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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Teaching

INVITED REVIEW: Animal science departments of the future1


This article in

  1. Vol. 86 No. 11, p. 3235-3244
    Received: Mar 07, 2008
    Accepted: June 18, 2008
    Published: December 5, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. J. H. Britt*2,
  2. E. D. Aberle,
  3. K. L. Esbenshade and
  4. J. R. Males§
  1. Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996
    College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695
    Department of Animal Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331


Departments of animal science were established in agricultural colleges of public universities just over 100 yr ago, shortly before the founding of today’s American Society of Animal Science. These departments and colleges have been remarkably resilient, changing little structurally. Yet, the future portends significant changes in these departments and colleges in response to shifts in how public higher education is financed and how society views the roles of animals in providing food and companionship. Funding for public higher education will continue to decline as a percentage of government appropriations. Public universities will garner more funding from gifts, endowments, grants, contracts, and tuition but will be held more accountable than today by public officials. Departments of animal science will retain strong constituencies and will be major units of most agricultural colleges; however, their students and faculty will be more diverse. Departments of animal science will focus on more species of animals and on a greater role of animals in society. Disciplines of faculty members in departments of animal science will become broader, and research projects will be more complex and have longer horizons, ultimately focused more on sustainability. Departments will share more resources across state and national boundaries, and there will be less duplication of effort regionally. Departments of animal science will continue to be important academic units of universities into the 22nd century.

Copyright © 2008. Copyright 2008 Journal of Animal Science