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4 Breaking Down Silos in the University Other chapters have noted the need for change in colleges of agriculture. This chapter will continue that theme, exploring how colleges of agriculture fit into the context of contemporary universities and meet the needs of stu- dents not only in the colleges themselves but throughout the university and beyond. It is clear that colleges of agriculture offer much to their universities and that universities in turn can and should provide expanded opportunities and resources to the colleges. To move forward, colleges of agriculture must always be aware of the need to change and collaborate. Only in this way will the colleges themselves ensure their continued relevance. In keeping with the subject of this report, it is important to emphasize that teaching and research should be mutually supportie rather than mutually exclusie activi- ties. Some parts of traditional agriculture colleges have had only minor roles in undergraduate education beyond their own majors and little engagement in general education. It would be useful for all departments of agriculture colleges to be involved in undergraduate instruction more broadly. The college of agriculture has many interests and activities in common with the rest of the university. Disciplines in the college of agriculture have strong intellectual connections with those in departments in many other parts of the university and should be seen as important contributors to the overall intellectual landscape of the larger institution. Much scholarship pur- sued by faculty in agriculture departments is in disciplines similar to those in other colleges in the university and uses equivalent and often identical techniques. Indeed, faculty members across the campus have the same or similar backgrounds and training. That many graduate programs cross the boundaries underscores the intellectual relationships. At the same time, the college of agriculture has a culture of research- based service that makes it somewhat distinct from many other units in the 

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 Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World university. A commitment to science-based problem-solving is important to students across the academy and should be actively included in the teaching efforts for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to prepare the next generation of discipline-based specialists. Departments, faculty, and the college of agriculture share a basic goal of improving the human condition and the environment that we create and inhabit. The land-grant mission of instilling practical knowledge and understanding in a broad spectrum of students reinforces the need for the agriculture college to be seen as an important—even central—player in the liberal education of all students. DESIRED qUALITIES OF GRADUATES A concern for developing well-rounded students must be central to any consideration of college educational activities, and planning efforts should include plans for assessment. The following list enumerates many attributes that every education program should strive for. All students • should acquire habits of disciplined learning, intellectual curiosity, and independence of mind; • should think critically, follow trains of reasoning, engage in evidence- based reasoning, detect fallacies in arguments, discern unstated assumptions, interpret data, understand scientific approaches and recognize nonscientific arguments, and know how to construct, in speech or in writing, a sequence of logically connected and complex ideas; • should develop essential competencies such as writing, interpersonal skills, quantitative and qualitative reasoning, and analytical and computa- tional skills; • should understand their own personal experiences more deeply and develop their capacity to empathize with others, especially those of different heritage, race, sex, or culture; • should develop a sense of civic responsibility and ethical reflection and be prepared for responsible citizenship with an understanding of and strategies for dealing with such social issues as technology and society, the environment and the need for sustainability, multiculturalism, and the international dimensions of contemporary life; • should recognize and anticipate the implications of actions, appre- ciating the societal impact of advances and activities; • should become aware of some of the many ways in which contem- porary life has been shaped and influenced by the intellectual and aesthetic traditions, moral and religious values, and economic and political structures

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Breaking Down Silos in the Uniersity  surrounding a field of study—in this case, agriculture, food, environment, and natural resources; and • should increase their aesthetic sensitivity; improve their power of distinguishing what is well done from what is poorly done; and enhance their capacity to recognize a well-tuned sentence, a handsome building, an elegant proof, or a graceful move by a dancer or athlete. Each of those qualities extends beyond specific disciplines. The commit- tee believes that they should be integral parts of any curriculum or course of study. PROvIDING A PROBLEM-SOLvING OUTLOOk TO THE BROADER COMMUNITy THROUGH EXTENSION All agriculture colleges contain teaching and research in both basic and applied science. For many, basic-science research is explicitly used in the service of applied activities and yields solutions to real-world problems. Given the need for solutions to many problems of natural and human origin, harnessing science to find answers is both effective and timely. Agriculture colleges specifically and universities more generally are well placed to be leaders in problem-solving in the contemporary academy and should be poised to assume a central role in university-wide efforts involving both teaching and research. The role of faculty traditionally includes teaching, research, and service, which, in many agriculture departments, means teaching, research, and extension. Agriculture faculties usually recognize all three missions; in con- trast, many departments outside these colleges give much less, if any, official credit for activities beyond the university. Agriculture colleges often partition faculty efforts into two categories: research and teaching or research and extension. This has the unfortunate consequence of isolating some exciting and important research and extension efforts from the student community at large, as faculty often have significant engagement in either education or extension—but not both. (Chapter 5 includes an extensive discussion of involving undergraduates in outreach and extension activities.) It seems pru- dent for agriculture faculties to consider ways in which not only their broad array of disciplines but their approach of folding outreach and extension into a legitimate research-based activity could be made more accessible to the broader university community. University-wide undergraduate instruction in agriculture may be one solution.

