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Forage researcher receives tenure from Texas Tech Board of Regents

Forage researcher receives tenure from Texas Tech Board of Regents

Among the items approved at the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents meeting was the granting of tenure to an agronomist from the university’s Department of Plant and Soil Science. Charles ‘Chuck’ West, who serves as the Thornton Distinguished Professor of Forages, was granted the academic classification, bringing the total of full-time tenured faculty at Tech to 726.

West, who joined the Texas Tech faculty in 2012, was formerly a professor of forage & biomass physiology and ecology with the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He is internationally recognized for his comprehensive research on tall fescue and a symbiotic fungal organism, an endophyte that improves drought tolerance of the grass.

Endophyte-infected tall fescue is widely grown as a forage and hay crop for its drought tolerance, but it also causes varying levels of toxicity in livestock. West also has taught and conducted research in environmental restoration and bioenergy crops. He’s documenting requirements for growing switchgrass as a possible bioenergy crop.

West received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agronomy from the University of Minnesota. His doctorate in agronomy is from Iowa State University. Awards for West include the John W. White Team Award-University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture (2012); Fellow of American Society of Agronomy (2011); Fellow of Crop Science Society of America (2010); and Fulbright Research Scholarship (2005).

Texas Tech’s Board of Regents governs, controls and directs the policies of the Texas Tech System. Composed of nine members appointed by the governor, it also includes a student regent appointed by the governor to serve a one-year term. Separately, tenure, generally described, is an arrangement where faculty members, after successful completion of a period of probationary service, can be dismissed only for adequate cause or other possible circumstances and only after a hearing before a faculty committee.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Michael Galyean, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or



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