The search for a new College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Dean has ended, the University of Wisconsin announced Friday.

Kathryn VandenBosch will replace Interim Dean William Tracy March 1 as head of the college, which  encompasses 19 varying academic departments, according to a UW statement.

VandenBosch, who is both the head and a professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Plant Biology, expressed enthusiasm over her new position.

“I’m really enthusiastic and excited to be coming to Madison and joining the UW family,” she said. “I look forward to being here.”

VandenBosch was one of the three finalists announced early in August and has an extensive background in plant biology, the statement said.

Having talked to Provost Paul Deluca over the past week before Friday’s announcement, VandenBosch said the two agreed on conditions fairly quickly.

VandenBosch also said she was unaware of the hunt for a new dean until she received a letter from the CALS search and screen committee, after which she applied a month later.

Comparing UW to her current residence at the University of Minnesota, VandenBosch said she was eager to begin working on a campus where all the life sciences are integrated instead of separated.

“It’s exciting to me how the life sciences here are so strong,” VandenBosch said. “In terms of supporting science on campus, there’s continuity with all the life sciences being neighbors on campus.”

She added she is excited to see what she could bring to this unique set-up.

VandenBosch received her Master of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, according to the University of Minnesota Plant Biology website.

The UW statement said she also spent time on campus as a post-doctoral associate. VandenBosch said she has been a fan of UW since her initial visit.

Citing the campus’ locations and its historic buildings – one of which CALS is located in – VandenBosch said she is looking forward to the move.

“I was [at UW] 25 years ago as a post-doc, and I’ve been back to visit from time to time,” she said. “I think it’s terrific.”