As many of you learned at the recent Deans’ Forum, this is an exciting time for the college — student enrollment is growing, new faculty members continue to be recruited at on- and off-campus sites, sponsored awards are at all-time highs, and various initiatives are underway to increase the impacts of programs. A recording of the forum can be found online.
Among the many new initiatives underway is the formation of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, which will include the people and programs of the departments of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Horticulture, and Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science. Many of you are assisting with this initiative and are members of working groups tasked with providing the planning committee with recommendations on numerous items to ensure a successful transition. Thank you for all of your work on this process.
The vision for the new school is to bring people together from many of the plant and environmental sciences disciplines to fuel innovation and productivity.
The increased collaborative activity will serve our external stakeholders better, and it will also give faculty members opportunities to revise and develop new curricula that will attract more students who will be prepared for careers that encompass these disciplines. Our new provost, Thanassis Rikakis, has championed a goal of becoming more transdisciplinary in our work, which aligns well with the goals of the new school.