Jun 14, 2013 Debra Cheung

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) at UC Davis consists of 21 departments with approximately 400 faculty, many of whom enjoy international distinction for their academic accomplishments. The CA&ES exists as part of the Davis campus and the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) of the University of California.

Davis is unique among the campuses associated with DANR in that its Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) and Cooperative Extension (CE) programs encompass all dimensions of the DANR missions in agriculture, natural resources, and human and community development. These missions have been integrated into the college academic plan. The college plan outlines mechanisms by which we will strive to maintain our preeminence and to position ourselves as leaders in emerging areas of science and technology.

This academic plan is presented in five sections:

  1. An overview of the CA&ES vision and accomplishments since the 1993 Academic Plan
  2. A brief description of the core programs of the college and our opportunities to achieve even higher levels of scientific and social impact
  3. The assumptions that have influenced our planning and the principles and priorities that guide our planning decisions
  4. Plans for building and preserving academic strengths
  5. Brief summaries of departmental plans

The following provides a context for this academic plan:


The system of land grant universities in the United States, with its combined colleges of agriculture, agricultural experiment stations and Cooperative Extension Services, has been critical in enhancing the ability of agricultural and food systems to meet the needs of a growing citizenry. This success has facilitated and supported the industrialization and urbanization of the nation. In the process, however, the number, nature and needs of constituents and societal knowledge and views have evolved.

Issues relating to natural resource uses and the environment, safe and nutritious foods, globalization of trade and information, changing demographics and consumer demands, the information explosion, and developments in education, professions and job opportunities impact the future of California and the nation.

The CA&ES is a community of scientists and scholars dedicated to excellence in, and the effective integration of, research, education, extension and public service. Major foci of the college are in the areas of agricultural systems; environmental sustainability and ecosystem function; and human health and development. The college partners with the citizens and communities of California to meet contemporary societal needs and provides leadership in developing science-based solutions. In our evolving society, the college continually adapts and changes in both focus and structure, to maintain and to build relevant, innovative and high quality program.

Accomplishments Since the Last Academic Plan

Since adoption of the last Academic Plan in 1993, the CA&ES has made significant new contributions in the areas of teaching, research, extension and public service. Since 1993, the numbers of undergraduates enrolled in college majors increased by 25 percent and the total teaching contribution (student credit hours) of the faculty increased by over 40 percent on an I&R basis. This reflects faculty initiatives in curricular revision to meet student needs, our increased participation in campus GE offerings, and the development of the Science and Society program. In research, faculty creativity and productivity has led to increased growth in support - even while competition for extramural funding has grown.

In 1999 the college refined its divisional structure organized around research programs, reducing the number of divisions from four to three to clarify our continuing commitment to agriculture, while strengthening our foci on the environment and human health and development. In extension and public service, we have developed new models extending research to families, communities and industry.

Finally, the accomplishments of interdisciplinary centers, such as the Agricultural Issues Center and the Center for Ecological Health Research, have added to California's economic prosperity and quality of life, while improving campus visibility.

The accomplishments of the past six years were achieved by recruiting and retaining a premier faculty and developing an organizational structure that fosters collaboration and evolution of academic programs. The CA&ES is well positioned to build on its accomplishments and strengths, and address new challenges and opportunities.

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