Adelaja named Hannah Professor in Land Use Policy

Contact: Contact: Francie Todd, Agriculture and Natural Resources, (517) 432-1555, or

Jun 27, 2003

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Adesoji O. Adelaja has been named the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor in Land Use Policy at Michigan State University.

His appointment, which includes a tenured professorship in the departments of Agricultural Economics, Resource Development, and Geography, was approved today by the MSU Board of Trustees.

Adelaja comes to MSU from Rutgers University, where he is a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, executive dean of Agricultural and Natural Resources, and dean of Cook College.

He is an expert in production policy and technology issues that face the agricultural, food and natural resource industries, especially at the boundaries of urban and rural communities. His research has directly influenced public policies toward agriculture, the food industry and natural resources and is used extensively by policy-makers.

"Land-use issues are among the most important and volatile concerns facing not only our state, but the entire nation," said MSU Interim President Lou Anna K. Simon. "This appointment brings to MSU an internationally recognized scholar in land-use policy whose research, teaching and outreach expertise and experience embody the essence of Hannah endowed professorships."

Adelaja has influenced groundbreaking legislation and policy on farmland assessment, farmland preservation, the right to farm and agricultural economic recovery and development in New Jersey. He is widely recognized for his ability to build teams to address complex challenges such as those related to land-use policies. As the Hannah Professor, he will bring this research and coalition-building expertise to bear on Michigan's critical challenges in land-use policy.

"Dr. Adelaja's background and experience in developing policy solutions will be a great asset as we work to address issues such as farmland preservation, brownfield redevelopment and urban revitalization - issues that affect virtually every Michigan municipality and citizen," said Jeffrey Armstrong, dean of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. "His appointment will ensure that MSU continues to play a leading role in advancing knowledge for the sustainable management of agriculture and natural resources."

"This joint appointment between the College of Social Science and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources represents an exemplar of intra-university collaboration," said Marietta Baba, dean of the MSU College of Social Science. "Dr. Adelaja will help coalesce the university's intellectual capacity from a broad array of disciplines to address the fundamental need of policy-makers for information on the future direction of growth, its impact on agriculture and its fiscal and quality of life implications for townships and counties."

In addition to his academic duties, Adelaja also serves as executive director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. He has received numerous honors from the Office of the Governor, the New Jersey General Assembly and Rutgers University for his contributions to public policy development. He received his doctorate in economics from West Virginia University.

His MSU appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2004.

The John A. Hannah Distinguished Professorships were established in 1969 to expand and maintain excellence in the faculty across broad areas of MSU. They are awarded to exceptional scholar-teachers to honor Hannah's 25 years as president of MSU.