Douglas Karcher, PhD

Karcher named new chair of CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science

Douglas Karcher, PhD, an alumnus of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), is returning to the college as professor and chair in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. His four-year term begins Aug. 1, 2021, pending approval by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Karcher currently works at the University of Arkansas, where he is interim assistant director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and is turfgrass specialist, professor, and assistant head in the Department of Horticulture. He started his career as an assistant professor in that department in 2000, was promoted to associate professor in 2005, and became professor in 2016.

“We are excited in bringing an engaged leader like Dr. Karcher to OSU,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. “He has a record demonstrating effective scholarship, a commitment to students, and productive relationships with stakeholders. Further, his leadership regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion are quite welcome, and align with our continued focus on DEI as a college.”

As chair of the CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Karcher will:

  • administratively lead the department’s research, teaching, Extension, and international development programs
  • foster effective, collegial, cooperative, and productive relationships among students, staff, and faculty, both within the department and with other departments and programs at Ohio State and CFAES
  • enhance the department’s diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • work with other departmental chairs and administrators to advance the department’s vision and missions while optimizing its resource needs 
  • promote the department and CFAES with state, national, and international organizations 

Karcher’s research at Arkansas has focused on improving the functional and aesthetic quality of turfgrass while minimizing water, fertilizer, and pesticide inputs through the refinement of cultural practices. He developed courses including Turf Management Laboratory, Turfgrass Rootzone Management, and Best Management Practices for Turfgrass.

Karcher earned his PhD in crop and soil sciences in 2000 at Michigan State University; his MS in crop and soil sciences in 1997, also at Michigan State; and his BS in agronomy with a minor in plant pathology in 1994 as a Buckeye—as a CFAES student at Ohio State. 

Learn more about the CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at

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