March 21-22, 2002


ITEM 114-2002-R0302                Authorization to Create a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Animal and Range Sciences; Montana State University-Bozeman


THAT:                                       The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University-Bozeman to award a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Animal and Range Sciences.


EXPLANATION:                        The Department of Animal and Range Science at Montana State University seeks to initiate an academic program leading to a Ph.D. in Animal and Range Sciences.  Faculty, staff and resources position the department to deliver a unique program that: 1) exploits a multi-disciplinary scientific approach to the dynamic interactions between livestock production/marketing systems and natural resource management, and 2) prepares leaders to address some of the most critical issues facing livestock production and natural resource management in Montana and the Northwest.  Two options will emphasize scientific discovery, synthesis and application, with research projects ranging from fundamental to applied, molecular to landscapes.  The Animal Science Option revolves around range livestock production, value-added animal products, and value-based marketing.  The Range Science Option focuses on rangeland plant, soil, water, livestock and wildlife ecology.  Nineteen professors holding Ph.D. degrees will deliver the program.  Currently, four Ph.D. students are being trained in collaboration with other units, three new students are ready to start programs, and current grants could support five Ph.D. students.  A variety of domestic and international employment opportunities exist for graduates. 


No additional faculty or staff are needed to deliver the program.  Added operating expenses will be covered by:  1) reallocation of some resources from our M.S. program, and 2) grants and contracts.  Livestock and range resources of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station are excellent, while library, laboratory and office resources are adequate to launch the program.  A Ph.D. program will greatly improve the department's ability to: 1) fill open faculty positions with the best scientists available, 2) recruit more students into academic programs, and 3) secure more extramural funding.