which honors outstanding administrative activity. He has served on numerous university research and academic committees at USU and at other institutions. Rasmussen has been active in the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), which works with federal agencies and congress to resolve issues of importance to agriculture and education at the nation's land-grant universities. He chaired the national organization and has served on numerous ESCOP committees.