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 Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World PROvIDING COURSEWORk ELEMENTS BEyOND THE COLLEGE In addition to offering agriculture courses to students throughout the campus, agriculture faculty could contribute to courses offered in other colleges. Agriculture and the disciplines studied in agriculture colleges can provide diverse, unique, and compelling examples and material for many natural-science and social-science courses. The National Research Council report Bio00: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists (NRC 2003a) makes the case that much of modern biology advances at the intersections of disciplines and that instruction should reveal and explore these intersections in more detail. Among its recommendations, the report proposes a modest solution: faculty in one field could contribute modules to courses in other fields. Faculty interests and the faculty themselves in virtually all departments in colleges of agriculture could enhance a wide variety of courses throughout the university. To be sure, many communities advocate for the addition of their topics of interest to the curriculum. That is in part why the committee suggests focusing on modules that use agricultural examples to present content that is already being addressed in the other courses; that is, the modules would enable faculty in other disciplines to bring agriculture into the context of existing syllabi. For example, a genetics course could include examples about plant breeding, an engineering course could examine the develop- ment of agricultural technology, and a chemistry course could use examples from food sciences. Because of the importance of agriculture and its firm grounding in the natural and social sciences, the committee encourages uni - versities, professional societies, government agencies, and others to include both agricultural and nonagricultural disciplines in discussions about cur- riculum at the institutional and national levels.1 CONNECTING WITH THE REST OF THE UNIvERSITy In general, colleges of agriculture have faculty whose interests overlap with faculty outside of agriculture—throughout the life sciences, environ- ment, and applied social sciences. Their disciplinary interests evolved from the needs of production agriculture and have expanded far beyond their original targets into topics of interest to faculty and students throughout the 1For example, the National Science Board has recommended the establishment of a National Council for STEM Education to “facilitate a strategy to define national STEM content guide- lines” (NSB 2007).

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Breaking Down Silos in the Uniersity  university. If teaching and research programs can be organized around those topics, it might be easier to explore and develop cross-campus connections. Many research universities have found mechanisms for including faculty of different colleges in a single graduate program, but far fewer encourage or even allow this sort of collaboration for undergraduate instruction. To facilitate enduring cross-college undergraduate teaching activities, college and university administrators need to find means of rewarding and supporting faculty who provide instruction to students from outside of their home colleges. At the department level, faculty must recognize—and treat as legitimate—this sort of cross-unit activity. The committee believes that there are numerous opportunities for faculty from several departments and colleges to collaborate in courses that cover shared issues. In particular, there is often a significant amount of overlap at the introductory level where a single, well-designed course might serve the needs of agriculture, biology, chemistry, and other departments. One long- standing example is a course in world food problems at the University of Minnesota, which has been offered continuously since 1964 (Box 4-1). BOX 4-1 The “World Food Problems” Course at the University of Minnesota The University of Minnesota has been offering a multidisciplinary course that looks at problems and solutions affecting food production, storage, and use since 1964. Originally cross-listed in five departments, the course now involves faculty from three departments in two colleges and guest speakers from the campus and beyond. Originally established as a capstone course for students working toward a minor in international agriculture, the course now enrolls graduate students from across the university. In fact, the student composition is one of the most diverse of any at the university with respect to major, background, and international status. Previous background in any of the disciplines is not required. Presentations and discussions in the course introduce and discuss sometimes conflicting views on population control, use of technology, and the ethical and cul- tural values of the people in various countries. Emphasis is placed on the need for governments, international assistance agencies, international research and exten- sion centers, and the business sector to assist in solving complex problems.

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0 Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World FACULTy RECRUITING Another possible mechanism for promoting partnerships would be a strengthening of connections in faculty recruiting. One method would be to pool resources and offer joint appointments in which faculty have more than one departmental home; this requires careful planning and execution when junior tenure-track faculty are sought. Each department’s expectations would have to be stated at the outset and reviewed often during the pre- tenure years. A more modest approach would be to provide—and recognize as legitimate—adjunct or secondary status in other departments with clear statements of tenure expectations. An even less dramatic strategy would be to include faculty from diverse departments in several colleges on search committees to encourage the recruitment of faculty with diverse interests that cross departmental lines. University and college leaders should be open to searches aimed at recruiting faculty who would serve students from beyond their own home departments. A description of a new interdisciplinary hiring program in sustainability that occurs largely outside of the departmental structure is described in Box 4-2. BOX 4-2 Michigan Technological University’s Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative Michigan Technological University has recently developed a mechanism for interdisciplinary hiring that is managed campus-wide instead of through individual departments (Jaschik 2008). The Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative hired seven faculty members in 2008 to focus on the theme of sustainability and used more than 90 faculty members from throughout the institution in the process. Each of the 230 applicants was evaluated by three reviewers who judged them on the basis of a variety of factors—including their contributions to sustainability studies—but not on their fit to particular departments. Only after the candidates were selected did the interdisciplinary faculty committee overseeing the process determine possible department homes. Those hired were promised evaluations— including tenure reviews, if necessary—that involve multiple departments. The hiring process was much more open than a normal faculty search. Candidates were told the names of other final candidates, and the entire univer- sity community was invited to comment on the live and videotaped presentations by the candidates (Michigan Technological University 2008). Additional information about the Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative is available at .

