The Department of Animal Science has received a $2 million gift from Emeritus Professor Robert Everett and his wife, Anne Everett, to create an endowed dairy cattle genetics professorship, the first endowed position in the department.
Everett specialized in dairy genetics at Cornell for 40 years, according to the University. Prof. W. Ron Butler, chair of the Animal Science Department, said there have been no dairy cattle geneticists in the department since Everett retired in 2008. Butler said he was grateful for the opportunity to recruit a new faculty member as a result of Everett’s gift.
“Unfortunately, agriculture hasn’t been … the beneficiary of a lot of endowments,” he said.
Jan Nyrop, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences senior associate dean, said that the dairy cattle genetics professor will begin as an assistant professor. Butler said he is meeting with CALS Dean Kathryn Boor next week to discuss the new professor’s functions, and he expects to be looking for applicants soon.
Because the professor’s title will carry the name of an emeritus professor, Butler said the position would “carry a bit more prestige” than another potential non-endowed position.
Of the animal science department’s three main functions — teaching, outreach and research — most faculty perform a combination of two, Butler said. The endowed position will likely be at least 50 percent research and will focus on either teaching or outreach through Cornell Cooperative Extension, Nyrop said. He noted that gifts, such as the Everetts’ that allow for new hires are crucial to the University’s efforts to lower the average age of its faculty.
Butler said that the Everetts’ donation will “allow our department to add to our longstanding credits” in the dairy industry.
According to Butler, Everett “felt strongly” that he had had a remarkable opportunity to be part of what his wife called a “special institution,” and wanted to aid it in its work.
“The named ones always mean [something] special,” Butler said. “We feel quite privileged and honored.”