MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources re-organizes, combines three departments

Contact: Jeffrey Armstrong, Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, (517) 355-0232,; Jan Bokemeier, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, (517) 355-5190, Ext. 107,; or Tom Oswald, University Relations, (517) 355-2281,

Nov 14, 2003

EAST LANSING, Mich. - In an effort to meet emerging academic needs and long-term fiscal challenges, officials in Michigan State University's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources are integrating three existing academic departments into one new one.

At its Nov. 14 meeting, the MSU Board of Trustees approved the combining of the departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources Education and Communication Systems, Resource Development, and Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources into a newly formed Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS).

"Our goal is to have a more integrated approach to addressing issues faced by Michigan communities in regard to agriculture, natural resources, recreation and tourism," said Jeffrey Armstrong, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. "We're confident that this re-structuring will sustain and enhance existing faculty teaching, research and Extension programs."

The new department, Armstrong said, will be uniquely positioned to address the variety of issues that arise as agriculture, natural resources, community and recreation interests come together.

"These issues include pressures and challenges to traditional agriculture, and farm and ranch diversification," he said, "as well as natural resources and environmental issues such as conservation, land use and water quality, and community vitality issues, including recreation and tourism.

"I also see the new department playing a key role in more fully integrating agricultural and environmental education and in creating a world-class agriculture, natural resources and community leadership development program," Armstrong added.

Faculty, staff and students all participated in the planning process for the new department. Faculty from the three departments approved the proposal in September. On Oct. 10, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources' College Advisory Council approved it as well.

Under the re-organization, the new department's graduate program goes into effect in the fall of 2004, with the undergraduate program going into effect in fall of 2005.