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Breaking Down Silos in the Uniersity  UNIvERSITy-WIDE OFFERINGS Some departments in agriculture colleges have faculty whose research spans more than one discipline. For example, many departments of natural resources house faculty who work on basic biological mechanisms, often keeping track of populations with the tools of molecular biology; other members of the same department study environmental systems with novel physical monitoring techniques and methods derived from basic chemistry; and still others articulate national and global policy issues and solutions. Similar collections of cross-cutting faculty interests can be found in plant- oriented and animal-oriented departments, food-science and nutrition- science departments, and departments derived from traditional agricultural studies, such as agronomy and dairy science. Those departments have nur- tured, possibly more than departments in many other colleges, the currently fashionable concept of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, often established to tackle specific, clearly stated problems. They present an important opportunity for further connections at the intersections of multiple disciplines. A powerful arena for this form of cooperative activity focused on addressing issues from diverse perspectives can be found in appropriately designed team-teaching efforts and is not limited to research. NEW AREAS OF INSTRUCTION Some departments in colleges of agriculture have recently broadened their focus and presented new opportunities in teaching. The following examples illustrate how changes in emphasis can create new and vital educational opportunities in a department and provide new student oppor- tunities in the college and beyond. In planning such shifts, college leaders should explore new and changing needs for undergraduate and graduate training throughout the university. Departments of agricultural engineering have existed in many institu- tions for years. The traditional view of outsiders may be that these units are concerned with milking machines, tractors and other machinery, and systems associated solely with production agriculture. Although there is still a clear need to solve problems related to production, agricultural- engineering departments have almost all moved on, often changing their names, usually by adding some aspect of bioengineering. Many of the departments have strong ties to engineering colleges, and many collabora- tive curricula have been developed in which students get the best of both worlds from the two colleges. Teams of students with diverse backgrounds,

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 Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World drawn from around the university, could become engaged in solving the compelling problems associated with agricultural and biological engineer- ing. This type of problem-solving approach has been shown to be a highly effective teaching strategy that enhances student learning and engagement (see Chapter 3 for additional discussion). In addition, the application of theory and practice to real-world problems of immediate concern can be compelling “hooks” to engage students. In short, problem-based and inquiry-based courses aimed at undergraduates can often be effective recruiting tools to attract and retain the best students from around the university into new fields. Many departments of agricultural economics have seen undergraduate enrollments decreasing. Most land-grant universities include business schools, so it is a challenge for the departments of agricultural economics to find a unique niche. This may be a good example of a unit that requires intensive and honest self-inspection to prevent atrophy or even extinction. Agricultural economics departments have always had strengths in applied economics with emphasis on empirical methods and risk management. There may be opportunities to join existing units beyond the agriculture college to contribute to other business-degree programs. Even simple mea- sures, such as a department name change, suggest that such programs are beginning to expand their research, such as incorporating expertise in environmental, resource, development, and community management and economics. Cornell University is a good example (Box 4-3). THE ROLE OF COLLEGES OF AGRICULTURE IN NURTURING LIBERAL EDUCATION Overall needs in education must be stated in relatively simple terms; science and society are always changing, and no curriculum established today will be the most appropriate several years from now. However, fun- damental attributes—including confidence, motivation, responsibility, effort, initiative, perseverance, caring, teamwork, common sense, problem-solving (critical thinking), and persuasion abilities—will always be important and can be mastered. Overriding needs for an integrative point of view require a transforma- tion of academic thinking and, in the process, a remaking of education at all levels. The land-grant university was founded on a sense of place, an integrated landscape with people in need of help. The environment, which is not a subject or a discipline or a commodity or a resource, can be used as an integrative theme—no discipline need be excluded.

