Summary: Dear CALS Community,
It has been little more than three months since I assumed the position of Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life
Sciences. In this short time, I have had multiple opportunities to celebrate the excellence that defines CALS, along with the
need to make some challenging decisions. Today, I am writing you about the latter.
After a thorough review of the options, I have made the very difficult decision to close the Department of Education in a
planned phase-out. This decision is made after several years of discussion regarding the future of the department.
Over the course of the next few years, faculty members in the department will be transitioned to other academic homes
closely aligned with their areas of academic expertise while staff will be relocated to other positions. All current students,
graduate and undergraduate, will be able to finish their degree programs as planned. We do not expect layoffs from this
Senior Associate Dean Max Pfeffer is handling the department phase-out, which is part of the college's ongoing strategic
effort as laid out in Reimagining CALS. The visionary plan, which was developed with extensive faculty and staff input, calls
for the college to target resources in core areas of academic strength and leadership. A key part of the strategy envisions
us streamlining from 26 departments down to a more nimble, manageable size. Over the summer, we merged eight sister
departments on our Geneva and Ithaca campuses into four, kicking off our college's strategic reorganization.
Today's announcement continues our college's critical restructuring. In coming months, Max will be working with individual
faculty to make decisions about their transfers to new departments. The departments that eventually become homes to the
education faculty will be strengthened by their presence. Max will also seek department input about the future of the
graduate program and important extension programming.
We are committed to retaining departmental programs that have historically been an important component of our land grant