Dean's Message: Moving Ahead With Life Sciences

Dean Rodney J. Brown We all build on the work done and the decisions made by those who preceded us, hoping that we can do as well in our time as they did in theirs. With nothing but praise and thanks for what our predecessors bequeathed to us, we have to change some things to make way for the future.

The new Life Sciences magazine is the continuation of BioAg magazine. This accompanies the change of the name of the "College of Biology and Agriculture" to become the "College of Life Sciences." With the magazine's name change, links to additional information on the web have been added. In addition, this issue and all the previous issues of BioAg magazine are available on the web at http://lifesciences.byu.edu/Magazine.

This is only the most recent change of the college's name. From 1954 until 1983, it was called the College of Biological and Agricultural Sciences. Before that, its programs were scattered among the Colleges of Applied Science, Arts and Sciences, and Commerce. There was a School of Biology on campus in 1924. Going further back, John A. Widtsoe organized a Department of Agriculture during his time at Brigham Young University between 1905 and 1907. The life sciences are dynamic, changing almost too fast for us to keep up. We have moved from the 19th  century into the 21st century and more recently from the Green Revolution to the Gene  Revolution. Many changes in the world around us have made it necessary for us to prepare students to contribute to the life sciences knowledge explosion, and no longer necessary to teach students how to farm.

Last year, every student who desired a mentoring experience with a faculty member was accommodated. Off-campus internships are now being added as a follow-up to mentoring. Recently initiated student learning outcomes for each program are guiding students toward what they will do when they graduate. Advising, mentoring, internships, and career advisement are now all coordinated by a single office that also supports all student activities.

"College of Life Sciences" accurately describes what the college is doing now and captures the flavor of the current excitement in the life sciences worldwide. What is going on inside the college, behind the name, to prepare students for today's challenges and opportunities is what really counts.


Dean's Signature