about lu saas | Langston University

about lu saas

about lu saas

History and Mission

Langston University was officially established as a Land Grant institution in 1897 through the Morrill Act of 1890. Agriculture was a founding tenet of the University and remains so today through the work of LU School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences (SAAS). True to the Land Grant mission, LU SAAS carries out academic, research, and extension/outreach programs through a variety of disciplines. The three mission areas are interrelated and contribute to the mission of each other. These connections, coupled with stakeholder input and feedback, ensure that the School remains abreast of current developments and responsive to the needs of its clientele.

The E (Kiki) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research was established in 1984 as the American Institute for Goat Research. It has grown into one of the preeminent small ruminant research centers and has attracted research scientists, agricultural specialists and other visitors from all around the world.

Since the early years, the school continues to grow steadily, adapt to new challenges, and is always seeking to support the need of stakeholders. LU SAAS mission is to prepare students to make a difference in a rapidly changing world. The School conducts research, teaching, and community engagement activities that address agricul¬ture, human, and community development issues that ultimately impact lives of people in Oklahoma and beyond.

Strategic Plan


LU SAAS strongly believes in and embraces diversity. We foster a learning and working environment that is multicultural, caring, respectful, and supports the creative potential of students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders. We understand that the development of a culturally diverse faculty, staff, and student population is critically important. We seek to provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to fully participate in workshops, seminars, and individual discussions that promote understanding and appreciation of differences among all people.

We are proud of the broad diversity of our faculty and staff in LU SAAS. They have many years of experience, working and contributing to development all over the world.

Our student population is racially and culturally diverse and we are incorporating strategies to ensure that students participate in service learning activities in culturally diverse communities in Oklahoma and throughout the US. We are also strengthening our study abroad program to encourage students to travel internationally at least once during their matriculation in LU SAAS. Our cooperative extension program has been reimagined and we have introduced a school adoption and youth development model to ensure that we increase our involvement in underserved communities.

Leadership Team

School Administration

Wesley L. Whittaker, Ph.D.
Dean and Director, Land Grant Programs

Vernon Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Research Director

Tiluhan Sahlu, Ph.D.
Director, American Institute of Goat Research

Department Chairs

Steve Zeng, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Evia Davis, Ed.D.
Chair, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences


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