Francis Fluharty, head of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has been appointed to serve as a subject extern examiner for the University College of Dublin’s School of Agriculture and Food Science.
The three-year commitment involves the remote review of student examination papers in the production and nutrition curriculum modules, plus the opportunity to visit UCD to meet with members of the academic staff. The position serves as an important academic consulting role for UCD.
“This role is key to the enhancement of teaching, learning and assessment in the university,” said Mark Rogers, registrar and vice president for academic affairs at UCD.
Fluharty, who will begin his duties in September, said he is honored by the opportunity to work with UCD.
“For me, this appointment has as much personal meaning as professional meaning. Leaving Ireland really wasn’t a personal choice that my ancestors took lightly. It was basically forced on them for survival,” Fluharty said. “Being asked to give back to my ancestral country, at a world-class university, has deep meaning for me, especially since it is in the area of animal agriculture, which I love. As Mahatma Gandhi said: 'To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.'”
Fluharty, whose paternal ancestors come from the western Irish province of Connacht, has given talks on forage digestion and forage-based production systems in the U.S. for Cargill/Provimi in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. He also visited the country on a two-week study abroad trip while with the Department of Animal Sciences at The Ohio State University, where he was a faculty member from 1993 until 2018, when he joined UGA as head of ADS. He also served as an extern reviewer for a UCD doctoral candidate studying with UCD Professor Tommy Boland, who nominated Fluharty for the appointment.