It’s been about four years since the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences split into two separate colleges, with the new one named the College of Science, focusing on pure science disciplines. Dean of NC State CALS, Dr. Richard Linton says the restructuring is complete, and both entities are moving forward:
“When I first arrived on campus, in fact six months before I came, there was the formation of a new college on the NC State campus called the College of Sciences. And when that happened there were four departments that were dissolved in my college, that was Toxicology, Biology, Microbiology and Genetics. And what happened there, there were 44 faculty members that left our college and went across the street to form a new college, and we kept 19 of those faculty across those four departments.
We then strategized about what the new college would look like, we strategized about how to move those 19 faculty members into existing departments and the creation of a new department, but we also starting formulating ‘what’s our future going to be’?
And we focus right now on three big initiatives, the most important and biggest one is the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative. We also have an initiative for food manufacturing and food processing, and then another for food animal products, which is our number one industry that we support.”
I would think that those transitions are well on their way to completion.
“Yeah, so the formation of the College of Sciences took place in the first six to 12 months, so that’s all done, that’s all settled. And what’s great about that is that we’ve been able to reformulate the college and talk about what’s the most important as we move forward. Plant sciences, food animal products, food processing and food manufacturing are three core areas that we look to grow.”
And there’s a lot of interest scholastically, as well as research dollars involving all of that.
“Yeah, with the Plant Sciences Initiative it’s not just about research, it’s about basic research and applied research. What can we do on a molecular basic research standpoint and how can we translate that into providing solutions and opportunities for our stakeholders that are involved in farming.
But, it also involves educational efforts…how can we train the undergraduate and graduate student for the future? We’re looking at developing new curriculums as an example, around plant protection, which currently doesn’t exist. And of course, the other very important piece is how do we get this information to our stakeholders, and we do it very effectively with our Cooperative Extension Network. We got to plug in everything in the land grant mission; research, teaching and Extension, bring it together and build it at the same time.”
For more from Dr. Richard Linton, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State, visit our website, SFNToday dot com.