New Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences

CALS is pleased to announce the formation of the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, effective July 1, 2020.

The Department of Animal Sciences and the Department of Dairy Science, which have been operating as a single unit since early 2019, will dissolve after positions are transferred to the new department.

After exploring the possibility of a merged unit in the fall of 2018, the two departments voted to begin sharing administrative roles that December. In January, they voted to have a single leadership structure as well. Kent Weigel, a dairy cattle geneticist who has been the chair of dairy science since 2010 became the chair of both departments; and Hasan Khatib, a molecular geneticist who was serving as associate chair of animal sciences became the associate chair of both departments. They will continue in these roles in the new department.

While the two departments have been separate units since 1938, they have similar missions and commonalities that include animal health and welfare, nutrition, reproduction, lactation, cattle genetics and genomics, animal biologics and basic science. Becoming one department will lessen administrative burdens and foster unique, collaborative research. The undergraduate and graduate academic programs will remain the same – the single department will offer majors in animal science and dairy science.

The departments prepared a formal proposal which they voted on in November. The proposal was approved by the CALS Academic Planning Council and University Academic Planning Council this spring.

The formation of the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences aligns with recommendations made by the CALS organizational Redesign Committee in 2017. With these changes, the college now has 16 academic departments.