Plantations Welcomes Chris Wien as Interim Director
Horticulture professor Chris Wien will serve as interim director of Cornell Plantations while the university searches for a replacement for Don Rakow, who announced his resignation on May 22. Wien, who started July 1, previously served as acting director of the Plantations from July 2006 to January 2007. Wien received his master’s degree from Cornell in 1967 and his Ph.D in 1971, joined the Department of Vegetable Crops as a postdoctoral fellow in 1971, and returned as assistant professor in 1979, after working abroad as a research scientist studying grain legume physiology in Nigeria. He served as chair of the Department of Fruit and Vegetable Science, then the Department of Horticulture, from 1996-2002. His research focus has been the production of cut flowers and herbaceous perennials. He also leads outreach projects encouraging the use of high tunnels among both growers and in school gardens. And he has continued international work in Africa, working with smallholder horticulturists in Zimbabwe, and leading student trips through the Cornell International Institute of Food, Agriculture and Development’s SMART program.
Rakow, who joined Cornell Plantations more than 20 years ago, will return full time to the Department of Horticulture. Reflecting on his tenure, Rakow said: “Our growth, even through budget limitations and challenging economic climates, has certainly been among my greatest satisfactions. For so much of this, I credit Plantations’ amazing staff and our incredibly generous donors and advisors.”
“Don’s leadership has been a key part of the transformation of Cornell Plantations in the last two decades. I am grateful for his expertise, enthusiasm and partnership,” said Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The Plantations has established a new fund in his honor.