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Fall 2012
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Dean's Message

Dean Boor

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act. By establishing the United States land grant university system, it opened the doors of higher education, specifically emphasizing the goal of educating our citizens across the full socioeconomic spectrum, with a focus on providing practical instruction in the context of a liberal education. Today’s challenges reinforce the relevance of our land grant system to our nation of consumers, commuters, and technophiles. As we as a society grapple with food security, energy, and a deluge of information, the need for an educated, adaptive, and engaged citizenry is more important than ever.

This transitional moment for higher education is redefining the nature and the context for teaching, research, and outreach. How is the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences responding? This issue of periodiCALS is dedicated to what it means to be a land grant college today. “Evolution of the Land Grant Mission” reflects on the history of the land grant mission and its current role at CALS, and “Help Wanted” forecasts the jobs of the future for CALS graduates.

Globalization touches nearly every aspect of our daily lives—money, media, politics, even the food we eat. The 21st century land grant university must be international in scope. To prepare our graduates to be effective global citizens, we must equip them to live and work in a world with problems that transcend national boundaries. Find out about our emerging position as a “land grant institution to the world” in the feature “From Land Grant to World Grant”.

Complex challenges call for comprehensive solutions that incorporate insights from several fronts. Our faculty work across disciplines to develop innovative, integrative responses; the photo feature “The Fine Art of Research” provides some inspiring examples in profiles of our newest faculty.

Members of the CALS community embrace the land grant mission every day in their own way. Undergraduates featured in the Student pages are sharing their love of insects and practicing organic viticulture. Alumnus John Noble ’76 is redefining sustainable farming through his innovative energy projects, and the entrepreneurial alumni featured in “Generations & Innovations” are changing the way we eat. In the Endnote essay, Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick ’09 shares how CALS’ land grant mission led him to pursue public service.

I invite you to share your own thoughts and experiences of what the land grant mission means to you through our online feature.

The land grant mission resonates deeply within me. I have pursued my entire higher education at land grant institutions, and the concept of “knowledge with a public purpose” has defined my scientific career. In my role as dean, I am committed to positioning the college to be a key contributor to our community, whether that community exists in Ithaca, N.Y., or around the globe. Please join me. Together we can ensure the land grant mission remains relevant throughout the next 150 years—and beyond.

Kathryn J. Boor
Dean Boor
The Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Dean Boor

In early September, Dean Boor met with growers and staff at the Hudson Valley Laboratory, one of many properties in the CALS portfolio throughout New York. Dean Boor is pictured with young growers who joined her to discuss new models for partnerships between CALS and growers in the region.