Dean's Message Spring 2011

Ron Pardini, Dean & Director CABNR/NAES

Ron Pardini, Dean & Director CABNR/NAES

As many of you know, following the curricular review process last year our College sustained a serious budget cut that caused the loss of administrators, faculty and staff. This resulted in the closing of two of our departments, Animal Biotechnology and Resource Economics, leaving the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) and Nutrition.

Since then, with extensive participation from CABNR's Advisory Board and the Dean's Range Advisory Committee, the College underwent a judicious self-analysis and strategic planning modification process. Through an unprecedented spirit of collaboration and dedication to the Land Grant mission, our faculty then worked diligently to create and propose a new department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Veterinary Science (ANVS) and three new undergraduate programs stemming from ANVS and NRES.

The newly proposed majors include: Agricultural Science, Range Ecology and Management, and Forestry Management and Ecology. Agricultural Science is an innovative major that enables students to "design" a curriculum to either emphasize ag business and economics OR ag production and science.

The new interdepartmental Range Ecology and Management program was developed between the new ANVS department and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. This curriculum was specifically designed to meet accreditation standards of the Society of Range Management.

The third new program in Forestry Management and Ecology within NRES will allow students to specialize in Sierran forests with emphasis in ecology and restoration. In a related action, a multi-state Range Education program has been proposed for the western region that includes contributions from CABNR and possibly hands-on learning experiences at the Gund Ranch.

At this point, the new department name and its structure along with the three proposed majors have been submitted to the Board of Regents for consideration at their June meeting. Pending approval from the BOR, we anticipate accepting students into these new programs for the 2011 Fall semester.

The multi-state Range Education proposal has been submitted to the Western Deans and Directors for consideration at their summer meeting in July, and following approval an organizational meeting will be scheduled to implement the multi-state Range Education program.

Thus, through the commitment, creativity and collaborative spirit of our faculty and visionary departmental leadership, we've positioned CABNR/NAES to serve the future agricultural and natural resources interests in the Great Basin. Innovation is forward thinking and we have redesigned CABNR through forging inter- departmental, inter-collegiate and multi-state partnerships to build resources and expertise to carry our education into the future.

It is envisioned that this collaborative approach is a futuristic view of agricultural and natural resources education across the country.