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Ryan Johnson, Published October 04 2012

NDSU names 1st new University Distinguished Professor since 2008

FARGO – Plant sciences faculty member Elias M. Elias is North Dakota State University’s newest University Distinguished Professor, President Dean Bresciani announced Thursday.

It’s the top honor awarded to full professors with tenure who have been with NDSU for at least 10 years. The award comes with an annual $20,000 salary supplement, as long as the professor remains a benefited, tenured faculty member. The winner also receives an annual operating budget of $5,000.

During his state of the university address, Bresciani said past “resource limitations” forced NDSU to stop its University Distinguished Professor program. The last recipients were named in 2008.

A recent donation from the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Leadership Fund allowed the program to start again, Bresciani said.

Elias joined NDSU in 1990 and works with the durum wheat breeding and genetics program. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Aleppo University in Syria and a master’s degree in plant pathology from Montana State University before earning his doctorate in agronomy from NDSU.

“Dr. Elias’ scholarly accomplishments and contributions to some of the most pressing needs of our state, nation and increasingly the world, define this recognition, which he so richly deserves,” Bresciani said in a written statement.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587

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