College Academic Restructuring Proposal

The College is implementing an academic department structure that will best position the College to be a national and international leader in understanding the natural and human systems underlying agricultural and natural-resource sciences, translating that understanding to enhance quality of life, and educating the leaders of today and the future.

Academic Restructuring Proposal

Details can be found in the Academic Restructuring Proposal, approved by the University Faculty Senate on September 27, 2011.

Implementation Timeline

  • August, 2011, Provost approved the proposal and submitted to the Faculty Senate
  • September 27, 2011, Faculty Senate Council unanimously voted to support the proposal to restructure the College from 12 academic units to 9 departments
  • November 11, 2011, proposal is approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees
  • Consultation with relevant faculties/staff on department leadership resulted in the selection of department heads, who were formally announced April 13, 2012.
  • College currently is working with OHR Management Engineering on a model for staff support needs for the 9 new departments
  • Financial Administrative Services Team currently is evaluating best model for financial support of college units
  • Petition process will take place for final faculty assignments
  • Facilitated discussions will take place on department goals and vision


Spring 2011

In January 2011, as part of the AG Futures process, six teams, consisting largely of college faculty, were assembled to address the consolidation of academic units.  The six teams were charged with reviewing the existing academic structure and making recommendations to the Dean. They spent four weeks focusing on programmatic synergies across resident instruction, extension education and research programs. At the conclusion of these four weeks, each team presented an independent, creative proposal for academic restructuring.

During March 2011 all College stakeholders, including faculty, students, alumni and agricultural and natural resource leaders throughout the state of Pennsylvania, had the opportunity to comment on the proposals during an additional feedback period.  Click here to view the six academic unit structure team reports.

Summer 2011

On June 10, Dean McPheron presented a working draft of the proposed academic structure. The draft was available for comments, which were synthesized and considered in the preparation of the proposal for the Provost.  The Provost submitted the proposal to the Faculty Senate in August, for Senate committee evaluation in August and September.  The Board of Trustees must then approve the proposal.  Implementation of the approved academic structure will tentatively take place on July 1, 2012.