Dr. Charles R. Curtis served Chair of the Department of Plant Pathology from 1984-1996, after which he returned to teaching until his retirement in 2007. His primary interests were students, teaching, innovative student centered teaching methods, and research on urban landscape plant diseases and abiotic (environmental) stress.
Curtis developed a course, Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives, and the Environment (PLNTPTH 597), that explores political, ethical, and economic issues related to pesticide usage, atmospheric pollution, and release of genetically engineered organisms. He also developed an online course, Social Impact of Plant Diseases in Shaping Human Society (PLNTPTH 201D). Both classes are popular with a broad spectrum of majors outside of agriculture.