AUBURN, Ala.—Jeff Sibley, an Auburn University alumnus and faculty member, has been named head of the Department of Horticulture at Auburn, effective Nov. 1.
Sibley, who grew up in northwest Alabama’s Mount Hope community and was a part of a family nursery and turf business in Muscle Shoals, received his bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Auburn in 1984 and his master’s in 1994. He joined the horticulture department as a research assistant in 1994 and, after completing his Ph.D. in horticulture from the University of Georgia in 1997, was hired as assistant professor.
He was promoted to associate professor in 2001 and to full professor in 2006. From August 2008 to December 2009, he also took on an additional, university-wide role when he served as acting associate dean of Auburn’s Graduate School. In 2010, he was named the Barbara and Charles Bohmann Endowed Professor of Horticulture at Auburn University.
In addition to his research, teaching and advising programs, Sibley is a long-time member of the College of Agriculture Scholarship Committee, chair of the horticulture department’s scholarship committee and director of the horticulture department’s study-abroad program in England.
College of Agriculture Dean Bill Batchelor said Sibley has a deep passion for the Department of Horticulture, its students and the stakeholder industries the department serves.
“He is a leader and mentor and is highly respected in the industry,” Batchelor said. “I am confident that Dr. Sibley will provide the vision and leadership needed to continue shaping the outstanding teaching, research and outreach programs that the department is known for.”
Sibley said he is looking forward to the opportunities and the challenges ahead.
“The horticulture department at Auburn is one of the largest in the country and has had a history of strong leadership and faculty commitment to our students,” Sibley said. “I look forward to continuing that tradition.”
Sibley and his wife, Brigitte, have five children, ranging from an Auburn University senior to a first-grader.
Sibley succeeds Dave Williams, who has led the department since 2006 and will return to his position on the faculty.