Dr. Linton received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, a Master’s Degree in Food Science, and a Doctorate in Food Science all from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to his role as Dean of CALS at North Carolina State University, Dr. Linton served as Department Chair of Food Science and Technology at the Ohio State University (2011-2012), and as a faculty member of the Department of Food Science at Purdue University (1994-2011). While at Purdue University, Linton also served as the Director (and founder) of the Center for Food Safety Engineering and as the Associate Director of Agricultural Research Programs.
Linton’s research interests include modeling the growth and inactivation of foodborne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella spp.) within different food systems, and, development of rapid detection technologies for biological and chemical foodborne hazards. Throughout his career, Richard has worked with various segments of the food and agricultural industry integrating applied research projects and impactful outreach programs. His area of expertise is development and implementation of food safety management programs, including Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point systems. He has helped a number of food manufacturers and retail food operations in the creation of effective food safety and food quality management programs. In the classroom, Dr. Linton has lead the instruction for graduate-level courses in food microbiology and for undergraduate-level courses in food safety, food safety management, introductory food science, and leadership principles.
Richard has received several service awards. He and his colleagues were recognized as a recipient of the United States Department of Agriculture Group Honor Award for Excellence. He received an Honorary Lifetime Membership to the Indiana Environmental Health Association, the Purdue University Extension Award of Merit, the Purdue University Research Team Award, the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Team Award, and Purdue University Faculty Scholar. Nationally, he has been recognized by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) for his leadership in research and outreach programs with the Howard Macy Award and the Myron Solberg Award. In 2008, he was elected as IFT Fellow.
During his 20 year academic career, Richard has published over 60 referred journal articles, 11 textbooks, and over 75 Extension publications. He has also presented over 250 invited talks presentations at state, national, and international meetings and has received more than $15 million in research funding.
Since 2012, Linton has been serving as the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. He leads a college of over 325 faculty housed in 16 different departments, over 2500 undergraduate students, and nearly 750 graduate students. Under his direction, the college has developed a new strategic plan that focuses on “building people, programs, and partnerships. Collaboration with industry and government is critical to the mission of the college and Linton’s dedication is demonstrated through the Plant Sciences Initiative and the Food Processing and Manufacturing Initiatives, two initiatives that have the potential to create jobs, find solutions to global challenges in agriculture and foster support for local growers.