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Dean Sandy Rikoon to Step Down as HES Leader

Sandy RikoonDear alumni and friends of HES:

It is with very mixed feelings that I inform alumni and friends of HES that I will be stepping down as Dean of the College of Human Environmental Sciences and leaving the University of Missouri on July 31, 2020.

This timing will complete the five-year commitment I gave to then-Provost Garnett Stokes when she offered me the Dean’s position. My decision is one made totally in the context of my thinking about my academic career and family. Professionally, it is my intention to return to what I love best in higher education—research and graduate training–and to simultaneously increase my international work. I will be shifting my location to the Research Triangle Area of North Carolina where I can work with allied researchers and units at Duke University and the University of North Carolina. I have also recently agreed to take on a part-time faculty position in the Fall as International Director of a new Ph.D. program on Sustainable Development in the Czech Republic. This will also enable me to revive my role as an evaluator of EU research centers over the next several years. Personally, and importantly for us, in moving to North Carolina, my wife and I will be relocating near one of our three children and three of our four young grandchildren.

I have greatly appreciated my nearly 33 years at the University of Missouri, and especially my last ten years of association with HES. I truly believe I will be leaving the College of Human Environmental Sciences at a time when it is in a very strong position to attract a highly-qualified individual as the next HES dean. I have offered my services to the Provost for recommendations on a Search Committee and to help with the transition in any way I can. Rest assured, I will continue working for the best interests of the college before I leave the University.

The most difficult part of my decision is knowing that I will be leaving a wonderful group of talented faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. HES would never achieve its high national ranking without the loyalty, commitment, participation, and contributions of our alumni and friends. You truly have been a significant help during my time in the college. You all have shown yourselves to be extremely talented, hard-working, caring, resilient, smart, and supportive. I will miss my interactions with you and will always remember with fondness the many formal and informal interactions I have had with HES alumni and friends over the last five years.

With my best,

Sandy Rikoon Signature

Sandy Rikoon


Dr. Sandy Rikoon
Dean, College of Human Environmental Sciences
Curators Distinguished Professor of Rural Sociology
Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security