The Chancellor's award ranks among UTIA's highest faculty honors

2014 Institute Professor Award

P. Michael Davidson, left, accepts a plaque commemorating his designation as University of Tennessee Institute Professor from UTIA Chancellor Larry Arrington. Davidson, a professor and former head of the Department of Food Science and Technology, is the inaugural recipient of the honor. Photo by R. Maxey, courtesy UTIA. Download image.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) has bestowed the title Institute Professor upon P. Michael Davidson, Ph.D. Davidson is a professor and former head of the Department of Food Science and Technology. He is the inaugural recipient of the honor.

The designation recognizes a record of consistent outstanding performance as evidenced by excellence in teaching, research, extension or clinical practice. Leadership and reputation through service at the national or international levels within the faculty member’s scientific discipline is also expected.

Davidson has served as a professor with distinction in a number of leadership roles across the Institute since 1979, and among his many accolades are numerous leadership positions with national and international professional societies. He conducts research and teaches about microbiological food safety and food antimicrobials.

“I established this award to honor our most outstanding faculty who have truly made a difference in the lives of students and made an impact on the Institute, their discipline and areas of expertise,” says UTIA Chancellor Larry Arrington. “In light of all Dr. Davidson’s achievements, it is very fitting that he is our first honoree.”

Davidson is most widely known at the Institute as a former head of the Department of Food Science and Technology. In that position, he helped facilitate the teaching, research and extension programs of the department as a whole. Under his guidance, there were significant increases in both undergraduate and graduate enrollments, grantsmanship and awards, publications and presentations. Currently the enrollment in the department’s undergraduate program is at an all-time high of nearly 200 students.

Davidson has a strong record of scholarly publications and grants, having published 133 refereed journal articles, authored or co-authored five books, four laboratory notebooks, and 38 book chapters. He has had similar impacts in research, serving as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on grants in food safety and microbiology totaling more than $12 million. As an adviser, he has mentored 28 M.S. and eight Ph.D. students and served on committees for an additional 58 M.S. and 27 Ph.D. students.

Davidson has twice won his department’s Outstanding Teaching Award (1990 and 2004), the Outstanding Teaching Award for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (1991), and the W.F. and Golda Moss Outstanding Teaching Award (2008).

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.



P. Michael Davidson, professor, UT Department of Food Science and Technology, 865-974-0098,