Meet the Dean
Dr. Jeff Edwards serves as the dean of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and the Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Programs within the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. As dean, Edwards is dedicated to providing opportunities for students and fostering collaboration in the three land-grant mission areas to enhance the Arkansas economy.
Prior to serving as dean, Edwards was professor and head of the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences from 2022 to 2024, where he successfully led a group of 35 faculty stationed across Arkansas.
Edwards initiated his faculty career at Oklahoma State University in 2004 as an assistant professor and small grains extension specialist where he focused on increasing the productivity and profitability of wheat production in the southern Great Plains. Much of his effort was devoted to interdisciplinary research and extension projects focused on dual-purpose wheat production and use of technology to improve stakeholder engagement. Edwards achieved promotions to associate professor in 2009 and full professor in 2012. In 2011, he was honored as the holder of the Warth Distinguished Endowed Professorship. Edwards closed his service to Oklahoma as professor and department head for the Plant and Soil Sciences Department from 2015 to 2022. His scholarly contributions include 92 refereed journal articles, one book chapter, 102 peer-reviewed extension fact sheets and co-invention of twelve wheat varieties.
Edwards’ scholarship and impact has been recognized by many awards and honors from multiple organizations, including the 2013 USDA National Award for Excellence in Extension, the 2021 OSU Career Services Career Champion Award and the 2007 Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association Promoter of the Year.
A first-generation college student, Edwards earned his B.S. in agriculture from Western Kentucky University in 1995. In 1999, he became a Razorback and earned places on Senior Walk for an M.S. degree in crop science in 2001 and Ph.D. in crop science in 2004. Edwards furthered his leadership education by graduating from LEAD 21, the Oklahoma State University Academic Leadership Academy and the Food Systems Leadership Institute.