Sandra Witte, a Fresno State professor for nearly 25 years, will now oversee the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
The university called Witte’s journey to her position as dean unconventional: She started out as a registered dietician and has served as chair of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition.
“In the Jordan College, we often talk about offering programs from farm to fork and all the business in between. While most people think of agriculture from the farm end, my connection is clearly on the fork end,” Witte said.
“I have always had an appreciation for traditional agriculture, and in my time at Fresno State, that has bloomed into a passion. After all, where is the food without the farmer?”
Witte has served as interim dean of the Jordan College since 2014. The college enrolls 2,500 students, offering majors like animal and consumer sciences, agricultural education and industrial technology.
She received a bachelor’s degree in foods and nutrition at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; a master’s degree in home economics, nutrition and diatetics at Fresno State; and a doctorate in food systems management at Oregon State University.
The university said Witte joins a growing number of women in agricultural leadership – a career traditionally dominated by men.
“This is a critical time for the Jordan College as we prepare for the opening of the Jordan Agricultural Research Center this spring and continue our laser-focus on crucial issues related to water and sustainability,” Fresno State Provost Lynnette Zelezny said in a statement. “I am confident Dr. Witte will lead the college to increasing national prominence.”