CORVALLIS, Ore. – Joseph Spatafora, a professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University, is OSU’s new faculty athletics representative.
OSU President Ed Ray appointed Spatafora to the position, which represents the interests of the faculty and administration in matters relating to intercollegiate athletics. Spatafora also will serve as OSU’s representative to the Pacific-10 Conference Council, and as a delegate to NCAA meetings.
Spatafora will take over the position on July 1, replacing Kelvin Koong, who will complete his five-year term.
The faculty athletics representative works closely with OSU athletic director Bob De Carolis, meets regularly with the athletic department’s compliance team, and advises Ray and the OSU Faculty Senate about athletic department issues.
Spatafora said athletics serves as a window to the institution and a gateway for alumni and others to establish a relationship with Oregon State – a dynamic he says he has witnessed on an international level.
“While on sabbatical in Thailand, I attended an OSU alumni function and there was the Interior Minister of the Thai government, proudly wearing an OSU baseball championship T-shirt,” Spatafora said.
An OSU faculty member for 15 years, Spatafora directs the OSU Mycological Collection and serves as associate chair of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. His research interests focus on the evolutionary biology of fungi, and he is affiliated with OSU’s Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, and the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest.
He is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University and has a Ph.D. in botany from Louisiana State University.