Bill Farland, the highest ranking career scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, will bring his decades of interdisciplinary research leadership experience to Colorado State this fall as the new vice president for research.
Farland is deputy assistant administrator for science in the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. He also directs the EPA’s Office of the Science Advisor, which serves as the authority on integrating sound science in regulatory decisions. He served as Acting Agency Science Advisor throughout 2005.
Farland’s 27-year federal career has been characterized by a commitment to the development of national and international approaches to interdisciplinary research, testing and assessment of the fate and effects of environmental agents. He has been in the national spotlight on such topics as the environmental impacts of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, assessment guidelines on cancer-causing chemicals, dioxin health effects, environmental tobacco smoke, mercury levels in fish and ecological damage from the Vietnam War.
Farland begins his new post on Oct. 16. He will report to Tony Frank, provost and senior vice president.
"Dr. Farland has been at the forefront of creating national and international policy on environmental research and is a highly respected member of the scientific community," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State University. "His proven track record of pulling agencies and people together to solve problems of global importance will continue to move Colorado State – already one of the nation’s premier land-grant research institutions – forward."
"Dr. Bill Farland’s work has not only benefited the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but has profoundly impacted the health and welfare of all Americans," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Bill and I have served the Agency together for more than 25 years, and while he will surely be missed, I wish him all the best as he pursues this exciting next chapter in his remarkable professional career."
One-third of Colorado State’s budget encompasses research. The university ranks among national leaders in research funding per faculty member; in 2004, Colorado State was ranked among the top five universities in annual growth of research grants.
Colorado State lists research and discovery as one of five key areas of growth with particular emphasis on supporting areas of institutional strength and societal need such as infectious disease research, increasing multidisciplinary collaboration, improving research facilities and increasing external funding.
Under Penley’s tenure, Colorado State annual research expenditures grew to $267.4 million in fiscal year 2006 – nearly 10 percent more than the previous year and a 35 percent ($69.2 million) increase in research expenditures over the past four years.
"Colorado State has built an international reputation for our research upon a foundation of programs in infectious disease, cancer research and environmentally sustainable solutions to global problems such as air and water pollution," Frank said. "Bill’s expertise matches the extraordinary quality of the faculty and research programs at Colorado State. He will be an incredible advocate and resource for our scientists."
"I’m pleased to be a part of Colorado State University’s outstanding research enterprise," Farland said. "I view this as the capstone to my long federal career. I’ve focused my career on science in service of the public, and I look forward to bringing that experience to Colorado State."
During the search for a new vice president, Hank Gardner has served for 18 months as interim vice president for Research.
"I want to extend our gratitude to Hank, who has done a wonderful job as interim vice president," Penley said. "Hank is highly committed to faculty research and will continue to serve Colorado State extremely well in his role as associate vice president for research development."
"I’m excited such an internationally recognized scientist as Dr. Farland is joining our research team at Colorado State University. I am eager to work with Bill as we continue to realize our vision of executing our global mission for the 21st-century, land-grant university," Gardner said.
Farland began his EPA career in 1979 as a health scientist in the EPA’s Office of Toxic Substances while he continued his research endeavors at The George Washington University Medical School. Prior to serving as deputy assistant administrator for science in the Office of Research and Development, Farland served as director of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment, which he helped create in 1995. The NCEA is responsible for the conduct of chemical-specific risk assessments in support of EPA regulatory programs, the development of Agency-wide guidance on risk assessment and the conduct of research to improve risk assessment. Prior to that, he also served as director of the Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, director of the Carcinogen Assessment Group and acting director of the Reproductive Effects Assessment Group.
He serves on a number of executive-level committees and advisory boards within the federal government. He currently chairs the Executive Committee of the National Toxicology Program. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, a public member of the American Chemistry Council’s Strategic Science Team for its Long Term Research Program and a member of the Programme Advisory Committee for the WHO’s International Programme on Chemical Safety. In 2002, Farland was recognized by the Society for Risk Analysis with the Outstanding Risk Practitioner Award, and in 2005, he was appointed as a Fellow of the Society. He continues to teach and publish and has been a member of the editorial boards for "Risk Analysis," "Environmental Health Perspectives" and "Chemosphere."
His numerous awards and honors include an EPA Silver Medal and several Bronze Medals.
Farland holds his master’s in zoology and his doctorate in cell biology and biochemistry from UCLA. He obtained his bachelor’s from Loyola University in Los Angeles. He was awarded an Individual National Research Service Award from the National Cancer Institute to pursue postdoctoral training in DNA Damage and Repair at the University of California-Irvine and at Brookhaven National Laboratory.