The Southern University Board of Supervisors voted to merge the Southern University College of Agriculture with the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center during the board's April 22 meeting.
The move will transfer the academic unit located on the SU Baton Rouge campus to the Ag Center; allowing the operating functions of the three land-grant units (Teaching, Research and Cooperative Extension) to be located under one umbrella.
The Ag Center currently employs 115 employees (includes vacancies), with field staff in 36 parishes across the state. The Center, which is overseen by a Chancellor, consists of research and extension units and has an operating budget of $7,809,249 (for 2016).
The college encompasses the academic arm of the land-grant mission. It currently employs seven part-time and 15 full time employees.
"We're excited," said Dr. Doze Butler, Associate Dean of the College of Sciences and Agriculture, about the merger. "It's good for the academic program," she added.
"It is a great day for the citizens of Louisiana as the SU College of Agriculture is officially aligned with the SU Ag Center," said Dr. Adell Brown, interim Chancellor of the SU Ag Center. "Resources can more effectively be directed to ensure that teaching, research and extension programs are being implemented to provide opportunities to our most underserved youth, families, and farmers. This alignment allows us to work as an agricultural family to shape new academic offerings, as we prepare our students for the 21st century work force needs in agriculture."
The Southern University System established the Agricultural, Research and Extension Center as its fifth campus in 2001.
The merger will be effective on July 1, 2016.