Roger Harris, professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the university community since 1993, Harris conducted research on the ecology of woody landscape plants from nursery production through the established landscape, seeking to provide tools and knowledge to create environmentally sustainable landscapes. His work led to more than 65 peer-reviewed journal publications and many other research papers, reviews,and book chapters.

Harris served as head of the Department of Horticulture from 2008 to 2017. As department head, he guided the department through major changes in their curriculum organization. He also recruited several outstanding faculty to the university and fostered the development of departmental research emphasis in fundamental and applied plant sciences.

In 2011, Harris received the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association’s Professional of the Year award.

In the classroom, Harris introduced hundreds of students to the principles and techniques of plant propagation and nursery crop production. He guided three students to the successful completion of a Ph.D. in horticulture and five graduate students to the completion of the master’s degree in horticulture. He also served on many other graduate student committees.

A member of the American Society for Horticultural Science, the International Society of Arboriculture, and the Arboriculture Research and Education Academy, Harris received his bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech, a second bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a master’s degree from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. 

Share this story