The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has named Tracy V. Dunbar, Ph.D, chair of the UAPB Department of Agriculture.

She will be responsible for academic programs, curriculum development and the supervision of faculty and staff for the department, according to a news release.

As chair, Dunbar will manage the instructional budgets and collaborate with associate deans in oversight activities related to agricultural teaching, research and Extension. She will also work with the associate dean for academics to coordinate student recruitment and retention efforts.

In addition to supporting faculty members seeking extramural funding for teaching and outreach projects, Dunbar will serve as a liaison with high schools, community colleges and various agricultural agencies and organizations to strengthen academic programs and provide service to clientele, according to the release.

Dunbar has worked for the UAPB Department of Agriculture since 1997. Most recently, she was a professor, teaching graduate courses in ecological economics and environmental policy analysis and undergraduate courses in farm management and agricultural finance, policy and marketing.

“Dr. Dunbar brings a wealth of knowledge to her new position as chair of the Department of Agriculture,” said Doze Y. Butler, Ph.D, dean/director for the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences. “She has served admirably in the key mission areas of the institution. She is well respected by her peers, and most notably, she is loved by students. That will serve the department and the school well as we continue our focus on recruitment, retention, mentoring and graduation of students.”

From 2012 to 2016, Dunbar was an associate professor of agriculture. From 2008 to 2012, she was interim chair for the department and a professor of agricultural economics. During this time, she conducted an academic program review for agricultural sciences at UAPB.

As associate professor of agriculture (2002-2012), Dunbar was instrumental in developing the Master of Science degree program in agricultural regulations, according to the release. She collected data on the program and co-authored and presented the program proposal to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

In 1998, as an assistant professor, Dunbar began counseling UAPB students on career choices, professional development and course selection and preparation.

Dunbar has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from UAPB, a master’s degree in agricultural economics-agricultural production and marketing from Pennsylvania State University and a doctoral degree in resource development-community economic development from Michigan State University.

Her research focus is the socioeconomic impact of some agricultural programs on small, limited-resource farmers. She has authored numerous journal articles and abstracts on a variety of agricultural topics.

In the grants she has authored and co-authored, Dunbar has helped secure almost $1.5 million for programs benefiting socially-disadvantaged and limited-resource producers. Other grants she has been awarded pertain to the expansion of educational opportunities for students of agriculture.

At UAPB, Dunbar was a recipient of the Twenty Years of Service Award in 2017 and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.

She has served as co-advisor of the UAPB Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Club since 1997 and as chair of the YouthPartners Advisory Board in Pine Bluff since 2013.