College of AG Closing?

The fate of the animals and personnel at the experimental station is up in the air until a final decision is made. For students, the news is even more grim, with no college some are looking at a new university to attend.

“Our professors came into our class today and told us what was happening, what was going on, and I guess the first thing that came to my mind was surprise,” says Jimmy Lotspeich who is a Sophomore with the College of Agriculture.

The Wells, Nevada native says his goal was to get a masters degree here at the College of Agriculture in Animal Bio-Technology and eventually go to work for the F.B.I.

But those dreams are down the drain as he got word today, the College of Agriculture is slated for closure, and his focus of study will not be absorbed by another department.

“I am actually going to start looking at other colleges I might be able to transfer to,” says Lotspeich.

Financially it will take its toll on Lotspeich as he is paying for school now with a Millennium Scholarship.

UNR President Milton Glick says the school was targeted because it just doesn't graduate a lot of students. Those advocating for the school like to point out last year's Herz Gold Medal--the university's oldest and most prestigious award given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average --was a College of Ag biotechnology and natural resources major.

“The main station farm is being considered as a possible for sale type situation,” says Doug Busselman from the Nevada Farm Bureau.

Busselman says that's a disappointment to the Nevada Farm Bureau whose been pushing to keep the facility open.

“Then you start looking at research more from a test tube perspective as opposed to the applied kind of research we believe is necessary for the land grant institution to meet its obligations,” says Busselman.

The College of Agriculture is already preparing a rebuttal to this proposal. Officials at the college say they believe there are some facts about the college that may have been overlooked in this decision.

There are still a lot of meetings and approval by committees before the college closes down.

There are more than 1,000 student in the Agriculture College right now. 165 graduated from the college last year.

Glick has invited students, staff and anyone else affected by the cuts to contribute ideas and proposals to help minimize impact.

The Board of Regents must approve all the final proposed changes by June. Changes would go into effect June 2011.