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The College of Mining and Earth Sciences will merge with the College of Science

The University of Utah College of Mining and Earth Sciences will merge with the College of Science beginning July 1, 2022, a move that will bring together well-funded programs, create synergy and cooperation among faculty and will create a much stronger foundation for science and math education. at the U.

Deans Darryl Butt of the College of Mining and Earth Sciences and Peter Trapa of the College of Science worked with university administration and members of both colleges to plan the details of the merger. The College of Mining and Earth Sciences will retain its name and identify itself as a unit of the College of Science and all faculty, students, buildings and research programs of both colleges will continue in the combined unit.

“Both of these colleges are leaders in student enrollment and research, providing valuable direction on some of the most important issues facing us today,” said U President Taylor Randall. . “I am confident that this union will elevate both programs and provide more opportunities for collaboration and student access to courses.”

“Given the incredibly strong ties and research collaborations between the two colleges already, this proposed merger offers a great number of opportunities for students and faculty,” said William Anderegg, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences at College of Science. “The merger opens the doors to new educational programs, research opportunities for students, and research avenues that are expected to increase the U’s profile and impact.”

How did it happen

The two colleges have a long history of working together, but when they met in 2018 to begin planning a new Applied Science Building, which will bring together departments from both colleges, deans and faculty members discussed collaborations. interdisciplinary and joint study programs, leading to the proposal to merge the colleges.

In developing the merger plan, the colleges met with university administrators as well as faculty and staff from both colleges. Each department of the two colleges conducted an advisory vote of its faculty, with a strong majority of voting faculty favoring a merger.

“Aligning COS and CMES to form a stronger, more synergistic organization would enhance the reputation, and likely national ranking, of the respective programs as the faculty joined becomes more comparable in size and scope to many peer colleges of the Pac-12,” Butt said. “The union will strengthen STEM fields at U and provide a better student experience through enhanced counseling, tutoring, research opportunities and interdisciplinary programs.”

What will and won’t change

The one-year Phase 1 of the merger, which begins July 1, 2022, involves the integration of non-academic functions from the College of Mining and Earth Sciences, such as accounting and marketing. Deans will work to improve communication and collaboration within the united college and will continue to work with faculty, staff, students and university leaders to streamline the merger.

Students taking classes at either college this fall likely won’t notice anything different — buildings, faculty, and programs will remain as they are. Students pursuing existing degrees will still receive those degrees from their respective colleges. No program will be modified and no post will be deleted.

Leadership will also be much the same, with department chairs remaining in place and Butt remaining as dean of the constituent entities of the College of Mining and Earth Sciences as the colleges consolidate.

After that, at the start of Phase 2, the Unified College will report to a single Dean, and the changes to the College’s governance structure, developed in Phase 1, will be finalized and submitted to faculty, faculty and students and administration for final approval.

Future projects, such as a major in earth and environmental sciences currently under consideration, will use the resources of both colleges. But the College of Mining and Earth Sciences will remain a separate unit within the College of Science, strengthened by the merger and well positioned to fulfill its future mission in the State of Utah as the School of Mines of land grant.

“We are thrilled to unite with the College of Mining and Earth Sciences, with its tradition of hands-on education and impactful research,” Trapa said. “As a coeducational college, we will be well placed to prepare students for an interdisciplinary world.”

“This is an innovative solution to combine the resources of two historic colleges in a way that preserves the identities and missions of both while elevating them to the top tier of science colleges in the United States,” Butt said. .

Know the colleges

The College of Science and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences are two of the oldest colleges in the U, due to the university’s early missions to educate Utah teachers and leaders in the mining industry of Utah. ‘State.

The roots of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences date back to 1901 with the establishment of the National School of Mines. The education of earth sciences and mining engineering dates back even further, at least to 1871. The current name of the college was adopted in 1988 and it currently consists of departments of geology and geophysics, atmospheric science, mining engineering and metallurgical engineering (administered jointly with the College of Engineering). The Center for Global Change and Sustainability and the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, a network of seismometers throughout the West, are also housed in the college’s Frederick A. Sutton Building. The college has become one of the most research-intensive colleges on campus, with average annual research grants per faculty exceeding $300,000. With six majors and four degrees to choose from, students at the college study everything from the nature of snow and ice to the processes governing earth processes to the methods and processes of producing critical materials.

The current incarnation of the College of Science was formally organized in 1970, but its roots in science education date back to the founding of the University of Utah in 1850. It includes departments of math, physics and astronomy, chemistry and the School of Biological Sciences– a progression of disciplines that encompasses the structures and processes of life, the universe and, ultimately, everything.

As one of the largest colleges at U, the College of Science enrolls approximately 2,100 undergraduate students and nearly 500 graduate students, with 143 faculty members. In fiscal year 2021, the college received $36 million in research funding.

In recent years, the college has renovated the George Thomas Building into the Crocker Science Center and plans to renovate and expand, in conjunction with the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, the William Stewart Building into the 140-storey Applied Science Building. 000 square feet. .

Learn more about the college of science and Faculty of Mines and Earth Sciences.