Delaware State University’s Board of Trustees recently unanimously voted to name Dr. Arthur O. Tucker as professor emeritus.
Dr. Arthur O. Tucker is the seventh outstanding DSU faculty member to be named professor emeritus. Photo by Troy Darden.
Dr. Tucker is retiring this summer after 36 years as a research professor in the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences. Dr. Tucker is an internationally renowned botanist and is the co-founder and director of DSU’s Claude E. Phillips Herbarium.
In 1977, Dr. Tucker and the late Dr. Norman H. Dill, professor of biology and agriculture, established an herbarium, which began as two cabinets of plant collections in the Baker Building. Because of the need for a such a facility on the Delmarva Peninsula, it took on a life of its own attracting the donation of numerous valuable plant collections, and ultimately resulting in the University’s construction of the current Claude E. Phillips Herbarium facility within the U.S. Washington Cooperative Extension Building.
In addition to being the only such facility on the Delmarva Peninsula, DSU’s Herbarium is the only functioning one among Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country.
Dr. Tucker has been a prolific botany writer, having co-authored five books, including two on rare and endangered vascular plant species in Delaware and Maryland, and three on herbs. He has also contributed chapters to 29 books and co-authored more than 90 refereed journal articles, as well as countless other non-refereed article and conference publications.
Dr. Tucker’s expansive expertise includes herbs and essential oil plants, perfumes, the plant varieties of Delaware and Maryland, rare and endangered plants, forensic plant identification, and other areas.
“His career in academia encompasses the land grant philosophy in that he has been prolific in his research program, developed effective teaching programs, and he extends his research and knowledge in outreach to the community,” said Dr. Richard A. Barczewski, chair of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.
Dr. Tucker joins six others who are currently professor emeritus of DSU: Dr. Kenneth Bell, former dean of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences and University provost and vice president of Academic Affairs; Dr. William Flayhart, former chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy; Dr. Gustav Ofosu, former chair of the Department of Biology; Dr. Donald A. Parks, former art professor and director of the Arts Center/Gallery; Dr. Warren Rhodes, former director of the Psychology Graduate Program; and Dr. Mary P. Watkins, former chair of the Department of Nursing.