September 2010

send_email_to_cafls_dean_scottDear Friends and Alumni of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

Many of you are aware of the reduction in state funding that both Clemson University and Public Service and Agriculture (PSA - Agriculture Extension and Research) have experienced over the past two years. Forty percent of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences’ (CAFLS) budget comes from PSA. This represents approximately 140 employees out of 350 full-time faculty and staff. Based on projections of further budget reductions, the next few years are going to be even more challenging. Because of this, Clemson University has directed all colleges to begin an active planning process in order to make critical decisions to ensure that we maintain quality programs while addressing these economic uncertainties. Because the PSA budget cuts are immediate, starting in 2010 - 11, the impact on CAFLS had to be dealt with sooner than in the other more Education and General (E&G) funded colleges. 

Some of these decisions include reorganizing in ways to consolidate degree programs that will enhance career opportunities of our undergraduate students, while maintaining our existing highly recognized research programs and service missions. On average, Education and General funding is similar for all colleges, so all units are being asked to seek additional sources of revenue and endowment funding. This, in great part, will drive the fundamental changes that will move the CAFLS into a radically different funding environment - as a member-college of a more independently-funded public university. 

REORGANIZATION SUMMARY CAFLS will excel in research and service that relate to our focus areas of Food & Packaging Systems, Environment, Agriculture, and Human & Veterinary Biomedical Sciences. As PSA funding is reduced over the next two years, CAFLS will move to an Education and General funding model supported primarily by revenue sources rather than state allocations. 

All current students will be allowed to finish their respective degree programs.

Departments / School structure and proposed degree programs for the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences (Names listed for the combined units may not be the final one selected). 

1. Department - Animal and Veterinary Sciences (unchanged) This department has a strong pre-veterinary science orientation as the main undergraduate program. With the new Veterinary Initiative, additional research and graduate student support will be realized. (Approximately 350 undergraduates)

2. Department - Biological Sciences (unchanged) Department has strong undergraduate and graduate programs. Curricula will be evaluated for better alignment and to improve efficiency. (Approximately 1050 undergraduates) 

3. Department - Genetics and Biochemistry (unchanged) Genetics and Biochemistry degree programs may merge into an umbrella major with concentrations. Strong undergraduate and graduate programs currently exist. (Approximately 300 undergraduates) 

4. Department - Food and Packaging Systems (final name to be determined) - Faculty and Staff from Packaging Science and Food Science and Human Nutrition Departments will make up this unit. Respective Food Science and Packaging Science curricula will be maintained. These programs have complementary courses and research areas. (Approximately 400 undergraduates) 

5. School concentrating on Environment and Agriculture (final name to be determined) - This unit will function as a large department and be called a school to reflect its size, research diversity and geographic distribution on and off-campus. Faculty and Staff from Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences; Environmental Horticulture; Forestry and Natural Resources; and faculty delivering Biosystems Engineering, Agricultural Education, and Agricultural Mechanization degree programs will form this unit. Environment and Natural Resources, Forest Resource Management, Horticulture, Soils and Sustainable Crop Systems, Turfgrass, Wildlife and Fisheries, Agricultural Mechanization, and Agricultural Education degree programs will be merged into umbrella degree programs with concentrations. These majors have similar science based curricula with a strong focus on agriculture, forestry and the environment. Faculties have many collaborative research and extension programs in sustainable agriculture and environmental areas including a strong presence off-campus. (Approximately 450 undergraduates) 

Degree Programs following reorganization The majors proposed above would each have one to two years of common curricula leading to emphasis or concentration areas. These will be developed from existing majors or emerging areas of importance. Graduate programs will remain as currently organized until after this reorganization has been fully implemented. Agricultural (Agribusiness) Economics and Applied Economics and Statistics degree programs will move to the College of Business and Behavioral Sciences. CAFLS will continue to work with applied economists across colleges to collaborate with faculty members remaining in CAFLS who are Extension Economists. 

Other Changes Some CAFLS faculty members will shift from their current appointments to E&G funded teaching and research responsibilities in other colleges: 

  • Eight tenured and tenure-track faculty and lecturers in Experimental Statistics will join the Department of Mathematical Sciences (College of Engineering and Science)
  • Eleven tenured and tenure-track faculty in Applied Economics will join the Walker Department of Economics (College of Business and Behavioral Science)
  • Six on-campus teaching faculty in the Biosystems Engineering Department will be jointly funded by the College of Engineering and Science and College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Science. 

These two colleges are redirecting funding in order to accommodate the move of CAFLS faculty into their academic units. All colleges at Clemson are working together to seek solutions to the current economic situation and to minimize disruption to student’s degree programs.  

Although these types of changes can be disruptive, with your continued support and commitment we will face these issues head-on and make the transition as smooth as possible. CAFLS alumni and friends have never backed-down from a challenge, and now, more than ever, we need your support and assistance. Let us come together to implement this new structure and clearly communicate the facts to those around us. Please join with us as we position ourselves to manage through these difficult times so that we reach the other side of this challenge with an even brighter future for our college and for Clemson.  
Thank you for your commitment to CAFLS and Clemson University.


Tom Scott, Interim Dean, College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences

Tom Scott
Interim Dean
College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences

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The video from Dean Tom Scott’s meeting on Monday, September 27 with faculty and staff in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences is now available for viewing. Please click on the link below.
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