Natural Resources Departments Consolidated to Expand Efficiencies

Friday, April 23 2010


Written by Sue McMurray

MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho State Board of Education / University of Idaho Board of Regents yesterday approved the consolidation of five departments within the university's College of Natural Resources into three. This action will allow the college to expand its efficiencies in how it structures and administers academic degree, research and outreach programs.

The economic situation across the nation affects universities everywhere, and has resulted in extensive strategic planning efforts to address dwindling budgets.

With SBOE’s approval, the college will become more efficient with course offerings, accreditation processes and its operating budgets. All eight of the college’s undergraduate degree programs are retained and will be reviewed over the course of next year.

“We call this process ‘adaptive reorganization,’” said Bill McLaughlin, CNR interim dean. “We’re using a series of thematic faculty meetings and staff and student input sessions to gain additional insights on many of these issues. Our plan is to have most of this transition completed prior to the expected arrival of a new dean this summer or fall."

The newly consolidated departments are: the Department of Conservation Social Sciences; the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; and the Department of Forest Ecology and Biogeosciences. Included in the consolidation:

  • Associate Professor Larry Young will manage the Department of Conservation Social Sciences. The department administers the resource recreation and tourism undergraduate program; the forest products undergraduate program; and the McCall-based Environmental Education Certificate Program.
  • Professor Jo Ellen Force will manage the Department of Forest Ecology and Biogeosciences. The department administers undergraduate programs in forest resources – including forest operations, rangeland ecology and management – and fire ecology and management. Existing faculty in the fire ecology and management program will remain in their present departments and participate in the program the way they have in the past.
  • Professor Kerry Reese will manage the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The department administers undergraduate programs in fishery resources and wildlife resources, and the ecology and conservation biology program (ECB). Existing faculty in ECB will remain in their present departments and participate in ECB program the way they have in the past when it was managed out of the dean’s office.

“Staffing has strategically been reduced across all aspects of the college’s operations,” said McLaughlin. “But we are doing everything we can to protect the high quality of our academic, research and outreach programs while continuing to provide a student-centered learning environment that is the core of our college community.”
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.





About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.