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University of Wisconsin departments vote to become new unit

Proposed combination of animal and dairy science departments still needs to be approved by college, university and board of regents.

On Nov. 15, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's department of animal sciences and department of dairy science voted to combine into a new department within the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS) to be called the department of animal and dairy sciences, according to an Nov. 25 announcement from the college.

The undergraduate and graduate academic programs within the two current departments will not change, except that they will move to the new combined department, the college said. Research within the new department will continue to be focused on animal nutrition, physiology, genetics, management and related fields, and the tradition of extending research to solve practical problems on farms in Wisconsin and beyond will continue, CALS added.

The proposal will go to the CALS Academic Planning Council, followed by the University Academic Planning Council and the University of Wisconsin board of regents. All three bodies need to approve the proposal for it to move forward, CALS said. The earliest the formation of the new unit would be completed is July 2020.

The proposal notes that the idea for the departmental merger began in early 2018 and points out that most other land-grant universities merged their respective departments of dairy, livestock, poultry and meat sciences many years ago.

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