The University of Minnesota is considering consolidating its College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences with its College of Biological Sciences. University of Minnesota Provost Karen Hansen said on September 4 that she would appoint a task force to examine the potential creation of a new college.

Consolidating the two colleges has been discussed for some time, and with biological sciences dean Robert Elde and agriculture dean Allen Levine both retiring, university officials see this as a time of change. 

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The possibility of a college of agriculture, environmental and life sciences has been under discussion for some time by both Elde and Levine. The two colleges already have a number of cross-appointments and working alliances, and the retiring deans had proposed greater alignment.

Hanson stressed that no decision will be made until all stakeholders have been consulted and all issues from different perspectives are thoroughly weighed. During the consideration period, students will not experience any disruption in their current schedules, majors or services in either college, Hanson said.