University Proposes to Close College of Ag


Ag Degree programs would be eliminated as part of sharp budget cuts


The agricultural mission of one of the west’s best known land grant universities may be in jeopardy.  On Monday March 1, the Administration of the University of Nevada, Reno gave notice to several departments that they will soon be shut down forever.


First, the UNR Resource Economics Department received word that they would be closed.  Then, before the day was out, the UNR Animal Science Department got the same notice.  Finally the entire College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR) was informed of the proposal to close entirely.


The UNR Provost met Monday with the CABNR leadership and informed them that they have a month to build their arguments to save any part of the College.   There has been no word on the future of the UNR Cooperative Extension Service.


UNR is well-known as a leading agricultural university, especially in the areas of Range and Animal Science, Biotechnology, and Agriculture and Resource Economics.  The CABNR has five departments, and currently has an enrollment of nearly 1000 Undergraduate students and 150 Graduate students.


Success stories include the areas of animal breeding, range management, cell biology and gene therapy to support human and animal health.  Recently the CABNR has also been working on developing renewable green bio-energy from biomass crops, algae, and sustainable forests.


The CABNR has struggled in recent months with a 17.5% cut from last year’s budget.  A serious injury to the Dean of Agriculture has required leave to recover over the past year, but it was anticipated that the Dean might be returning to the college in the coming months.


Nevada ag leaders say they hope to build a coalition of support, and efforts are underway to form a strategy to take to the Nevada Board of Regents by their June meeting.


According to KOLO TV in Reno, the college closure is part of the University of Nevada, Reno plan to cut 6.9 percent from its budget.  Watch that story here.


Submitted by Taylor Brown



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