College reorganization focuses on long-term value, commitment


CABNR'S five departments reorganized to three:

  • Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Food, Agriculture and Nutrition (new)

Departments eliminated:

  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Resource Economics

The College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources has undergone some major changes after having nearly $4 million cut from its budget at the beginning of 2010. However, the college is still committed to quality education and offers a diverse array of programs for students.

"Our objective is to create a vision for the future that allows CABNR to address short- term issues while keeping focused on the long-term goal of becoming a valued resource to our constituents," said interim Dean Ron Pardini. "A new CABNR is inevitable, with a sharper focus. We are raising the degree of commitment to Nevada's needs."

CABNR'S five departments were reorganized into three: Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; and a new department called Food, Agriculture and Nutrition. The graduate programs associated with these departments are still intact. Five tenured track professors from the Animal Biotechnology department and two from the Resource Economics department were retained.

The four degree programs and their associated minors eliminated due to the cuts were: Animal Science, Animal Biotechnology, Agricultural and Applied Economics, and Environmental Resource Economics. The Pre- Veterinary program continues to thrive.

There are nine continuing undergraduate B.S. degree programs, including: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Ecohydrology; Environmental Science; Forest and Rangeland Management; Wildlife Ecology and Conservation; Nutritional Science; Dietetics; Veterinary Medicine; and the combined BS/MS degree program in Biotechnology.

More than 200 students were affected by these changes. Every student who was in an eliminated department as of spring 2010 was given the opportunity to graduate in their chosen major. They were made aware of the changes and were encouraged to see an advisor to select the correct schedule in order to ensure they would be able to graduate in a timely fashion. In spite of these changes within the college, CABNR had more undergraduates in 2010-2011 than any years past, and the number of national merit scholar students has increased this year.

Also, CABNR was able to hire Assistant Professor Marie-Louise Ricketts Ph.D., to the Department of Nutrition as a replacement for the retired Dr. David Wilson. Although CABNR has reorganized and changed many elements of the college, it is still committed to providing students with a high quality education. The college has risen to the challenge of making changes and continues to be a valuable resource for Nevada.