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Breaking Down Silos in the Uniersity  BOX 4-3 Evolution of Agricultural Economics at Cornell University The evolution of agricultural economics at Cornell University can provide in- sight into ways that academic departments can change over time to reflect current needs. 1909 The Department of Rural Economy and Department of Farm Crops and Farm Management are established. 1920s The departments merge to form the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management and adds faculty in land economics, farm finance, marketing and cooperatives, and local government. 1940s World War II increases the demand for research and outreach related to food production. Following the war, agricultural marketing becomes a major focus. 1950s With a decline in the number of farms in New York State, the Food Distri- bution Program is established to build upon the department’s programs in marketing and its relationships with food processors and retailers. 1960s The Department of Agricultural Economics establishes teaching and research programs in international agricultural development. 1970s With increasing demand, an undergraduate business program with an emphasis on food and agricultural industries becomes well established. Faculty are added in environmental and resource economics. 1980s The undergraduate curriculum continues to evolve from an initial focus on agricultural business to general business. 1990s The department changes its name to the Department of Agricultural, Resources, and Managerial Economics to reflect changing teaching, research, and outreach missions. The department’s undergraduate busi- ness specializations are included in the accreditation review of Cornell’s business degree programs. 2000s The department name is changed again to the Department of Applied Economics and Management. It now offers undergraduate specializa- tions in agribusiness, applied economics, environmental and resource economics, and international development and trade as well as traditional business specializations in finance, marketing, accounting, and strategy. SOURCE: Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, and Departmental Overview at . For over two centuries, educators have debated the “true nature” of liberal education. The debate has shifted in response to changes in the struc- ture of knowledge, the social makeup of students and faculty, and society’s expectations for undergraduate education. This report extends the historical debate by describing connections of disciplines and activities of colleges of agriculture to the contemporary liberal-education agenda.

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 Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World Agriculture colleges have all too often viewed liberal education as the domain of liberal-arts colleges. We reject that view and affirm that colleges of agriculture have critical responsibilities for liberal education. Many of our recommendations build on experience: there is a rich and vital heritage in food and agricultural sciences on which to draw. Although definitions of the fields of knowledge deemed essential to liberally educated citizens have changed, the concept of intellectual breadth has been constant. We emphasize the continuing importance of intellec- tual breadth by asserting that there are broad fields of knowledge that are associated with distinctive ways of knowing and with which every liberally educated person should be acquainted. The founding of the land-grant sys- tem almost 150 years ago occurred in an era in which most of the nation’s citizens were intimately familiar with food, fiber, and natural-resources systems. Today’s citizens are no less dependent on those systems, but they have far less first-hand experience with agriculture and are commonly so detached from the systems that they lack the knowledge needed to make informed personal and public decisions that affect the health and well-being of citizens and the natural world. Maintaining intellectual breadth as an organizing principle of liberal education requires students to pursue in-depth study and to master particular bodies of knowledge and modes of inquiry. Only through in-depth study, as typically experienced in an undergraduate major, can students begin to grasp how knowledge is created and come to understand with certainty how knowledge furthers individual and social understanding. Liberal education in its largest sense has to do with essential attitudes and qualities of mind, among them the capacity for critical thinking; openness to new ideas combined with independence of mind; curiosity about the social, cultural, and natural worlds in which we live; appreciation of the complexities of knowledge and tolerance of ambiguity; and a capacity for gaining perspec- tive on one’s own life through self-examination and the study of others. Graduates of colleges of agriculture will need to be prepared to live in a rapidly changing world characterized by proliferating knowledge, an exploding capacity to create and transmit information, increasing global interdependence, and growing diversity in the nation’s social and cultural life. Colleges of agriculture—because of their multiple roles in the creation, transformation, and transmission of knowledge; their history of addressing issues and concerns of diverse constituencies; and their commitment to addressing both domestic and international issues—are ideally situated to model new approaches to interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching and learning in our universities.

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Breaking Down Silos in the Uniersity  As mentioned several times throughout this report, the committee has chosen not to propose a single model undergraduate curriculum; the deci- sion as to what works best for a given institution will necessarily depend on individual strengths, missions, and resources. However, the committee provides here a vision of an overall undergraduate experience in the hope that it will be useful for institutional discussions: • The physical and biological sciences will introduce students to the intellectual basis of experimental science, using the content and context of agriculture, food, the environment, and natural resources as the basis of courses that illustrate the connecting thread from basic to applied sciences for the benefit of science and nonscience majors. • History and the social sciences are deeply imbedded in agriculture, food, the environment, and natural resources. History and the social sci- ences strive to understand the dynamic interplay between individuals and institutions, structures and processes, and ideas and events that character- ize human behavior and complex societies, now and in the past. No other human activity has a longer history or greater social consequences than the pursuit of food, shelter, and natural resources and is at the center of human well-being. • The humanities and the arts help to orient us to an extremely com- plex and elusive world by showing us the most compelling, expressive, and innovative forms and arguments through which people have tried to examine, symbolize, and discuss the human condition. Agriculture, food, the environment, and natural resources are at the root of the humanities and the arts. For students today, the excitement of encountering these efforts to understand ourselves and our history is not just “instruments to achieve a better job or become a richer nation.” It is an indispensable prerequisite to a more satisfying, more luminous life, a life lived with intelligence and awareness rather than stumbled through in the dark.

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