College Overview

The special and historic nature of colleges like ours

Colleges like CALS were founded in agriculture but now embrace all life, environmental and many social sciences.  They are present in each “land-grant” university.  These colleges operate differently from other colleges on the U. ARIZONA campus.  It is our heritage and the associated traditions that form the basis of the land-grant university culture.

More than one hundred and fifty years ago, colleges like CALS were the first units established at the new land-grant universities founded by the Morrill Act of 1862.  Enacted in the middle of a devastating Civil War, this act launched the then-revolutionary concept of public education.  It was a direct response to the Industrial Revolution, changing social class structures and the need for a highly educated population so that the United States could become a player in the world economy.  For the first time, anyone could attain a tertiary education regardless of family wealth and/or political connections or other privilege.  Today this aspect of our college mission is managed and led by Career & Academic Services and our extremely diverse academic degrees are offered by academic units called “schools” or “departments” (see figure on page 7).

Following closely in time, the Hatch Act of 1887 was a direct response to America’s need to be a technologically advanced economy based substantially on a publicly funded and interconnected national network of research resources—these are our Experiment Stations.  Today, as in the past, the Arizona Experiment Station (AES) provides campus-based and state resources dedicated for use in research for technology innovations for US economic security. As part of the AES, there are also nine Experiment Station Units throughout Arizona.

While each LGU is different, and regardless of internal administrative structures, the basic tripartite paradigm of colleges like ours is shared with land-grant universities nationwide.  This paradigm has proven a model for resilience and so successful that it has been imported by other countries as a preferred archetype of education, economic development and a component of national security.  LGUs are many of the country’s elite universities. 

In short, our historic role is to create new people and new knowledge for a new economy. 

This is as relevant today as it was in 1862. 

Today we are thought leaders creating tomorrow’s commercial leaders and tomorrow’s environment and are direct contributors to the rapidly changing economy.

Our unique relationship with the federal government

Nationwide, colleges like ours have a unique relationship with the federal government.  A portion of our budget comes from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) after passing through the Arizona State Legislature as part of the college’s appropriated budget.  This requires the CALS research efforts to submit an Annual Report of Accomplishments and Results to the USDA, as well as individual reports for each cooperating faculty member's research effort and Impact Statements on our program results.  We are also charged to work directly with our sibling colleges nationwide in a cooperative and information sharing process—particularly with these colleges in the western region.  These efforts include sharing of printed and electronic information, as well as joint basic, applied and cooperative research projects.  We have an obligation to attend professional meetings where information is shared and to submit research information in the form of publications to federal databases.


CALS Appointed Management and Leadership

CALS has a matrix structure of two mission areas of teaching and research (both led by an associate dean) coinciding with academic delivery units (each led by unit leaders).  Business operations and infrastructure delivery are functionally organized - see the graphic on page 6 of the CALS strategic plan.


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