U of M’s College of Biological Sciences, CFANS may merge

A task force will study the possibility of merging two colleges on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus.

A recommendation on whether the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources and the College of Biological Sciences should be joined and their faculties and staff integrated is expected by the start of the spring 2014 semester.

Co-chairs of the task force are Gary Muehlbauer, Distinquished McKnight professor and head, Plant Biology, and professor, Agronomy and Plant Genetics, and Michael Sadowsky, professor, Soil, Water and Climate and director, Bio Technology Institute.

In appointing the task force, Karen Hanson, senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, said the consideration was timely because the deans of both colleges recently stepped down.

“I will ask the task force to consider whether a new college devoted to agriculture, life sciences and the environment might consolidate the strengths of the university in ways that would advance our academic mission and our engagement with local and global communities,” Hanson said.

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