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April 18, 2017
Northwest Missouri State University is moving its School of Agricultural Sciences to the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) in an effort to create additional opportunities for instruction, research and profession-based learning while fostering the agriculture program’s continued growth.
The School of Agricultural Sciences began the transition this spring from its long-time headquarters in the Valk Center, as recommended in Northwest’s Campus Master Plan and through an analysis aligned with the University’s strategic plan. The move will be complete in time for the start of the fall 2017 trimester.
“In many ways, the origins of the CIE have been in ag business,” Northwest Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet said. “From the very beginning, the CIE has had an ag-centered focus. It only seems natural to move the School of Agricultural Sciences into this state-of-the-art research facility, which allows our faculty, staff and students to better serve the needs of the state’s significant agriculture and bioscience industries.”
The 46,679 square-foot CIE already includes three lab analysis research areas. Its academic wing contains more than 16,000 square feet of highly specialized teaching and research labs and offices that support Northwest’s Department of Natural Sciences, including an interdisciplinary nanoscale science degree program.
In preparation for the transition, Northwest is modifying about 15,900 square feet of space in the CIE’s west wing for classrooms, student collaboration space, research laboratories and faculty and staff offices. In addition, Northwest will make modifications to the McKemy Center for Lifelong Learning, located south of the CIE, to accommodate a 100-plus seat lecture hall and computer lab.
Northwest boasts one of the largest and most unique agricultural science programs in the Midwest, serving an average of 700 undergraduates and graduates annually. The School of Agricultural Sciences boasts an 84.1 percent retention rate compared to the national average of 68.7 percent, and 98.2 percent of its graduates are securing employment or advancing their education within six months of earning degrees.
While the School is one of the top three degree-conveying programs at Northwest, integrating the CIE into its programming will further enhance its unique palate of resources. Students in ag science-related majors gain profession-based experience at the 448-acre Wright Farm, which is home to beef, swine, dairy and sheep enterprises as well as row and forage crops, such as corn, soybeans, small grains, hay, pasture and cover crops. Managed by professional agriculture specialists and faculty members, the farm provides a critical resource for hands-on, experiential learning. It also links the University with regional school districts to promote agricultural and food-system literacy.
Additionally, Northwest and the School of Agricultural Sciences are in the planning stages and pursuing private support for an upgrade of the R.T. Wright Farm and to support an $8.5 million, 29,000-square-foot Agricultural Learning Center to be built at the Wright Farm and supplement and enhance the academic curriculum.
“The CIE and the Ag Learning Center, working together, will differentiate our School of Agricultural Sciences in significant ways and provide our students with profession-based learning experiences that will make them competitive in the marketplace,” Mottet said.
This spring, Northwest also will complete an Agricultural Sciences Master Plan to analyze short- and long-term growth needs for the School.
“We are looking forward to connecting academics and research in order to provide outstanding learning opportunities for the students in the agricultural sciences,” Rod Barr, director of the School of Agricultural Sciences, said. “We are working closely with industry leaders to serve their needs as we continue focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Northwest also acknowledges moving the School of Agricultural Sciences to the CIE is another piece of its work to reprioritize and reallocate resources to meet the fundamental needs and mission of the University while enhancing its focus on STEM-based programming. The move means Northwest is eliminating two staff positions that serve the CIE and moving selected pieces of underused and timeworn laboratory equipment offline. Northwest expects to save a total of about $155,000 through the reductions of staff and equipment.
The CIE was opened on the Northwest campus in 2009. It was named for Northwest President Emeritus Dr. Dean Hubbard in 2014.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468