Students from the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science met with the president of the university, Dr. Phil Schubert, and the provost, Dr. Robert Rhodes, to discuss the future of their degree plans and programs in light of the recent restructuring proposal.
Schubert assured students that he and Rhodes are fully committed to teaching out the programs they are currently enrolled in regardless of the future of the degrees.
“Know that our commitment is that you get the education that you came here to pursue,” he said. “I’m not aware of any significant degradation or losses in quality that will occur for you guys who are here today in your current degree program.”
Rhodes said he hopes to see many of the unique traditions of the department such as Beast Feast and the ACU Rodeo continue. He also addressed questions concerning endowments of the department as well as the future of Rhoden Farm, which he thinks will remain a part of future classes, labs and will see increased usage by other majors.
Rhodes said another critical piece in the timing of this is the building of a new science complex.
“We need to think about what these two degrees look like, how common is the partnership in pre-vet and biology nationally and what does it look like physically?” Rhodes said. “I don’t want us to build a building and not have thought about that.”
Brody Benge, junior agribusiness major from Lubbock, attended the meeting. He said he thinks that there are still a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered to determine what the future holds for students.
“I’m not very hopeful in the fact that they’ve realized everything that is going to have to change,” he said. “I think more discussion and a deeper understanding of what is going to be required to fulfill those degree plans is needed on both sides.”
Rhodes acknowledged the community found among students in the department and the unique bond they have created through both commonality and circumstance.
“I don’t think the barriers of the department define that,” he said. “It’s not about the four walls that you’re in and it’s not just about the name of your department but there is something special about your group, and I think it’s important that that lives on, whatever the configuration is.