Dean, College of Agriculture
Director, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station
Professor, Agricultural Economics
A native of Alabama, Paul Patterson earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and economics from Auburn University in 1985. He then earned a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University. Between 1987 and 1989, Patterson worked as a cotton economist for the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, D.C. In this position, he traveled with inbound and outbound cotton trade teams. Patterson returned to Purdue University to pursue a doctorate in agricultural economics as a USDA National Needs Fellow. He completed his doctoral studies in 1994. From 1995 to 2009, Patterson was on faculty in the Morrison School of Agribusiness at Arizona State University, where he advanced through the faculty ranks to eventually serve as dean of the school. As a faculty member, he provided leadership for the National Food and Agricultural Policy Project, a research project that provided economic analysis on the outlook for fruit and vegetable crops. He worked with producer organizations in Arizona, California, and Mexico. From 2009 to 2016, Patterson served as Associate Dean of Instruction in the College of Agriculture, Auburn University. In 2016, he was appointed as Dean of the College of Agriculture and Director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. His research focused on international trade and agricultural marketing. He is a co-author of five journal articles selected as the best article of the year in their respective journals. He and his wife, Louisa, are the proud parents of five children and proud grandparents of three grandchildren.