U of M may meld agriculture and biology colleges

Published 10:41 am Thursday, September 5, 2013

ST. PAUL — The University of Minnesota may create a new college combining agriculture, life sciences and the environment,

It would combine the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences with the College of Biological Sciences.

A university statement said the possibility has been discussed for a while. But the announcement was prompted by Wednesday’s announcement of Robert Eide’s retirement as dean of biological sciences, and Allen Levine’s earlier decision to step down as dean of the agricultural school.

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Provost Karen Hanson has put searches for new deans on hold, and will appoint a task force to study the proposed consolidation.

She said students won’t see any disruptions in their current schedules, majors or services in either college.

In other news, the University of Minnesota is developing an implementation plan for the Twin Cities campus to become smoke-free by the fall of 2014.

Minnesota State University, Mankato, banned tobacco use in May 2012. The University of Minnesota-Duluth banned smoking in 2007.