When Boise Weekly sat down to chat with Dr. John Foltz in January 2011, he was spending a fair amount of time shuttling between Washington, D.C., where he was helping craft a new farm bill, and his home near the University of idaho, where he has been a faculty member since 1991.
Foltz will be spending a lot more time in Moscow now that the U of I has named him the interim dean of the University's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Fotz succeeds John Hammel, who recently returned to the school's faculty after serving as dean for nine years.
"If you look at Idaho's economy, agriculture has always been a stabilizing force," Foltz told Boise Weekly. "While ag may not share in the boom periods, we don't share in the bust periods, either. Idaho certainly has an up-and-comer with the tech sector, but that took a pretty good-size hit when the economy languished. Meanwhile, ag has continued to be solid."
While Foltz fills in as interim dean, the U of I has launched a national search for a permanent dean for the ag school, which serves about 1,200 students between its undergraduate and graduate schools.